[FYI: canning swap post directly below this post]
I missed a Monday! In my defense, the Shoebox was hosting family all weekend. We were up 6 people (bringing the total to 10) in this little house with only one bathroom. AND, it was awesome. AND, I have no pictures of it. Here’s a family portrait I stole from Renee, and that will have to do until this past weekend can have a post all its own.
Today is for Rylie.
Dear baby Girl,
Do you see that look on Gideon’s face? Only you can do that. He has this special look that is just for you. Only you can make him actually giggle. Ony you can make him talk while he’s eating. Only you can make him happy on long car rides.
Only you can do a lot of things.
Tuesday you started your 2nd year of preschool. Things are different this year. We’ve taken you out of special education preschool and enrolled you in a 2-day church program. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you will join 10 other kids… normal (?) kids from our town and sing and craft and play. The other 3 days you will ride horses and sing songs and dig in the dirt. You’ll also continue your physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions… we just wanted to do less school and more one-on-one time. Because THAT is where you shine.
You? One-on-one with ANY one are amazing.
Baby, you still are not talking. Your muscles just do not work like other people’s muscles. Your dad and I mailed a packet of appeal to our insurance company this summer asking them to reconsider denying private speech therapy. We put your beautiful face on the front page of letter after letter, study after study… trying to educate the system about Childhood Apraxia. Our advocate called the next day nearly in tears and said we had done a good job. And that you were gorgeous. And that she was going to personally see to it that someone sat down and read every page.
You see, your face puts a name on a medical code. You did that.
I called the Kaufman Children’s Center in Detroit and asked if we could come for a 4 day session with Nancy… a pioneer in apraxia treatment. They asked us to send in a video of you practicing your words, which we did. And Nancy herself called me back to say she cannot wait to meet you in December. And she’s sure she can move us forward a bit. And that you are beautiful.
We’re doing it, kiddo. Whatever it takes. Money, vacation time, family time, private pre-school, patience, persistence, hours in the car, ice cream for lunch… what ever it takes to get you the help you need.
Because YOU have stuff to DO. You have brothers to make smile, and dishes to put away. You have seatbelts to buckle and graph paper to destroy. You have plants to dig up and horses to brush. You have songs to sing for PapPap and lists to make for the grocery store. And I, for one, do not want to be the one to hold you back.
For the first time in a very long time, your dad and I feel like things are moving again. People are calling us back. People are listening. People are asking questions and offering alternatives. We’re on it.
You come such a long way, Baby Girl. Hang on tight. It’s going to be a wild Fall.