Thursday, January 22, 2015

Loud and Clear

Steph and her siblings were recently looking at some old videos from their mother's camera. Not old, as in from a Super 8; old as in from a flip camera that her mom had a few years ago. One of the videos was of Zoe, right after she'd started preschool, and the video was amazing to see now. One thing that astounded me was that I apparently was the cameraman, even though I had no recollection of the conversation we captured. Another thing that amazed us was how accurate it was to call this a conversation.

Zoe is vocally interacting with Steph in a way we don't really see anymore. Three years have gone by since the video was taken, and when I say we don't see this anymore, it's not me lamenting something we lost. Zoe now has many other ways to communicate with us, and we've learned to navigate those together in those few years. But there isn't usually the same urgency and expression that we can see in the video. This younger Zoe is so intent on letting us know how her day was -- the answers to Steph's questions, the laughter in response to certain things, the "NO" when she asks about Seth being her boyfriend (no offense, Seth).

This was a year or so after her regression and diagnosis; she's still figuring out what she's supposed to be able to do compared to other kids in school. She's dealing with the frustration of knowing there are gaps in her abilities. There is desperation in just this simple conversation about her day. I love that Zoe has learned ways around some of these barriers and can cope with that frustration. But I miss that little girl, that bespectacled little professor, and I'm not getting her back. I'll say the video is good enough, but the video isn't good enough.