Monday, October 22, 2012

Walking -not Running -Behind

Okay -I have wanted to write a post for several days now but seemed every time I had the time available, someone else in the household was camped out at the computer. I know -supposedly it is my property but I still don't like to go up to someone and say -"Hey! Get off the computer NOW!"

But anyway, as a result of that problem and compounded by some other things I was doing -like trying desperately to finish up this danged tabletopper I had been working on for over six weeks -and trying to squeeze in some extra sleep as well, here it is now -Monday morning and I am four days late in trying to write this post.

The topic is one I have written about on numerous past occasions as it is one of my favorite things of all to write about. Can you guess what that might be?

Well if you have no clue, I won't play any guessing games here as I'll tell you right up front it is my granddaughter -Miss Maya!

Last Thursday you see was her birthday.

We had a little family "party" in celebration of her birthday a week ago Saturday and that turned out very nice with my older daughter and grandson able to be here as well as my son and a few friends too. So that all turned out very good for all concerned. Didn't have any meltdowns this time as Maya was too occupied with the whole thing to stop and recollect how many presents Kurtis may have received on his birthday back in April as compared to how many gifts she received now for her birthday. (Yes, the girl is obsessed by things like that and in the past, birthday parties have been a bit of a nightmare at times with her citing the gifts Kurtis got -and keeping the count of them -and the gifts she received too and boy, he best not have been given one matchbox car more than some equivalent gift she received or all hell would break loose -and frequently did break loose too!)

But anyway, be that as it may -the Saturday get-together was good for her -and for the rest of the family as well.

That left us then with this past Thursday -the actual birthdate celebration -which we had then too! This time, older daughter and grandson -again -made it up for that although Aunt Carrie couldn't stay as she had to get home to rest a bit before heading off to work Thursday night but Alex spent the night here since he didn't have school on Friday and that's always fun to have him around if only for a short overnight stay!

Maya decided she wanted pizza for her birthday dinner -a request that Mandy and I both enjoyed because it meant neither of us had to do a bunch of cooking! Yes, we both really LOVE deals like that, don't you?

But anyway, all this birthday celebrating has had me waxing very sentimental now about my little princess who is rapidly growing up and before long, she'll be a big, for real, princess. All this has been happening before my eyes too as I have had the honor, the privilege, the fun, of being present to observe first hand, every day of her life -or darned near every day of her life to date, with the exceptions being those couple of trips I had to make to Pittsburgh to visit some doctors (and operating rooms) there!

And I remember vividly the first time I met Miss Maya and the feelings that coursed through me as I held her the day after she was born! I've said this time and time again, but it's the truth and nothing wrong with repetition of the truth is there, but the first time I held her, looked at that beautiful little face and her eyes were wide open, as if to let me know then and there, how she was surveying me too, I felt a bond, a kinship to her -a magnetism, perhaps -if you will. But my initial thought was that this baby, this beautiful little girl, needs ME!

And after the year I had been through just prior to her birth, it was actually a very good feeling that someone actually needed ME!

I can't fully describe the joys that the first year of having Maya with us brought to me -just that I knew I had been blessed, very, very blessed, by her presence here and that she had brought with her a gift that no one else could have given to me and that was a desire to regain some control over my life -over the medical issues I had been facing and a determination that whatever came in the future, I would have to be able to handle it simply because I had to be able to be here to help guide my little princess on with her life!

There are a whole lot of people around me today who say that about both Maya and Kurtis -that they changed my life and gave me a big reason to go on living. To that, I have to agree as it is true -that's exactly what did take place for me!

It has not always been an easy road -this process of being with my little sweetheart and watching, teaching her how to manage life and all its ups and downs. Autism can be really difficult to contend with at times, but thankfully, we have been very fortunate to have had the help of some terrific people -trained therapists -how have come into our home, worked long and hard with Maya and then too, with her little brother, to get them off to a much better start in how to cope with all the things that the rest of us generally take for granted.

Those days -many of them are behind us -but there are still areas in which there is a whole lot more work yet to be done -and those therapists keep forging ahead, finding new paths that take Maya better forward in school as well as with learning more and better social skills.

She turned nine this past Thursday and this year -along with bringing more abilities, more learning in school, she is also a member of a group of elementary-age girls who are training to become cheerleaders! Third grade and into cheerleading? Holy rip! What the heck is this world coming to was my initial thought about that group but after seeing what the girls are learning -how to synchronize their movements, timing, vocal skills -I changed my mind and thought this is a good thing. Not only is she learning dance movements and control of her body, but she's learning more about how to blend in and make friends with more girls her age and some who are a bit older than her as well!

And she's doing great in that group too! The leader of the group has mentioned to me on numerous occasions when I have taken Maya to practice about how great she is doing, how easily she picks up the routines and her willingness to learn new dance moves too! Ah -cooperation -one of those skills that sometimes doesn't seem it was ever going to land on our doorstep with respect to Maya has finally decided to pay us a visit and for that, I am very grateful!

I haven't posted many photos of late of Miss Maya but there is one that was taken of her the night of the football game at the high school where all the students who participate in any type of athletic type group were to be present and if they were, they were each called out onto the football field for a little honor then of their participation. So Maya was there and yes, she was a bit embarrassed at first at having her name announced over the PA system and then, having to go out on the field to join the other girls in the Cheerleading group, but she did it! And here's the photo of her at that event that shows her excitement over the whole process!

That's my girl -my sweet, brown-eyed, beautiful little granddaughter!

She never fails to amaze me -sometimes it would be more honest to say she "confounds" me because yes, there is a streak of the stubborn side that can be really, really extreme and hard to contend with from time to time. But one smile from that sweet face can also pretty much erase the memory of those events of being so bloody bull-headed you are left with very few good thoughts and a lot of aggravation at times!

She's doing very well in school -reading and math -both seem to come easily to her and she enjoys them too, which to me, is even more important! She adjusting quite nicely to the third grade and learning more and more about the world around her too.

She has a girlfriend here in town who is her age and who she goes to that little girl's home from time to time for play and has even had a couple of sleepovers there too. According to that girl's great-grandmother, Maya's been very well behaved there each time she has visited. (Now, just wish some of those actions would surface a bit more at home with respect to her brother! Oh wait. That would be sibling rivalry and something I, as one who was an only child, have no experience with, wouldn't it?)

I worry now though about what I will do at some point in the near future, when Miss Maya, her brother and their mother will be leaving here and moving about 120 miles or so from my home. Whatever will I do without her to be here for me to watch her progress from a sweet little girl into a teenager and then, an adult? Who knows if I will be around that long to begin with to watch all that but I know one thing for sure.

As long as I am here and she's still with me (along with her brother, of course) I am going to take every moment and try to make it last as long as possible to increase the memories I'm gonna need to fall back on of my beautiful Miss Maya to help me make it through, day by day, without her being around here in person to make my days and my life, complete!

Love you Maya more than words can possibly ever say!

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