Tuesdays have become the highlight of my week, with Maria’s morning visits to look forward to. Usually, she works on me first while Abbie is eating, but this week I had to be at an orientation for the twins’ new school at 11, and didn’t really want to embarrass them right out of the gate by going down with crazy hair, sticking up and coated with massage oil. So, instead I got to spend over an hour at the kitchen table with her, picking her brain about everything we never have time to talk about.
We had a brand-new nurse on Tuesday, who turned out to be wonderful, but Abbie didn’t know that at the start of the day. I left her working with Maria, and by the time I got home, Maria was gone. The nurse was very impressed both by Maria, and what Abbie had done with her, but it would be evening before I got the whole scoop.
Maria called and said, “The most amazing thing happened today, as I was getting ready to leave, Abbie spoke the words, ‘Don’t Go’!” I was so surprised and asked the nurse, ‘Did you hear that?’ She said it did sound like words. I think it even surprised Abbie, to have the words actually come out. So, of course I couldn’t leave then. I put my bags down and talked to her until she went to sleep. There was little teddy bear on her bed, so I put him on her chest and talked to her about taking care of him, and getting him to sleep because he needed his rest.”
I was giggling at this point, for many reasons. So happy for Abbie that she could voice the cry of her heart. So overwhelmed by Maria’s compassion. So amazed at the way Abbie can communicate with me, even without words. You see, after she woke up from her normal post-Maria marathon nap, I sensed she wanted the bear. Mr. Bear ended up going to the baseball game with us, and did not leave Abbie’s side all night. Now I understood why. She is taking care of him, and he is taking care of her.
Mr. Bear went to Matthew’s concert tonight, and is tucked in right next to her now. Even barely awake, she smiled when I laid him on her chest to give her hugs. It makes me happy that she has a special little friend to help her through scary times, like being left, and share happy times like games and concerts.
Maria also shared with me that Abbie made terrific progress with moving specific limbs on command, as in “raise your right arm.” When she told me Abbie lifted her arm, I envisioned the small-amplitude lifts she does, mostly to indicate she understands what she is being asked to do. Oh, no. Maria quickly corrected my thinking by telling me she was lifting her arm up to her head. She needed to hold on to Maria’s finger to help with the weight, but she did it! At the end of the session, Maria supported Abbie so she could stand with flat feet on the floor. Flat feet is a huge accomplishment for Abbie, as it signals an almost complete recovery of the ankle injuries of last summer!
As I imagine it now, I can hear Abbie’s voice, reaching out for Maria, pleading not to be left with a kind stranger. The music of heaven.