Writing this post is going to set me up for some kind of gigantic cosmic kick in the ass. I know this with great certainty, it happens every time I post about how things with Maya are going well. I've tried in the past to get by with hints and whispers and insinuations, but that's not really fair to Maya, or me, or to those of you out there reading who are in the midst of a parenting journey more challenging than most and looking for hope wherever you can find it. So I'll give you that hope and then I'll duck quickly in an attempt to avoid the cosmic lightning bolt that will inevitably follow.
Over the years I've shared some of our journey, the low points as well as the bright ones, and the deliberations along the way, so it seems only fair not to leave you hanging now.
Okay, I'm just going to come right out and say it.
*checks around for stray lightning bolts*
Maya is doing incredibly well.
There. I said it.
*looks around, ducks again*
It's true. Maya is doing so well I feel like my heart is going to burst with joy just from looking at her. She's made so many leaps forward these past few months that I don't even know where to begin. She's seeking out other children to play with, she's telling us about her day - actual stories of actual events, not just the scripted "How was your day? Fun. What did you do? Played. What did you play with? Toys." that we always saw in the past. Heck, she's even tattling on other children! (Not that we're encouraging that particular behavior, but it's so age and developmentally appropriate that we can't help but smile.) She's drawing families and flower gardens and jellyfish - the girl who refused to do more than scribble as recently as August. She's writing - in both Hebrew and English. Not just her name or the names of her family, but entire birthday cards ("Happy birthday Gali, Best Wishes, Maya" - I help her spell but the writing is all hers). She dances along (with moves that would put Britney Spears to shame, god help us when she becomes a teenager) to the soundtrack of this year's children's extravaganza (Festigal), announcing the names of each of the pop stars as they begin to sing, and naming her favorites. She has fairy parties with her friends, where they dress up in costumes and pretend to do their hair and makeup, and she makes up fairy stories which she pretends to "read" from a pretend book (this from the child they were worried might never achieve symbolic play). She reacts to a younger child scribbling on her drawing by coming to the other room to tell me, in a reasonably calm voice, what happened and asking me to make him stop, instead of screaming and flipping over furniture. Someone asked me recently if her tantrums had gotten any better (what does that mean, anyway, that she's better at throwing them?) and you know, I couldn't remember the last real tantrum she'd thrown. (That last one is going to bring down the wrath of the gods for sure, hubris thy name is Robin. Well, if it does, remind me that it will pass, eventually, and that it was all in the name of truth and honest disclosure. And then make me a really strong drink. With an umbrella in it.)
On that note, I'd better quit while I'm still (hopefully) ahead of the game and go off to bed, but before I go I'll leave you with this, and I dare you not to smile back.