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Destination NotNewark

Backpacks, Loops & Spoons

Today's the last day of school. There are parties, ridiculous fake graduations, special year-end slideshows. I'm bringing the napkins and paper plates. 

Noah wears a backpack now. We can drive around the loop without a bone-melting, ear-piercing tantrum. He can hold a crayon, cut with scissors, ride on the big-kid swings and a merry-go-round. He can write all his letters and his name, and will draw pictures of things he likes from his favorite books. He's starting to read a few words and is really, really good at math. We suspect that what we first assumed was synesthesia is actually something more like perfect pitch -- he identifies the song colors right along with key changes, and can describe the color of other tones in the world, like cell phones and car horns. 

And he can eat ice cream with a spoon.

Last summer, right before school started, we went to a pizza restaurant and bribed good behavior from Noah in exchange for chocolate ice cream. Which arrived not in a cone, but in a bowl with a spoon. Noah still ate everything with his fingers, but couldn't handle the mess and the cold of ice cream which is supposed to come in a cone like it usually does what is this nonsense no spoon no spoon NO SPOON. Needless to say, this was not a restaurant outing that ended well. He freaked out, epically, and we abandoned the ice cream on the table, and drove home in angry, baffled silence.

I've written quite a bit about our battle with utensils over at The Stir -- how it's been the perfect storm of fine motor skills, oral hypersensitivity, insanely picky eating and Noah's general refusal to do anything that he's not immediately good at. How we enlisted the help of teachers and OTs and strategic snacks and school and bribes of old first-gen iPhones. 


Game, set, match.

These little triumphs -- loops and spoons and hours and hours with patient, amazing teachers -- have helped win a bigger war: Noah is confident and flexible now, so much more willing to try new things and join the group. The world is not out to get him anymore, to overwhelm him with things he doesn't like and concepts he can't process. He understands how to play and how to talk and how what when why who. 

I had to miss his Field Day last week because of work, though when I saw the announcement I admit I didn't think it was anything worth rearranging my schedule for -- Noah probably wouldn't participate but would just run around the outskirts and yell at anyone who dared put demands on him or offered to show him how to hit the teeball. 

Another mother took photos for me -- photos of Noah throwing beanbags, attempting a long jump, happily holding the edge of a parachute next to his friends, leading the rolling charge in a huge herd of children chasing a ball almost as big as they were. I was shamed to realize that I still expect the Then instead of the Now. 

And the Now is better. The Now is so good. 

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Photo (25)

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Congratulations, Noah, on a great year. We're ridiculously, insanely proud of you. 



I am so proud too!!!! GO NOAH! GO STORCH FAMILY! (*cries a little*)


Oh YAY! So very very very fantastic!


So very, very, very awesome. Woohoo Noah!!!
(and p.s. sent my kid to school in the same shirt today...don't you love it!)


Happy tears!


So. Feaking. Awesome! Congrats on a terrific year Noah!


Firstly: YESSSSSSS! So happy.
Secondly: I want chocolate ice cream.
Thirdly: I LOVE his t-shirt
Fourthly: Keep cracking up that you are ALWAYS the paper plate/napkins lady.


you've enjoyed a truly blessed year w/ your boys. noah has blossomed in so many wonderful ways. congrats, all around!


This should be a wakeup call to any parents on the fence about getting help for their children. Look a Noah, people! He's rocking da house!! Yay!!


*at Noah. Oops.


Duuuude. The innernets ate my first comment. So "go Noah!" Is all you're getting now.

Katie Kat


I know how stupid it is, because I don't really know you in "real life," but I've followed you for years and I feel like Noah is a little friend of B's that I (we) have gotten to watch grow and beat his challenges and SHINE through it all. It's just been so amazing to see and laugh/cry/cheer him (and you and Jason) on.


Love being part of it all (sorta). :)


Dude, nevermind. I apparently cannot work the innernets before 7am PST.

Katie Kat

P.S. I meant the "sorta" in terms of being part of it all, not in terms of loving it... Gah!


Noah, you are on your path to rule the world! Please remember the little people. And maybe your parents too, they are pretty awesome.


I know I rarely comment, but I read your blog regularly. And.... I just bawled the happiest tears through this entire post. So happy for little Noah and for you and Jason. This made my day :)


I am so proud too! It's been such a pleasure, an honor really, to see Noah's triumphs this year. He's a remarkable little boy.

And to you Amy and Jason, you too deserve recognition for your tireless efforts. Your candor and honesty are amazing things.


Aww yay Noah! *Sniffs* Good job, little guy.


Oh, Amy! You must be so very proud! I never thought that the sight of a child eating with a spoon would bring tears to my eyes...and yet here they are.


And we are ridiculously, insanely HAPPY for you!

Plano Mom

Yep. I'm crying. Good thing I work from home.

Anna S.

I am so proud, too! **sniff**

Blogs are a crazy thing. I feel like I know y'all, and have learned so much. Someday you can tell Noah there were always a whole lot of people out here cheering and praying for him!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Yay Noah!!!!

kristen mcd

Well, indeed. :)


Wow! I'm so impressed with Noah as he conquers yet another obstacle, though that's certainly nothing new. Congratulations to all of you on a fantastic year. I can't wait to see what the next few years bring!


Way to go, Noah!!




Way to go Noah!! That video is so cute!

PS Where did you find that adorable Linus shirt??

Sprite's Keeper

I was saying the same thing about preschool and kindergarten graduations. But this? This is special. This is so much more. Bravo, Noah!


Go, Noah! What a sweet wonderful adorable smart quirky little bunch of boy that is. He has at least one big fan in Idaho.

J Strizzy

God, I don't even know you guys and I'm insanely proud of him too. And really really happy for you all.


Congratulations, Noah! You rock!



samantha jo campen

I'm crying and I DON'T work from home.

