Later this month, you will finish 4 trips around the sun. Somewhere tucked inside all the insurance letters, preschool, trips to Texas, trips to Pittsburgh, trips to Cleveland, cows mooing, and chickens flying… somewhere in all that you changed from a big toddler to a little girl. You are potty-trained. You pray at dinner. Your face is fine with rosy cheeks. Your hair is back down to your shoulders. Your fingers can cut a decent line through paper (and fabric and crayons and napkins). Your legs are working so much better than a year ago. You run so much faster (and straighter!) than last year! Brenda (PT) and Becky B. (OT) and Becky L. (speech) have really stretched your therapy sessions. You work hard with them each week and we are seeing the change in you. You are more confident, more *ahem* assertive, more adventurous, and it is a joy to watch.
This year, Mom and Dad took you out of daily special needs preschool and enrolled you in Oakwood Christian Preschool. This allowed us to add in a few more activities with a wider variety of kids. So, our crazy schedule looks like this:
- Mondays: music therapy with Mrs. Julie, lunch at Camp Roger
- Tuesdays/Thursdays: preschool
- Wednesdays: riding therapy at the Equest Center
- Fridays: PT, OT, and Speech therapy with Becky, Becky, and Brenda
It’s working well, but Mom has to write down where she’s going every day so she doesn’t show up to music class with your riding helmet. Gideon loves to watch and play from the sidelines. He loves you so much, Rylie. He loves to clap for you and sing along. He loves to pet the horses. All these classes, these drives, these adventures… they are not just for you. They have changed all of us. We are all working with you, Child, and we are better for it.
You are passionate to exhaustion about horses. Horses. Horses. Horses. (Sleepless in Seattle? Anyone?) You love horses. You ride with dad at our neighbor’s house once a week, and you are so brave! You ride alone and without a saddle. Last week while eating breakfast before your first official therapy lesson, you spoke your first sentence. “Di-Gin no on nay-nay. Me.” [Gideon is not riding the horse. I am.] You have never, and I mean never, put together 2+ words before. I was stunned. All of these new experiences are slowly connecting words and meaning and language for you. It has been nothing short of miraculous to watch. You are a miracle.
Ry, we tried to get you extra one-on-one speech therapy through our insurance. Mom and Dad and Doctor Hoffius and Dana… we all wrote letters on your behalf asking for more time with a specialist. They denied us twice. This led Dad to have a meeting at work with his 2 bosses. In short, he asked them to change work’s insurance policy. And, you know what, Ry? They did it. You now have permission to see a specialist for 30 private visits a year.
For this next year, Ry, I pray for an explosion in words. I pray that the growing frustrations you feel when you try communicate would begin to melt as your language grows and grows. I pray that children would be kind to you as you all discover that every child is different. I pray that I would be patient with you- I know how hard it is to grow up. And, I pray that you would find joy in all the things God has provided for you in this family, this farm, and our community.
We are all still cheering for you! Go, Rylie, Go! Show us what is possbile. Show us what you can do. Show us what we can do.
I love you.
[below: rylie talks about her first riding lesson]