Ephemera Friday
An Ezra Interlude

Yes He Can

The Out-of-Sync Child describes a child with dyspraxia as the "I Can't Do That" child. They sit on a bike but have to stare at their feet to get them to pedal...stare at their hands to make sure they are steering...and when they raise their head to see where they are going...the pedaling and steering stop, and the bike doesn't go anywhere. They climb stairs slower, they jump later, and the worst part is, they know it. Their friends can draw things that actually look like things with crayons, their peers skip happily around the playground, the toddler next door races around on his tricycle, and they know it. They remember the frustration, the falls, the failure.

So they look at the bike and say, "I can't do that."

And the parent of a child with dyspraxia shrugs, and says okay. He can't do that. Or he won't do that. Is that the same thing? Are we expecting too much or too little?

We ask the teachers and the therapists and get different answers. He can't process who/what/when/where/how questions. He can't pedal a tricycle. Eh, that's pretty common. I wouldn't worry about it. Here, practice some writing some letters with him this weekend.

Conversely: Letters?! Handwriting?! He's not ready for that. We need to focus on the gross motor skills first, the pragmatic speech, his receptive language processing.

***

Last week he met a little boy his age at the park. The little boy had a scooter. He chased Noah around and around on the scooter. He didn't speak English, so they didn't talk. They just chased and chased and chased and laughed and on the way home Noah announced that he wanted a scooter.

I said something non-committal about his birthday -- yeah, I would just LOVE to go out an spend money on another damn toy that he won't actually get on or go near in real life, like the big wheel and the tricycle  -- but Jason, ever the optimist and big giant SUCKER when it comes to that boy, went out and bought him a scooter.

And he loved it. He was cautious at first, and kept his foot on the ground more often than not. He would only go in a straight line, and then jump off in a panic right before it collided with the sofa. He was adamant that he only wanted to ride it inside, not outside.

But a neighbor's little boy rode past our house one morning. He had the same little scooter. Noah saw him out the window and shrieked in delight and he needed his scooter he needed his SCOOTER. We all dashed outside and holy crap, look at him riding his scooter. He can do it.

"He needs a helmet," Jason fretted, and I groaned again. Art-project visors are one thing, but a helmet? He'll never wear one.

He accidentally crashed into the back of our neighbor's legs and fell down. He was fine. And he got back on the scooter.

***

We refinanced our mortgage this weekend. A better interest rate, lower payment, all around a good thing. We'd originally talked about the possibility of getting some cash back to renovate the kitchen, but now it's going towards the first installment of Noah's tuition. We couldn't find anyone to watch the boys during the closing, so I'd brought some toys and puzzles and hoped it would go quickly before they started getting too antsy.

Sure enough, Noah finished the little puzzle I'd brought in no time, and was not interested in anything else. The closing agent offered him a legal pad and a pen and he made some halfhearted scribbles. In desperation, I drew a capital L...the letter his teacher had told us to practice. Noah immediately shifted his grip of the pen and copied my lines.

"Dowwwwn, and across," he said. "And that's how you make an L!"

He then covered the paper with L's of various sizes, dowwwwwn and across.

When the closing was over, the guy collected his pad and pen. I asked if I could keep Noah's doodling page. I pressed it between the stacks of loan documents because I didn't want it to get crumpled.

***

Later, a stranger fitted him for a brand-new helmet and he did not protest. He just wanted to get back on his scooter. Until, that is, he spotted someone else's brand-new bike by the cash register. A big-kid two-wheeler, with training wheels attached. He climbed on it and slowly, surely, steadily...began to pedal towards the door. Jason and I just stood there stupidly, too shocked to actually do anything. A salesman intervened before we managed to snap to attention.

"I can ride a bike!" Noah shouted. I have to admit, he sounded a little surprised.

***

He spent the rest of the weekend on that scooter. Down hills, around corners, laughing as other little boys chased after him. He puts his leg out acrobatically and glides, trying out figure eights and perfect circles and wanting to go a little further from home each time, finally having fun like any other kid, because he is, and he can.

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Comments

Chelsea

Noah is precious for sure. And although he struggles he truly blessed to have parents that see him so clearly and with so much love. Keep going Amy

Deb

I like to de-lurk from time to time, more often of late, just to tell you that you're an awesome Mom, and I never get tired of reading about Noah's latest accomplishments. He is sooooo adorable, and more importantly: LOOK HOW HAPPY HE LOOKS!!! Go, Amalah! Go, Noah!

Kelly

Oh yay for Noah!

Candace

I'm so incredibly happy for you.

Stella

I'm all teary. I hope my Little Engine That Can't will have such success some day.

haitian american family of three

That was beautiful and made me cry.

Trilby

That's so wonderful! And the rainbow on the last picture, it's like your own personal sign.

Stacy

Congratulations, Noah. (And way to go, Amy) Kinda makes the worry and the fight worth it, doesn't it?

ohchicken

oh amalah, i'm all tears in this here cubicle. your boy is a miracle. and you get a gold star.


Linsey

LOVE. THIS.

Lisa V

This so made me cry. So happy for Noah.

