My parents are visiting this week, so it's a phrase I'm hearing even more than normal around here:
"You'd better get your Collin Time before he has to go to bed."
"Is Collin busy? Because I'm ready for my Collin Time."
"Are you going to have Collin Time now? If you're not, I am."
And then one-on-one time with Collin commences. We will settle to all hang out in the same room as Collin or play with him together, but what we're all really craving is to have Collin to ourselves.
I remember when we were in the hospital receiving Collin's initial Infantile Spasms diagnosis, starting him on ACTH, and reeling from the turn our future seemed to be taking. Our family gathered in the waiting area and I found myself wracked with dread at having to go share the news. I felt like I was taking from them the future they had been hoping for. I wasn't sure if they would even feel comfortable around their grandson and nephew.
But once we got home, my dad said something that changed my perspective: "I don't know, I just think Collin is a special person." He didn't mean special-needs-special and he didn't mean "those"-babies-are-such-angels-special (you'd be surprised how often I get that one). He just meant that Collin has something unique to offer that has nothing to do with his diagnosis or challenges but just who he is as a person.
And even though Collin was only 4 months old at the time my dad made that observation, he was right. The Collin Time phenomenon developed soon thereafter and spread slowly outward from our immediate family. You can literally see the difference in people. The only thing better than watching someone else spend one-on-one time with Collin is doing it myself.
Speaking of which...