I’ve had to do away with standard expectations when it comes to Jack. Being born ten weeks early and spending seven weeks in NICU is not a good way to start life, but he has persevered and even thrived under such difficult conditions. So you would think that I could concentrate on that, and not dwell on the fact that at nearly 16 months, he has not walked or stood up on his own. And yet, I have so many friends with children who are flying through their developmental goals. Walking at seven months! Can say a handful of words at nine months! Tons of teeth and riding a tricycle at 15 months!
Every parent wants the best for their child, and every parent thinks their child is outstanding. Jack may have a development delay, but he’s already been through more medical drama than most people have in their entire lives. He may smaller than the other kids, but he’s smart and cheerful and has a smile that will melt your heart. He may be behind on language skills, but he knows how to stack blocks, how to crawl up and down stairs, and how to play with toys made for kids twice his age.
Jack will develop on his own timeline – not what the books and doctors say is right. Like his parents, he does not listen to “you can’t” and “you won’t” – he’s stubborn and does things his own way. And today, just a couple days short of being 16 months old, he took his first two solo steps. And I’m not afraid to admit that when he did, I sat down and cried with happiness.