Friday, March 14, 2014


When I was 21 months old, my parents had my little brother, Brandon. Apparently I loved him very much and would do most anything I could for him. (Okay, maybe I still love him, but anyways. . ..) He was a child who had some health issues and was very accident prone so he was in and out of hospitals and doctors' offices quite a bit. I'm guessing all this made me even more protective, and added to the list of things I would do for him. Mama tells me that I even talked for him. All he had to do was grunt or point and I knew what he needed or what he was trying to say, so I would handle whatever issue was at hand. Such a sweet sister! But all my help became a problem eventually. Because he didn't have to talk, he didn't practice making his sounds, and then he had speech issues. I remember some of the things he used to say incorrectly, and we laugh about them now, but I also remember how frustrated he would get when someone didn't understand him, and how he had to go to speech therapy to correct the problem. In my defense, he may have just been genetically wired to have speech issues, but this is the story I hear about when we were growing up so I'll stick with it.

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.

In October of last year, I took Elijah for a check up and when the doctor asked if there were any issues or questions, I mentioned that we couldn't understand him when he talked. We were told that at his age (over 3, almost 4 years) that his family should understand all that he was saying and strangers should understand most of his speech. Uh oh. We definitely weren't there. We left the appointment anticipating a phone call from our county's preschool program.

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 . 
Exodus 4:10-12

These verses jumped out at me! God made Elijah. God made his mouth! God doesn't care how "slow of speech" he is. God will help him say what needs to be said. Moses was a great man of God and he felt that he had issues, but God still used him. Elijah will still be able to do great things! I am thankful that I read this today, that God spoke to me through His Word. What an awesome God I serve!   



vickit43 said...

Melissa this is this is the best entry ever to me. I have been having so many depressing issue lately that I think some people are worried about me. You are a good mom and staying home with your children is a blessing and not being overprotective. Love ya!

Lauren said...

What a great sister and mom you are. Elijah is lucky to have you in his corner. I will be praying for you guys, but it looks like he is already living life to the fullest!

Kreative Kidd said...

Vicki, if you need to talk you can always message me! I may not answer right away, but I will when I get to sit down for a minute. You're an awesome mom! Love you!

Lauren, thank you! I appreciate the prayers! He needs them as he's having some other health issues I haven't publicized.