Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Angel Before Us

Sometimes I fear my aging face will start to repulse my fresh-faced youngsters. Then like today, I am reminded that to them, I am just Mom. They take me as I am. At 3 p.m. at least seven inches were taken off my hair at the salon, and I've received not a single sideways glance, or eye blink, from anyone in this house. That's how important my looks are.

Encouraging? From my vantage point, yes.

We went to a homeschooling Easter-craft party, followed by an outdoor egg hunt. Were the eggs hidden in the grass, as one would expect? No! IN THE SNOW, mind you! This being the only egg hunt Emily can remember, she was thrilled, snow and all. Then later at home, I gave her the six eggs she found, before going to the bedroom to change Anna Grace. I came back to find a very happy Emily Rose, eating some candy she found within a plastic egg. She smiled up at me, her mouth full, as if to say, "Can you believe my good luck!" Last spring was a long time ago, in baby time; she hadn't remembered what is typically inside these eggs.

I really don't get these summer-like Easter dresses that fill the stores here every year. This is my fourth April as an Ohioan, and every year, Easter is freezing. A thin, flowery, short-sleeved dress anyone? Gee, I don't think my wool coat quite goes with that. What's a shivering girl to do?

Late afternoon, the boys and Daddy went to the library for a fun, craft-filled series on fairy tales. The girls and I stayed behind, allowing Emily Rose to delight Momma all the more with her rapidly-expanding conversational skills. Since her birth, I've been singing this song to her:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Once I caught a fish alive.
6, 7, 8, 9 ,10
Then I let him go again.
Why did you let him go?
Because he bit my finger so.
Which finger did he bite?
This little finger on the right.

I don't know why it surprised me when she rattled off the numbers from one to five today. More and more, I'm realizing how much she's had to say, but just couldn't! She now sings songs and poems right along with me, like she's been singing them for months! No hesitation with the words at all.

I took her to the speech class once last week and decided we were done with it. She was forced to go in the afternoon, from 1 - 2:45, which left her exhausted and cranky. Putting her on the potty, which she usually loves, sent her into a screaming fit around 3:20 p.m., following our arrival home. I knew then that I had to give her a nap, even if it confused her body at bedtime. Well, she definitely calmed down afterwards, but it did confuse her - she didn't fall asleep until close to eleven that night.

Children need their sleep. Asking her to go to a class during her nap time, on two consecutive days, was setting her up for failure the rest of the day, and was opening up a whole can of sleep-issue worms. She will need her nap for another eighteen to twenty-four months, and I wasn't about to jeopardize that.

In addition, it became quite obvious that the speech pathologist wasn't going to listen to a thing I had to say about my daughter, which is one of the reasons we homeschool. Schools, whether intentionally or not, tend to take over and disrespect parental wisdom and knowledge. I understand that I contacted them first, rather than the other way around, with concerns about Emily. I do believe in early intervention; it doesn't hurt usually, and could help enormously. But intimating in the first meeting that Emily had apraxia of speech was beyond the pale. Nothing I said that day about what Emily could do at home made any difference. Apraxia is quite a serious condition, sometimes requiring INTENSE therapy, for years.

Emily is speaking beautifully now. I'm ashamed that I didn't have a stronger belief in her. Momma learned a huge lesson! Each child unfolds in a unique way, and instead of nervously looking for abnormalities, we should enjoy the breathtaking show.

I'm a believer, Sweet Emily Rose. Your Momma is so proud! You are a beautiful, smart, independent young lady, who delights your father and me to no end! We constantly have to smile up at each other while caring for you. The blessing that you are, the life you pour out, the sheer exuberance you spread, makes our hearts so full, so grateful, that we just have to say to each other, with our eyes, "Can you believe the angel we have before us?"


Margie said...

Your comment about the Easter dresses had me laughing as I have thought the same thing being here in Wisconsin. Even in Texas, Easter is not reliably warm. Since moving here, Easter involves thick tights, sweaters, coats and hats and gloves if required.

Congratulations to Emily Rose on her improved speech. I am sure she will continue to make leaps and bounds. You are such a wonderful Mom, Miss Pam.

Evenspor said...

It's fun to hear about Emily's quickly expanding abilities. When do we get to see pictures of the new haircut? :)