My heart literally BURSTS with pride whenever I read about his updates. I'm so insanely happy for you guys and so so SO proud of Noah. And you.

Aaaaaand here come the tears again.


After being blown off for TWO YEARS we finally start OT on Monday and I hopehopehopehopehope I can report on a year like this.


I am so proud. Thank you so much for sharing. Go Noah


That is wonderful Amy! Just wonderful! What a difference the right help can make! I'm so happy for Noah and for your whole family. Hugs and high fives to you guys!


Sounds to me like you have a genius on your hands.


made me tear up. so proud! good job, Noah.

Heather Ben

Go Noah!


This makes me get all happy teary. I work as a Child and Youth Worker and although I am choosing to work with behavioural children, I have stil worked with kids with SPD, etc and these kind of stories encourage me that it is all worth the effort and time. Good job, Amy on being an advocate for your son and getting him what he needs.


It's amazing how I can be so excited for someone I've never even met! I shall now proceed to do the happy dance to commemorate this awesome Noah occasion...even if my clients look at me a little weird.

Congratulations little man!

Anna A

So inspiring! Congrats to all of you for all the hard work!


I am so touched.

Congratulations to all of you to a great year!


Happy tears here!! Amy, you and Jason should be really proud of yourselves, too. Noah is awfully lucky to have you as his Mom and Dad.


What a beautiful, beautiful smile he has!


Darn, tearing up at work again. Thanks.

Now, can we do something about those fake graduations? Because I really do not want to go through five of those before the real one. Ridiculousness.


Yay Noah! And yay Amy!


How wonderful! Is he doing any summer camp type things this year?

Incidentally, my only friend with perfect pitch also sees colors in music, synesthesia-style.


Congrats! Such a great step! What progress! Yay!

beta dad


Noah handles that spoon a lot better than some adults I know!


I LOVE that Linus t-shirt! Congratulations to Noah and your whole family on his excellent year!


I LOVE that Linus t-shirt! Congratulations to Noah and your whole family on his excellent year!

Karen Chatters

That's awesome! I can only imagine how insanely proud and thrilled you are at the progress he's made. It brought me to tears.


WAY TO GO, NOAH! I am so proud too. YAY!!!!

PS: The cure for brainfreeze is to push the tongue against the roof of your mouth. You'll need that hint now that you're going to be eating all that ice cream!


OMG. Tears! Congrats! You have all come a long way! :)


The internets are proud of you too, Noah! No pressure or anything, but a lot of people have been watching you grow and are super excited at all the things you can do now. Go NOAH!!!! And Amalah - you are AWESOME.


Three cheers for Noah!

Sounds like a very important graduation to me!


What an amazing post Amy. I hope you are proud of you too.

Chris H

I'm so proud of you and Jason. I've read and watched as you have worked so hard at providing a really nurturing, supportive, yet challenging (as it needs to be) environment for Noah. I'm in this field as well, and I wish every kid could have the type of support you've been able to provide. And as a teacher myself, a big shout out to Noah's teachers. Have a wonderful summer!

Jen L.

Way to go, Noah! Congrats to all of you on a big, big year of accomplishments.

xtina q

Is it wierd to get all misty watching Noah eat ice cream with a spoon? The careful, precise movements are oh so Noah! As a looong time reader (Noah was maybe 6 months or so when I started reading), I feel like a proud auntie! That's not creepy internet stalkerish or anything.

kim at allconsuming

You know, a husband repeatedly using your kitchenware to catch rodents could definitely put a dampener on it, but this, this proves what an epically good year it has been.

Yey you. GO NOAH, GO!


I always read,rarely comment...LOVE this...Team Noah for the WIN.

Jill Tysse



This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!


That is so wonderful. I'm so happy for you all.

Sheila I am sitting here crying over a video of a kid I have never met and SO proud and happy for a family I will never meet. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your life and the ugly parts cannot see the beauty if you don't know the ugly. Congratulations!


Excellent job Noah! You Rock!


I've been reading your blog since before Noah was born and our whole family has followed his progress. We're so proud of him!!! He is often in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us.


Holding back happy tears right now. So proud of Noah! So ridiculously happy for him and your family. Yay!


Hooray for Noah! Happy tears too...


Yay Noah!!

Plano Mom

And Oh yeah. I agree about fake graduations. Except my kid - the one that wouldn't admit emotion if it killed him - was overjoyed that his family came to his. Guess I need to get over it.

Lady in a Smalltown

You aren't the only one who is proud of your amazing child. I can't believe how much I care about a child I have never met. Way to go Noah!

We have that same shirt for our son. Only, he is just a year and we had to buy it in a 3T. Next year I guess.

Heather B.

I was just cleaning from stuff that hadn't been unpacked when I moved - like moved to Albany - anyway, as I was cleaning and sorting I found all of the photos you gave me before I moved up here. It's absolutely insane to me that he was was such a little goober and now he's this boy. This amazing kid. I'm really happy and proud of Noah but also of you and Jason. Good job, buddy. Keep it up.


this makes me ridiculously happy.

Lori McBride

Tears here!!!! YAY NOAH!!!!! :0)

From Belgium

Baby steps may be the key, but for the childeren and parents they are milestones.
Yeah for Noah!!


I'm not's allergies.

We're all very proud of you, too, Noah!


totally off topic but they are talking about a Stink Bug Summit on NPR today and I thought of you :)




YAY Noah!! That is really amazing.



p.s. *love* his shirt :-)




Can't watch the video. I'm at work and I know I'll start to cry and I'm late to the party but nobody else noticed he's left handed?


I wish every kid like Noah had parents like you. It has made all the difference in the world for him.


This made me cry. Hooray for Noah and for his parents who must be so thrilled with all he has accomplished!

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