My 15 year old didn't learn to ride a bike because of anxiety until she was 10. She was in 4th grade. We felt total pride when she finally had the courage to do it.

Just Shireen

WooHoo!

Now if you'll excuse me I have something in my eye...

Kathi

I have been waiting for a post for TWO DAYS. It was killing me. But it was worth it. Thanks for making me tear up at work. It is odd how much I LOVE that kid just from getting to know him in your posts. Noah is awesome and I am so pleased and proud of the progress he is making. Oh, and the rainbow? Just perfect!!

Candice

You go Noah!

I haven't even met the kid and I'm so proud of him!

Amy LeForge

Hooray! [sniff...sob] That's SO wonderful. Doing happy dances for you all day. Hang on to the victories!

Christine

This post makes my heart swell.

angie

Hooray!! More happy tears.

Missie

Awesome to the 38256978325487979th power. For that is Noah. Awesomeness with a mop of beautiful wavy hair and the sweetest smile.

Jen O.

I'm at work with tears in my eyes. Happy tears, for you and for Noah. What a victory for your precious little boy.

jodifur

Yeah Noah!

I'm reading this right before a meeting with Michael's teachers to discuss all the things Michael can't do. I needed to read this.

Chiara Goodyear

Congratulations! So happy for Noah and you. What a victory!

Karen

That's the best story I've read in a long time! Way to go Noah!!

Haley

YAY for Noah!! This was the perfect end to a busy workday. Thanks again for sharing Noah's amazing conquests.

Kim

Wow, that rainbow seems awfully appropriate.

Congratulations, Noah!

lizardek

That was just lovely.

Hairy Farmer Family

Oh Amy, what a fabulous and thrilling week! I am wearing a simply enormous beaming smile!

Breezy

(I'm in tears) What a happy mommy (family) moment. He "can", because you say he "can". Give him the credit, but don't forget it's because of his awesome parents too!

Jen.

Look at that little man go! Go, Noah! You just go!

Sarah

Dammit. Made me cry.

My third son has some sensory issues and was pretty significantly speech delayed. At 5yo, he still does the one-step-at-a-time thing on stairs and won't attempt riding a bike or a scooter. But he's talking in full, descriptive sentences, now, and he'll actually let me push him on a swing!

I get it. And I'm so happy for Noah and you.

Erin

ride like the wind squooshie scooter babieeee!

Kristin

What a wonderful, exciting, thrilling, NORMAL post!

Rebekah

This is so wonderful! I'm so happy for you and for Noah! What a great story and you told is so well... :) Thanks for brightening my day!

Heather

Hooray Noah! :D How cute is he on his little scooter? Gosh. You GO, boy! heh.

Allison

Love love love this post, Amy. So glad you're seeing good things again! You and Jason are awesome parents. He is such an adorable little boy. I absolutely love hearing stories about him.

Kristen McD

Oh, oh my. Oh, way to go Noah.

nonsoccermom

Oh! So awesome! Way to go Noah!!! Yay!

Liza

awww, tears, in a very good way :)

Michelle

YAY Noah!!!!!!!! He looks so happy!!

Lissa

That is sooo much better than a new kitchen. You guys are really rocking this. I hope this is the start of a lot more "I can do it"s!

emily

hurray! that is so awesome! I am so proud of noah! happy tears for sure!

Katie

I'm already a tiny bit emotional today, and this post made me simply weepy. I'm so glad to see Noah playing and having fun. It seems like the school was a mighty good decision. But I'm sure you already knew that.

Myranda

amazing amazing amazing. I have tears!!

Gab

Is that a freaking rainbow in the last picture? If I didn't know better I would say that you photoshopped that rainbow in. You know if I didn't already know that Noah's future is bright.

Reluctant Housewife

Yay! Just, Yay!

I'm reading this in a room full of people before class and totally tearing up.

Yay! Go, Noah!

Cathy

This post made me cry- as a mom to a son with similar issues I know how important these milestones are. Congratulations Noah! Wishing you all continued success.

liz

I am totally sobbing and cheering and laughing. YAY!!!!

Amy H

Dammit. Tears in my eyes. At work. Foiled again by your brilliant writing.

Ellen

That is awesome. Just awesome.

mpotter

that's fantastically amazing!
and always- very well written.

thanks so much for opening up your life.

LPC

I love that little rainbow. And your blog

Danielle

Totally just made me cry. Congratulations to Noah and his scooter (and to you and Jason)!!

Mandi

I am SOOO HAPPY for that boy! In tears here. :D Go Noah!!

Starbuck

This just made my day.

Issa

I am crying reading this. I am so happy for him and for you.

Fabs

They surprise you every single damn day.

My daughter has PDD and ADHD (inattentive type), but wasn't diagnosed until 2nd grade. It's gotten better every year, but those first years were so hard!

Brandi

Oh Amy that is wonderful! My sister and I had scooters when we were kids and we would just fly down the road! It was so much fun! Knowing that Noah is experiencing that makes me feel so happy inside! Go Noah!

Laura in Michigan

Yay Noah!!!

Jade

I am hormonal and crying. This post is awesome!

