Fast forward twenty-five years and I have a second child who has an older brother saying everything for him. I really tried to keep Ethan from being Elijah's mouthpiece, but it's just what older siblings do, I guess. We've used the phrase "use your words" more times than I can count. We've said "one more time" until we had frustrated tears in big blue eyes. We've agreed "ok" to so many things that we honestly didn't understand. We've done all that we could to help our little guy with his speech issues, until we realized that we needed outside help.
The preschool called and we were scheduled for an evaluation. At the evaluation, they checked everything. And I mean everything! All his motor skills, his speech, his reasoning, his ability to do anything that a kid his age should do was checked. He scored incredibly well on everything, but language articulation. We were told that he wasn't necessarily in range for therapy, but he was close enough that they wanted to try to get him in.
By December, we were having our second meeting with the speech pathologist that would later meet with Elijah twice a week. She was able to pinpoint the articulation areas that needed to be addressed and laid out a plan for working with him.
It's now March and we can understand Elijah so much better! He's been working on snake sounds, firefighter sounds, coughing sounds and so much more! He still gets frustrated and has to have a reminder that he doesn't have to be perfect, but he has to try, but he tries so hard! I am super proud of how far he's come in such a short time!
So why did I say all of that? Because I had been meaning to blog about it for a while and because of what happened this week and then God's response that I got this morning. Here goes:
Elijah started playing t ball this week. He's wanted to play for two years, but is just now barely old enough to play. He is ecstatic! He takes in everything at practice! Monday evening while I watched him, I started to feel really bad. I heard him trying to talk clearly and struggling with catching and throwing and I just wanted to run out to the field, grab him up, take him home and protect him forever. I was almost in tears because I felt so guilty. I felt like it was my fault he can't talk correctly, that I've sheltered him too much by staying home with him, that I've let him down in my parenting. I felt awful!
On the way home, he made me feel better though. All he could talk about was how good he was getting and that he was happy to have new friends. He made me realize that all those things I saw were not disadvantages, but good things for him.
I still feel bad, but I know that he's the kind of kid that makes the best out of anything he's involved in. I worry about how his speech will affect him in the next couple of years, but God reminded me this morning that having issues talking won't slow anyone down when I read this:
10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore , nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go , and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say .