We are all so thrilled about Sophie’s newfound ability to communicate her wants and needs verbally. It’s so great. But it can also be really frustrating. Why? You ask. Because the apraxia and hypotonia are not gone. So, what you have is a four year old mentality (vocabulary, opinions, feelings) with a one year old’s verbal expression. We learned soon after she began to speak that she knew most of the 26 letters of the alphabet, and recognized them in random order, along with many of her numbers. We’ve discovered that Sophie knows a lot of stuff that’s been trapped inside for a long time. Just last week she was naming bizarre animals like the octopus for her teacher. Other times, I just cannot understand her to save my life, and she can get frustrated in these moments. It’s necessary and beneficial for Sophie to continue in speech therapy to more quickly refine those sounds and close the gap of delay in which she currently stands.
Even though we do experience some frustration with these ugly reigns of apraxia and hypotonia that keep Sophie’s speech held back, we do also get some humor out of the deal. For instance, I find myself embarrassed and needing to explain to people that we do not use the F-word at home… As Sophie has played with different sounds, I have begun hearing that word very frequently. It’s a bit shocking at first. So I explain to people (when we are at public places like church, or the library, or the hair salon, or a friend’s house), she’s not repeating a word that she’s heard; she’s trying to say something else and that’s what’s coming out. Thank GOODNESS we have the F sound and the K sound down …. In time, I know that she will sort out the sounds she is trying to say. But in the meantime, if you hear the F-word 1) Don’t judge me; and 2) Just ignore it. (You can add a 3 — Laugh a little with me, if you like.)
Laughter helps me keep perspective during this new challenge of parenting Sophie. I’m thankful for the challenges, because I know that without them, God’s grace just wouldn’t be as evident to me. It’s the struggle that allows me to see the beauty, the miracles that are happening in her life every single day. My son’s growth is every bit as miraculous, but because he’s “typical” I don’t recognize the great grace poured out in every one of his days. I’m thankful for the struggle, because it makes us more aware of God’s goodness. It opens our eyes to beauty that we wouldn’t otherwise see.
With all that Sophie has struggled through, we have released her into God’s hands, again and again. And we always find that he is so faithful to reassure us of his care for her. As I wrote my last post and expressed my desire again to release her into God’s hands, no fear of what the future may hold, my loving Father was so quick to show me everything that is actually going on in Sophie’s head by turning on her “speech lightbulb,” as I like to call it. I wonder if all he wanted was for me to relinquish control and embrace her future, trusting that he does have the BEST plan for her life. I know I’ve made that choice time and again in her almost four years of life. It’s probably a good choice to make daily. I love my children fiercely, but I know their Heavenly Father loves them even more. No amount of my perceived control over their lives can get them to heaven. Only God can do that in his loving and mighty plan. Holding on with a death grip won’t do anything but suffocate them and tire myself. Giving them to God, that will actually make a difference. May their hearts always be turned towards the One who created them and loves them with an everlasting love.