Melissa B

We've never met, I don't think we ever will and I've been reading your blog for the past oh.. 2-3 years...

today was the first day I cried reading your post

I am so very happy for Noah!

Amanda aka Superpucky

Your post helped me put everything in perspective today. I had a rough day and hearing that a child overcome possibly life altering obstacles is by far more significant than my petty problems. I feel way better now. Thank you for sharing, your blog is more cathartic than you know.

Jessica (@It's my life...)

Aw man. You just made me cry at Starbucks. Go Noah! We always knew you'd figure it all out!

Leah Rubin

This brought tears to my eyes-- I'm a total sucker for the kid triumphing and getting out of his own way! What a hero he is! Go crazy, man, and have a total blast riding and wearing your awesome helmet! Hooray!

MontanaJen

OK - so I'm hundreds of miles from home and haven't seen my husband in two weeks and my dad is really really sick in the hospital and i'm short on sleep, etc, BUT...

This made me weep for joy for you. Good Job. Really - good job.

Stephanie Deal

And God is good all the time and ALL the time God is good.

Yay for Noah!! (sniff, sniff)

linsey

Yes, happy tears. Delightful boy, you can do it!

ccr in MA

Oh, how wonderful. So happy for you.

MichelleRenee

Look at you big boy!

They can't, they can't..

then they do!

Happy Tears for both of you.

Jen L.

I haven't cried like this over one of your blog posts since "good job, Noah." Beautiful. Way to go, little man!!! (and big ol' hugs to mommy!)

Floyd

Way to go, Noah!

(I promise I'll stop tearing up any minute now)

Eliza

Obviously the OT preschool was the Best Decision Ever. Great job--all of you.

cheryl

I only comment very rarely, but I just had to come out and say how happy this makes me tonight. Have been rooting for Noah for years now, and he is great, and this seems like a big step! Congratulations! And the L's are great news too. I know he can do it.

momofthree

I so get that...we have gone through every toy. Now at a trampoline. SHOCKED. WE ARE THRILLED. All the previous answers to the request were "my mommy won't let me (fill in the blank - scooter, run, jump, skip). Keep buying all that stuff. It works. Happily.

Dorothea

I'm so proud of that kid! Scooter - helmet - bike - the letter L... awesome!

Veronica

This post makes me smile so much. Thankyou.

Starr

Thank you for giving me a huge smile today! I'm so glad to read about this victory and I know you've got to feel awesome. Way to go Noah!

Plano Mom

WAY TO GO NOAH! WAY TO GO MOM AND DAD!

Oonagh

I just recently started reading, and had never heard of this disorder (is that what it is? sorry I'm new) until I came across your site, but I can't tell you how happy I am for you and Noah about this amazing progress! After agonizing over the school decision, you must be so incredibly glad you made the one that you did.

daysgoby

And it begins!

This is going to be a GREAT year for him!!

Sheila

Go Noah! What a great post...you make me laugh and cry...sometimes at the same time!

Wallydraigle

And the pregnant lady is sobbing.... Again.

(go Noah!)

EmmaNadine

I cried just reading that. The look of absolute joy on Noah's face is just inspiring.

Stacy

Oh my. Well done Noah! So happy for him and for y'all.

And glad for all the extra help he's getting this year. Congrats.

Sara

This one gave me goosebumps.
Way to go, Noah!

Liana

Noah!! Good job, little dude!

This is a wonderful post. That boy just continues to be full of surprises!

Also, though, I think it's becoming more and more obvious that you and Jason TOTALLY made the right decision about preschool. Hooray!!!!

living with lindsay

Go, Noah! Go!

Lauren

yay! I am a pediatric occupational therapist & stories like that are exactly why I love what I do... good for him & good for you!

Heather

I am crying. I am crying. I am crying. Thank you for sharing your son with us. You are doing a great job as a mom. Go team Noah!

Ashley

Wonderful. That is all.

molly

Amy, I don't often cry reading blogs but that just brought tears of joy to my eyes. It's so nice to hear all the progress you're all making, and I'm really, really happy for all of you. :)

Natalie

Noah is so precious. I wish the best for him & your family.

Barb

A whole new world for your (our) boy!

erin

It's enough to make you believe even 2on and Brenda can work it out!

But seriously, I've been reading since forever, and even though I don't know you, I love your little family and it's fantastic to hear that things are going well...there are lots of us rooting for Noah (and for you!)

Tracy

Of course he can. And now I'm all verklempt.

samantha jo campen

I'm bawling. I am SO PROUD OF HIM. Oh my God Noah you are such an amazing little man.

Kristen

Awesome. And that last picture with the rainbow is so perfect!

Suzanne

Love, love, love.

M

...and the rainbow on the last photo sums it all up!!

M.Bailey

This post brought tears to my eyes. Truly - you write amazingly. And the rainbow in the last picture is just perfect.

Dani

Thanks for making me cry. I'm so glad that we get to go through this journey with you. I'm so proud of Noah and you and Jason. What a spectacular guy. The new school is definitely worth the investment.

heathabee

YAY NOAH! CONGRATULATIONS!!

This had me crying the whole way through! Such wonderful news.

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