Just to see you smile
I’d do anything that you wanted me to
When all is said and done
I’d never count the cost
It’s worth all that’s lost
Just to see you smile
Last night as I tucked Rhema into bed I wondered if she was remembering all the events of the past week.
Hope had dubbed it Fun Week.
We’d kicked it off with some pool time. And there Hope transformed into a mermaid right before my eyes. Not surprising, that little girl has been enchanting me all her life.
Then we met up with a dear friend in Maine for a day at the zoo. The zoo has always been a challenge for Rhema. Looking at birds and animals does not seem the least bit interesting to her and waiting for others to look at birds and animals is even less enjoyable. Whenever we go on an outing, for Rhema there must be a point in going even if only to get to the end of it. The very first time we went to the zoo we were done in about five minutes because Rhema ran from the entrance to the exit, and I’m sure she never saw a single animal. But each time we go I notice that her joint attention is improving, more and more she seems to actually look (albeit briefly) at the whatever we’re oohhhing and ahhing over. This time she even fed the goats. No small thing! I’m convinced her progress had everything to do with being in the company of caring friends.
Next up was the Alice in Wonderland play for Hope. Every summer she and I go to shows performed at our local music theater. In the past three years we’ve not missed a single show. This week, however, Rhema was out of school, and I asked my parents to take Hope to the musical. But they were coming from far away and ended up stuck in traffic in the pouring rain. The girls and I had no choice but to go to the theater and wait for my parents there. Thankfully they arrived just as the show was about to start. By then Rhema clearly wanted to stay.
My mother urged me to let her attend the show. I said nooooooo. I said she’ll make noise, she won’t be able to sit still for long, etc. My mother gave me a look, and the next thing I knew I was buying 2 extra tickets – one for me and one for Rhema. My dad fed her popcorn and soda through the whole first act. She rocked in her seat and giggled and colored on every receipt I had in my purse; she was so happy to be there! At the intermission, she and I slipped out of the theater and soared home. Huge success!
We finished off the week with a trip to a large amusement park. And it wasn’t easy – even with a VIP pass Rhema had a difficult time waiting. But she had a lot of help from cousins, uncles and aunts. I went on too many spinny rides and got crazy motion sickness but it was so worth it to see my Rhema throwing her head back, squealing and laughing and soaking up everything and everyone around. There were moments when she was so happy and engaged with Hope and her cousins; we all basked in her joy and didn’t want it to end.
When I am weary that smile is my rest. Just one deep, beautiful smile is all I need to keep going. I would go on a million spinny rides for that smile.
Lots of little difficult moments, lots of little amazing milestones.
I paused at her door before turning out the light. She was looking at me, almost like she had something to say. And when she looks at you like that there is nothing casual about it. I lifted my hand and waved. She offered softly, “Bye.”
I didn’t say it first. She read my non-verbal cue – my wave – and she said Bye perfectly.
(Make that one more little amazing milestone.)
Fun week, indeed.