But sometimes raising my daughter Chaya is like that - devoid of drama, the same old same old. No progress, no light at the end of the tunnel.
And trying though that is, it may not be the worst-case scenario. I've mentioned before that I collect my granddaughter from her kindergarten once a week. It's situated in a building that houses a center for afternoon activities for children with disabilities. Some would be termed "severe", I suppose, but none approach the gravity of Chaya's.
I watch them longingly. Their parents, I imagine, must bemoan their children's impairments, mild or moderate though they are. And indeed, many must be supervised closely every minute which is why the center has an cadre of young volunteers who patiently guide, coax, sometimes drag the children and teens away from trouble and to various productive activities.
But this week I observed one of those children, many of whom have Downs as this girl of about ten did. She sat on the ground of the playground where my granddaughter and her little brother played. The volunteer aide at her side walked off for a few seconds to tend to another child. This girl, apparently uninterested in the equipment or in her friends, rocked herself a bit and then scratched her red cheeked face ferociously.
Next, she grabbed a passing child's ponytail and pulled it hard. As I ran to intervene, the victim's brother rescued her and then made for the girl with Downs. When I explained to him that the girl didn't understand what she'd done, he backed off. .
Upon her return, the volunteer aide gathered that something had happened and asked me for details. Then she and another volunteer exhorted the girl with Downs to keep her hands to herself, apparently a mantra that is frequently drummed into her, clearly to no avail: an instant later she was digging her nails into the leg of one of the aides.
I felt momentary relief that my Chaya doesn't pose such problems for us, regardless of the steep price we pay for her "good behavior".
Here (above) is Chaya at the beach during our extended-family beach getaway this past weekend. One of her nieces is with her.