It’s cold in the rain

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My son is speech delayed. Not kind of speech delayed but like really delayed. I don’t notice it much on the day to day but when I pick him up at school and here the jabbering little people, I realize how much he is behind. He gets easily confused. He’s very rigid in his ways. And if things change, because he can’t always vocalize his emotion, it often turns ugly and it turns ugly fast. I think in the last year of preschool, at least half the time, I’ve had to carry him to the car, literally kicking and screaming. We stopped popping up to see my mom, his “Gommer”,  because it made it hard to leave if we didn’t get a treat, then water, then see Papa’s fish and then potty. It was ugly if we had to use the elevator instead of the stairs and it got to the point where I just cut out the visits. Because while I know he can’t help it, feeling so out of control, I know I can control the amount of things that trigger him and how often we encounter them. It’s easier to avoid the struggle because I know he can’t tell me and if he can’t tell me, I can’t help him through.

He’s  a smart kid. At least I think he is. He has this memory that’s amazing. I am sure he could tell you the number of steps we took in Disney or the order in which we rode rides. He’s my buddy. I love him.

Dexter turned four this year. He’ll have one more year of preschool before heading off to kindergarten. Maybe. I know it’s early but I’ve already begun to consider holding him back. I worry if I send him to school after spending the last few years fighting for words, that I will make him even more stressed out. And as much as I welcome the idea of daily school, the routine of it and the added learning, I cannot force this kid to fit into a square hole, when he is clearly a circle peg.

I like circles. But I imagine, no, not even imagine, I know what it’s like to roll around, not fitting in.

Dexter has wonderful teachers who I know love him. I know they genuinely love him and we love them back. He speaks kindly of them even when I know he’s had a bad day. “Miss Susie takes me potty, she’s my best friend” or “Miss Joy said no line leader, that’s okay, I’m in her heart”. I know what he means and so do they. He know he’s in their hearts and I hope they know they are in his. I’m grateful for his teachers in this village that feels very shallow some days. He’s been blessed this year with the most amazing speech therapist. I’ve mentioned her before. We started off rocky but I can honestly say we look forward to seeing her each week. Because of all this love, I feel tremendously worried about the next years because I know, you’re not always so lucky in who  you get in your army.

I recently read an article by another person about what it was like having a child with a speech delay.

When I pick him up from day care and he’s bubbling over with words, I’m so excited and so happy to hear him talking and know what he’s thinking. When we leave speech therapy and he’s had a good session, I’m on cloud nine. I live on a blissful high for two days until I come face-to-face with a child his own age who is telling stories and talking in complete sentences, and I’m brought crashing back down to Earth.

I read that line and just shook my head in agreement; wanting to reach through that screen to that mother and say, “I get it” because I do. Just this week I felt I had to add an asterisk noting that my son was speech delayed and answering questions like this was hard for him. People don’t know. And they have very good intentions. I will never ask for special treatment but I do feel upset, sad and guarded with each request I know I can’t fulfill. And when he responds “Dexters doesn’t know”. I feel sad. Because I know he’s smart enough to know when he doesn’t really know.

I count my blessings that the only thing we fight through is a speech delay. I hope and pray he’ll catch up soon. I know it could be much worse. That doesn’t make the battle any less difficult though. And it won’t make any victories less sweet. I savor each descriptive sentence and laugh at the days when I have to say to him, “hey buddy, stop talking for a minute” because last year I was worried I’d never have to say those words.

Last night, we stood in the drizzle watching his sister play lacrosse. He was cold, the rain was cold and he wanted to go home. And he said, “mommy, it’s so cold in the rain, let’s go home”. And I smiled. Because I am so very grateful for those words.

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Sometimes I cry

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I feel like this has been a weekend of misery and stench. The friggin’ weather is horrible and constantly threatens to change much anticipated plans. Friday, I took two of the boys for well child checks, then to Costco and finally to a Chick Fil A experience I would not file under fun. My sinuses felt like they were going to explode and the double up of allergy meds and motrin was just not working and Devlynn had a game scheduled at 5:30 at a school 20ish minutes away that would require us all to pay admission. I opted to just bring Dexter. A date of sorts.

