When J was very small I would pound the local streets with him in his pram for hours. Day after day we’d head out into the fresh air, to get a change of view, exchange a word or two, and to help me pass those oh so very long daylight hours with long walks in any direction.
On not one but two separate occasions a well meaning Mum hollered at me across the road: “It get’s easier!”.
And of course it would. It would get easier.
My perfect 3-month old bundle of joy would start to sleep through, move into his own room, learn to talk, potty train, head off to nursery, leave me standing in a park in all weathers while he kicked a ball of some variety with his mates. It would get easier. And I would, over time, find the joy in parenting, get back my career, my life and, as a single mum from day one, my sanity.
Jump forward three years and sleep was still disturbed, potty training was proving difficult, and the words that came were sporadic and unclear. Games weren’t understood, friendships not fostered, and an uneasiness grew in me when the awareness of danger failed to grow in J. So I started to look for and ask for help.
Jump forward to 5 years and there’s lots of clinic visits, a carousel of able therapists and doctors who never stayed to see the outcomes. A variety of vague non-diagnosis. Behaviour issues at school. And, despite all the school’s best efforts, little academic progress. Brick walls, lots of brick walls. “We’d love to help but….”.
Here we are in year seven of his young life. I learned the lessons. Got myself organised, supported, educated. I learned to be direct. To ignore the “he seems fine to me” comments from friends, babysitters and soon to be ex-boyfriends. I got smarter and learned the process and the language. I used the complaints systems to be heard and force action. Repeatedly. And finally progress is made.
And for now at least it is a little easier.
And I’m so thankful that here, at this point in time, hostilities have ceased. And we can be a small but perfectly formed little family. Sweating the little things.
So what if it took a little longer than planned. So what if there’s bound to be grenades of one variety or other around the corner. For now at least the view is clearer. We both sleep, we are happy, and it finally is getting easier.