Tuesday, October 22, 2013

9 inches gone...




What I would give to live a day in Elli's body.  To experience the world as she does for just 24 hours.  It would be a growing opportunity in many ways.  I would be able to empathize with her on a completely different level.  I'm sure I would develop a greater appreciation of many of the normal day-to-day things in my life.  But the primary reason I would like the chance to be Elli for a day is so that I could know how much she understands.

Is she completely oblivious to almost everything around her?  Does she understand everything around her but just isn't able to respond to it appropriately?  Most likely it's somewhere in between.  How I wish I could find out.  Perhaps some future technology will allow her to break free of her bonds to a greater extent.

Last night I had one of those little glimpses.  A moment where she put together a concept I thought would be above her.  When Christi tucked her into bed, she asked for me.  I went down and cuddled with her for a few minutes.  I started to play a game.  I sang her name up and down a major chord: Elli, Elli, Elli, Elli, Elli.  I did it a couple of times and she just listened.  Then I sang Taylor's name: Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Taylor.  Not surprisingly, she picked up on what I was doing and sang another sibling's name: Parker, Parker, Parker, Parker, Parker.  We went through several family members and she seemed to enjoy it.  One time she sang Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.  I responded with, "You, You, You, You, You."  She thought for a moment, then sang "Us, Us, Us, Us, Us."  Her ability to combine You and Me into Us was that glimpse.  Not a major accomplishment, and yet something I would not have anticipated she could do.  It is good to get these reminders that she is clearly understanding more than I realize.  Ah, Elli, someday I will get to truly know you and your special, special spirit.

On a completely unrelated note, Christi has put me on a strict diet.  Yesterday was day one, and boy did I feel the effects of caloric restrictions.  It was all I could do to ward off Grumpy Mr.  The first phase lasts three weeks.  Later we'll work into a plan that has a bit of leeway with some things, but for the next 20 days it is extremely regimented.  Ah, well.  It's been a long time coming.  Hopefully I'll have a little less middle and a little more energy when we're done!