The weather was miserable. I definitely wore the wrong shoes and it was clear I should have showered or at least put on real pants before leaving. Dexter had to pee and as we walked up to wash hand, I caught a glimpse of my sad, haggard self and quickly rushed him out of the bathroom before I could take a second look. He and I sat at the very top, next to the announcers and watched and watched and watched. Devlynn stood on the sideline, only pacing back and forth. We moved down for a closer look, watching the clock count down to 5 minutes left, ever so often catching her look back at us. And I knew, I knew she’d not set foot on the field that day.

When the horn buzzed, she turned to me with tear filled eyes and I did what you’re suppose to do. “Devlynn, these things happen. Sometimes when you’re the new player, you have to work double hard”. I tried to say all the right things; I hugged her tightly. I wished her luck, handed her 10.00 and told her to be a good teammate and then sat in my van and sobbed. My heart broken for my child who was learning about life’s hard lumps.

Saturday, a new day. More hussle, more bussle. This time alone. Kevin had end of month, Devlynn is a Saturday closer. I dread these alone days. No one actually gets to watch then because I am chasing little kids here and there. Dexter fell asleep on the way there and so optimistically, after he woke, I sent him to the park with Davis and watched my Drew play. He was gonna pitch. Something he’s looked forward to for the whole season. His brother is a pitcher. I think naturally he feels he is too. When the other boys excitedly yelled, “Drew you’re gonna pitch!”, he looked at me with that sparkle, the one I can’t describe and I quickly texted his dad and prayed for some of the great pitches I’ve seen him throw in our back yard.

God instead chose to teach us another lesson.

He walked three runs. One after another I watched as he pitched so high, no one would even consider swinging at the ball. I watched his shoulders droop and his face fall. And I watched his spirit sink into the muddy dirt. I watched as the coach took the field, praying he’d take him out and then swallowing my tears when he didn’t. Finally, he switched with and outfielder and I watched his face turn red, and that redness turned to tears when he got thrown out at first. And when I went to talk to him in the dugout, he wouldn’t talk to me. And I am sure he didn’t hear me say, “it’s no big deal” because he knew, he’d likely never pitch again.

I missed the chance to teach him the lesson I’d tried to teach Devlynn. I just hid my red eyes in my sunglasses and cursed at myself for not holding him back. He wasn’t ready to be with the big boys. He’s too young, too small and doesn’t know enough but I let everyone else make a decision for me that I knew was wrong. And I sent my kid into that mess. Neither emotionally or physically ready to play at that level.

He recovered quickly, faster than me clearly. He was cheerful, joyfully saying maybe there will be a next time.  I haven’t stopped thinking about it since Saturday. Replaying both it and Devlynn’s tearful face. I can’t help by think, in my anxiety filled head, I have cursed them with mediocrity.

I know in the logical part of my head that is an irrational thought.

Anxiety is a furious beast. He’s mean. Just brutal sometimes. I’ve chosen to live with it unmedicated but part of my self help is talking about it. Sometimes that’s hard. Because no one wants to hear it anymore. Or at least that’s what the anxiety is telling me. It makes me very aware of what I talk about, aware when people sharply react. It makes me feel stupid, little and without worth.

I’m probably not cut out to be a sports mom. Because I want for them to be happy and I know that the right field feels bad. And I worry it’s my fault they’re there. I’m not very social and now I’m worried about what people are saying behind my back and can’t make eye contact without feeling like I might cry of embarrassment.  And all I want to do is watch them play and for them to be happy. But my stupid brain messes it all up. And I’d stay home if it wouldn’t mess them all up.

I’ve sort of been floating through the days with this indescribable sad lump lodged in the back of my throat. I walked a drizzly two miles last night, clinging to my sweater and wishing that I could skip songs faster. Alice in Chains is a mood changer for sure. I like to look inside the houses but they just didn’t seem so appealing and I wanted to sit down the entire time. I couldn’t walk out the sad like I normally can. At least enough that I can catch my breath. Lately it just feels like there is no room to breath.

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.