Sunday, March 15, 2009

Appreciating Roman

picture Fall 2007: but he's so darn cute!

I spent the weekend scrapbooking, which is my favorite thing to do. Besides making new memories, of course. Got 32 pages done, as well as 4 weeks' worth of my Project 365. I scrapped pictures from 2007 and 2008, which was fun - whatever I felt like doing. A lot that I feel need to be in a book - those that bring about a lot of detailed memory or emotion - I didn't do, because I would have to concentrate on the journaling and you just can't do that with your bestest friends & your mom surrounding you, chatting. I did do one or two like that, though.

Anyway, I was reflecting a lot about Roman through Charlie. I did a lot of photos of Charlie just so he can start to have a presence in the photo albums. And I was thinking that a lot of what Charlie is doing now is about where Roman was when he came home with us. For example, Charlie is just starting to grab our hands when we're sitting down, wanting us to finger-walk with him. Roman used to do that so much, we got to hiding our hands at times because we were tired of walking him!

I wish sometimes that Roman was our second child, so we understood him better as a baby. I see things that Charlie is doing that Roman never did - sit on our laps for an extended period of time, show interest in rolling or throwing balls, exploring plugs or electrical sockets or what have you - and I realize just how much of a stunted first 9 months Roman had. Being able to provide a safe, loving home for Charlie (and seeing the benefits of it) makes me ache just that much more for Roman & what he lost. It's hard for me sometimes to accept Roman "as is" and not wish that things could have been different for him, or even if we had done things different. He is who he is through his experiences, the parts I love about him and the parts that I would like to change - many basic personality or character traits have developed because of his early months.

We move on from here, though, wiser parents. The "talking doctor" has assisted us in reevaluating our parenting and approach with Roman based on his needs, and while we're still exploring & researching other avenues, I believe I have seen quite a behavioral change in Roman since implementing a new discipline style 3 weeks ago. For the good. There's a lot less whining and a lot less yelling going on in our house. Frustration level on all parts has gone down, too, though there is always room for improvement. And lucky for Charlie, while we're learning to appreciate Roman because of Charlie's babyhood, Charlie will reap the benefits because of Roman's challenges - we'll be a stronger, better family.

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