By on Oct 19, 2018 in Apraxia, Mama Musings | 3 comments

When we are born, everything is black and white.  Happy or sad.  Good or bad.  We quickly find red, too–the love of our parents–but the palette of a newborn is very basic and pure.

As babies grow, explore and interact, more colors emerge.  The first smiles and giggles bring yellow for joy.  The outside world shines in sky blue, and the warmth of sunshine glows in orange.  First jealousy burns a vivid green.  The adoration of family is a royal purple.  The colors of infancy are primary, bright and simple.

Young children gain an explosion of color with the emergence of curiosity and imagination. Instead of only red, there is a full spectrum from ballerina pink to angry crimson.  Blue ranges from the sheen of a bubble’s curve to the rich cool of the ocean. There is subtlety and shading giving a complexity to a child’s being.  It’s what gives them spark and personality as they light up the world.

Our Rory is four years old now and should be a full box of Crayola colors.  Vivid and complicated and brilliant; soft, then bright, then deep.  But with her myriad of conditions and special needs, it’s as if her colors are stuck in infancy.  She has black and white down pat and often goes directly from enraged to content without any shades of gray in between.  And those first basic colors are there with intensity, but she doesn’t have a wide range of emotions to blend between them.  She doesn’t have the intangible qualities and subtleties that most children her age have.  She doesn’t have the endless curiosity and questions that most four year olds perseverate on, gaining a new shade for each one.  Her imagination is lacking; there are no vibrant tea parties or shiny princess twirls yet.  {Though I really, really hope we get there someday.}  She is like a box of watercolors that is missing its water and brush.

But slowly and surely she is gaining her colors.  The pastel purple of her ballet leotard and the vivid pink of Minnie Mouse’s bow.  The velvety brown of a monkey’s fur and the smooth cream of dinosaur bones.  With each color, and for that matter each new word she pulls out, comes a bit more of the personality we know is in there.  I have often said that apraxia has stolen so many of the best parts of Rory’s childhood from our family.  But as I write this, I hope beyond hope that they have not been stolen, just delayed.  That she will still experience the magic.  The brilliance.  The colors of her life.