When my Parker was diagnosed with cerebral palsy so many things went through my mind. Will he walk? Will he have cognitive ability? Will he get to play with his twin brother? Will he be able to shoot hoops in the driveway with his daddy? Will he talk? Will he be able to say "I love you"?
Over the past two and a half years of his life I have come to realize that he will be able to do many things. They may not look exactly like I had in mind, but he can do them. He does not walk yet, but he is very mobile. he crawls all over the place with the biggest grin on his face. His "walking" may be a wheelchair, but I thank God that he will be able to move independently with a power chair.
He may not be able to show his cognitive level by verbally telling us what he sees on a flashcard, but he knows what is on it. If you ask him "yes" or "no" questions, he can tell you. He is one smart cookie. (and one opinionated cookie)
He does play with his twin brother. Actually it has begun to be a more common sight in our household. He will be on the ground heading towards the action (wherever Brady and Ryder are) and Brady will either bring him a toy and lay it out in front of him speaking to him using his soft voice, OR he will tackle him and roll over him with a roar of a lion. Yes. He plays with his brothers.
He doesn't shoot the basket or dribble a basketball, but boy does he love it when his daddy does! His dad also will help Parker do his own slam dunk, which makes everyone smile.
I think when I first knew Parker had CP, I was more worried about his physical mobility. That was probably just something that stood out to me. But now, what is really important to me is that he can communicate and be happy. I want so badly for him just to be able to talk. I know that someday he will be able to form the words that he so badly wants to. In the meantime, we will rely on his head shakes (for "no") and signing yes with his sweet left hand. We will also rely on his communication devices. We have just basic switches right now. But there are plans for much more complicated pieces.
I remember saying to another mom how I wish he could just whisper "I love you Mommy". Every night I rock him and Brady before I put them down to sleep and I whisper how much I love them. And in my heart I am praying, "please God, let him say it back to me. Just this once." He doesn't.
But the other day, I am holding my sweet boy telling him how much I love him. And he looks at me with those beautiful clear blue eyes and he coos / goos ( I can't explain the sweet sound) and touches my face with his hand. HE JUST TOLD ME THAT HE LOVES ME! I don't think anyone else would hear what I heard. But it was as clear as day to me. He said he loves me.
So my son may not walk...yet, and he may not be able to show exactly how smart he is...yet, and he may not get to run around with his brothers...yet, or dribble the basketball yet. He may not be able to talk yet...but did you hear?
He does tell me that he loves me!