Friday, April 25, 2008


Primo and Secondo had a playdate last week. That was a huge deal. Mostly they’re at home with their nanny, and when I’m at home I don’t have a car, so they really don’t get out much, at least not during the week. We see tons of other kids at the park, and we go to birthday parties and gatherings at friends’ homes, but those are all chaotic and the whirlwind of kids makes it pretty overwhelming, for them as well as for me. Having a specific playdate with a friend here at the house was different.

My friend came over with her son, S, who is about a month younger than the boys. We both work, she has a new baby, and it had been a while since we’d seen each other. It was a beautiful day, the first day I the boys and I wore short sleeves all year, so we grabbed sippy cups, crackers and cans of sparking water and walked over to the park.

I was completely unprepared to witness just how famously Primo and S got along. They chased each other up the slide, down the slide, around the park, shrieking and laughing the whole time. Primo shrieked in Spanish, and S gleefully repeated whatever he said. S made up words, and Primo imitated him, too. When S got on the swings and his mother pushed him high into the air, Primo wanted to be pushed too, even though he’s never enjoyed the swings for more than ten seconds at a time.

I watched the two of them so obviously enjoying each other, and my heart broke just a little. Because then I looked over at Secondo, who was at the other end of the park, wandering around and paying no attention to his brother, his friend, or to me, and my heart broke just a little more.

Today Secondo had his appointment with a developmental specialist. (Is that even a title? I’m not sure it is. I’m not quite sure what her title was.) She watched Secondo play and asked us questions. She used words like special education, autism and IEPs, and then gave us a stack of referrals.

I don’t believe in mother’s intuition. I've been wrong too may times when it comes to the boys. But for the past nine months or so, I’ve been stuck in a cycle of worrying about Secondo one minute and being convinced that everything is fine the next. Waffling, back and forth, questioning what I saw and felt and listening to people pooh-pooh my concerns whenever I brought them up. And also, wanting so badly to be The Mother Who Does Not Freak Out. Because I am, usually, and I take great pride in that. Nor did I want to be accused of comparing twins, and feeling like I was, in fact, comparing them caused me some grief.

His appointment today was wonderful, in that a professional told me, I see what you see, and I can see why you’re concerned. We walked out to the waiting room when we were done, and I sat down and breathed a huge, huge sigh of relief. I hate the word journey, because it makes me think of stupid reality-show contestants, but it feels like we’re embarking on one, regardless of whatever I want to call it.

Secondo is young, and anything can happen. Who ever knows what will happen, anyway? All I know is he’s my beautiful, blue-eyed little boy, who has cheeks so scrumptiously pinchable that I finally understand why adults want to pinch them. He loves playing patty-cake and Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and being flipped upside down makes him laugh and laugh. He loves cars, trains and fire engines and can sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and he knows the words to Sur Le Pont d’Avignon in French. He’s shy and not too fond of strangers, and he only recently worked up the courage to slide down the slide. His very first two-word phrase was Quiero Primo, because he loves his brother, even though he doesn’t always show it. He is constantly perched on my lap, saying otra vez, otra vez, otra vez, whenever I finish a book. He has a stubborn streak a mile wide.

And he gets lost in his own little world sometimes.

1 comment:

Snickollet said...

Oh, Friend,

You are so brave and so wise to have taken Secondo in for that appointment. I've been considering having Riley evaluated for a while, but a big part of me is not ready to admit that I might actually need to. And like you, I don't like being the mom who freaks out. But I have to learn from people like you and remember that it's my job to take care of my children and help them, and it's better to go in for the eval and find that it's nothing than not to go at all. Or, to find that it's something and help Riley learn how to make his way through life.

I miss you.