Whitney smiled and said, "Uh-Oh," right back at me. She said it confidently and perfectly and I couldn't help but smile.
Over six years ago when Melanie and I were still adjusting to Whitney's diagnosis and care schedule, we met with the folks in the local Early Intervention program to set Whit's first group of goals. Melanie and I considered different physical and speech goals. We were so new and had been told such limiting things by the doctors. I was trying to think of words that maybe in a year or so Whitney could learn to say. I've always thought it's funny when a toddler drops something and says, "Uh-Oh." And I thought it would be fun to have Whitney learn this as one of her first words. So I think Whitney's first Individual Education Plan actually had "learn the word uh-oh" listed. The therapist probably put it down just to humor me as a newbie special needs parent. As we learned more about 1p36 Deletion Syndrome and all it would mean to Whitney and her progress, other goals became much more important. But I never really forgot about that one first goal.
So as Whitney and I said uh-oh back and forth to each other last night I reflected on how much we've all learned and how far we've come. Whitney now expresses herself very effectively using ASL, which is something I hadn't even begun to consider back then. She walks all by herself even though the doctors told us she never would. She goes to school, plays with her friends, loves to read books (with me reading of course). She even paints! She's come so far and done so much.
And last night she told me "uh-oh." How far we've come, kiddo. How far we've truly come.