I've been thinking about this whole struggling thing. How Finn has to struggle so much to achieve the things that other kids breeze through. How sometimes it feels like everything is a struggle for Finn. And how sometimes I get down about it.
Today I had something of an epiphany: Finn doesn't struggle. In fact, pretty much nothing is a struggle for him.
See, here's the thing: struggle implies suffering, at least to some degree, or working against some force or great odds. In fact, the dictionary app on my iPhone defines "struggle" as "to make (one's way) with violent effort."
And you know what? That doesn't sound like Finn at all. He's not suffering in his efforts to achieve or to reach milestones. I wouldn't even say that he's working against some force or great odds, and I certainly wouldn't characterize him as making his way with violent effort. He's just going along, living life, exploring the world, figuring stuff out along the way, mischievous, inquisitive, and happy as a clam (well, mostly - except when I'm changing his diaper against his will or removing him from the edge of the bathtub, or, like tonight, when he's vomiting up his dinner all over me).
Any struggle that's going on is mine, and mine alone. Finn has no idea that he's any different from anyone else. He has no idea that it's taking him longer to reach milestones and master skills than it took his brothers and sisters. He doesn't have a clue that his abilities have been reduced to numbers in a thick stack of papers called an IFSP. He doesn't care. And he's not exerting any huge effort to get to this arbitrary place he's supposedly supposed to be at. He's just being himself, and he's perfectly content with that. He's doing everything he's supposed to be doing, on a timeline that's his alone. I'm the one who sometimes feels sad because he hasn't yet mastered this or that. I'm the one who sometimes struggles knowing that he's always going to be different.