Carving out Roads, One Year at a Time



I used to carve out little roads in my driveway for my toy cars. I had dramatic stories playing out in my head for the people driving those cars, and my mind wandered a lot while I sat by myself playing in the driveway. Some moments of daydreaming stick with you forever. No reason. We all have a series of memories where we remember what we were thinking in a specific moment, and we remember that moment forever. That’s what memories are, I guess.

It was around 1982 that I was playing cars in my driveway and daydreaming about the year 2000. Nothing interesting- I had probably discussed and thought about the year 2000 plenty as a kid. It’s just that this moment stuck with me. My mind briefly references my childhood driveway every time the topic comes up. I was just thinking of how far away it was, and wondering what I would be doing when I was twenty-four years old. 

And yes, the reality did end up feeling like a million years must have passed between 1982 and the year 2000. Funny how time speeds up when you get older.

So this year, when I thought about the past year and how we have been lucky enough to come back around to yet another new year- my mind again recalled that day I was playing cars in my driveway. It struck me that the year 2000 happened quite a while ago, and I don’t know where all that time went.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the year 2000 was not as exciting as it promised to be. People were supposed to be living on Mars by then. Also, midnight should have marked some kind of computer meltdown apocalypse that changed our lives forever. Disappointment all around. We rang the New Year in with a few friends on North Street (for those of you who have any idea what I am talking about). And outside of a brief fight over a drawing, things were pretty quiet that year.

If you want an interesting read, Google “Ladies Home Journal December 1900” to get the year 1900’s predictions for the year 2000. You probably read it back in 2000….but that was like thirteen years ago, so go ahead and read it again.

Overall, I have had my share of eventful New Year’s Eve celebrations. Most years were spent at a bar where Dave was playing that night, or at a friend’s house. My first kiss (that counted, because it was different from all the ones before it) happened on New Year’s Eve. The most intoxicated I have ever been happened (many years later) at a New Year’s Eve party.  Five years ago we spent New Year’s Eve at home, caring for a newborn baby.

Seriously. Where has the time gone?

This year flew by so quickly I can’t believe anything significant could have possibly had a chance to happen. Our daily routine has pretty much stayed the same this year. But I can’t deny that it has been a great year for Teghan. It may seem small to some, but I know the progress she has made in language is huge. She still doesn’t talk or understand conversation, but she understands so many more things that we ask of her. And she does say words- all the time now.

Teghan PianoShe knows her alphabet. She repeats words on command. She answers simple questions like, “what does the cow say?” and she answers them consistently. All of this is new. Earlier this year at her IEP meeting I said my number one goal for Teghan’s language was to get her to understand the concept of answering a question. ANY question, because it had never happened. She still only answers questions that sound similar to “fill in the blank” scenarios- but that alone is a miracle. She can only say one syllable words for the most part, but she attempts to copy the rhythm of longer words.


She points (points!) at things and labels them- with 99% accuracy. She recently started making attempts at singing. We have a lot to celebrate this year.

We will be spending New Year’s Eve at home, watching my one year old nephew overnight. It is not lost on me that he is accomplishing many of the same language milestones as Teghan is right now. But she can still run circles around him physically (and will, while completely ignoring his presence). I’m okay with that. Think of how far we have come! It’s been an eventful year, after all.

I think back to that day in 1982. I had no clue what I was in for in life. (I was also six.) But it’s no different now, is it? I have no clue where the next year will take us, let alone the next eighteen….or thirty years. Some years have been more interesting than others, but each one has had some great impact on our lives. We don’t always see it right away.

I suspect that someday, if I am lucky enough to live to see it, 2012 will be like a book I once read; not something familiar to my own life, but a story I seem to know well enough to recite a basic plot description. That’s how so many past years seem now. If just one year brought about all this, I wonder what Teghan will be doing then….

Happy New Year, everyone!



4 thoughts on “Carving out Roads, One Year at a Time

  1. Pointing at things is great developmental progress! I remember our developmental pediatrician making a big deal about my son not pointing, and it seemed like it would never happen, but it finally did. It sounds like your daughter is making lots of progress. This is a beautiful post, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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