As a mother of three very young children, a full-time pediatric occupational therapist, and a published author of numerous books addressing self-regulation with Jessica Kingsley Publishers, I often feel like I am literally rushing from one job to another (and to another!).
While I do love what I do (most of the time!), sometimes I really need to check myself, especially on those days when I leave the house with peanut-butter stains on my shirt or theraputty in my hair, reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing jobs that I love and to come home to three delicious children and a loving husband, while hopefully enriching the lives of children and families around the world.
To know how, let’s say, enterprising I really am, let me tell you about the split I have between my children: there is a 15 month age difference between Shayna and Yosef, and a 17 month age difference between Yosef and Lianna. Yep, the beginning years were quite a blur.
So here they are:
This is my son, Yosef. Yosef was born with congenital nystagmus and has low-vision. Since he was 6 weeks old, he has received the gamut of early intervention services, including occupational, physical, speech, and vision therapy services. He is now down to speech and vision therapy services, only. I call him my ‘little professor’, because he is always interested in figuring out the little details of how things work, and if I turn my back for a minute, he is often taking apart remotes, taking phones out of their cases, or trying to unscrew lightbulbs. His latest career aspiration: “When I grow up, I want to be a toothman like Shayna, who is going to be a toothfairy.”
Meet Lianna, my sweet, expressive little drama queen. She is a tiny, hilarious, adorable, yet infuriating princess who says and does the funniest things. When I found out that I was pregnant with her, I thought to myself: “It’s ok, the first two slept 12 hours a night from the time they were 6 weeks old. She’s a third, she will be a piece of cake!” Oh my goodness, was I wrong. Born at 35 weeks and weighing a strong 5.9 pounds, she endured a 3-day stay in the NICU for some breathing concerns, but was discharged soon after. I waited anxiously in the sterile nlursery, wringing her receiving blanket, so excited to take her home. If only I knew that I would not sleep for more than 2 hour stretches for the next 9 months, I would have probably run in the other direction (or at least had a more realistic outlook of what to expect!) Lianna’s latest ‘drama’-she has to wear only pink, from her socks and underwear, to her scrunchy in her hair. She has taken to throwing all of the other colored-clothing that she owns into my bedroom when I am not looking.
Oh, Shayna. My sweet, deceivingly-quiet, hilarious little-tween girl. She brings peace to her sister’s chaos. She is unbelievably mature, caring, and calm. I had her when I was twenty-two, and honestly, she was a great ‘starter child’ for such a young parent. She was a dream baby, who almost never cried, and greeted everyone with a happy smile. Shayna is unbelievably artistic, I think she often seeks to draw as a coping strategy when the house gets a little loud (which it can, when you put three kids this close in age in a pretty small space!)
Joel. I’m sure you have heard of teenage-romance? Those statistics that high school relationships mostly simmer and fade out? Well, we beat the odds. Me and Joel (JJ, for short) met as counselors-in-training at Camp Morasha, in Swan Lake, New York, when we were 16 years old. We have been together ever since. He is the calm to my feisty, the reason to my whimsical. I owe him my everything and he truly (I know, gag, right?) completes me in every way possible.
I want to give a special shout-out to Rina Schiffman Photography, for these beautiful pictures. She has true talent, unwavering patience, and took amazing pictures (see above, and the picture on the main page of this blog) that I will hold onto for a lifetime. For more information, see www.Rinasphotography.com or throughrinasles.wordpress.com