Be bold. Trust yourself. Even if you have no idea what you are doing.

That’s what I tell myself.

Monday morning Henry went to school while Charlie, William and I stayed at home.  We didn’t leave the house for any appointments nor did anyone come over for an appointment.  In fact, we didn’t get into the car until it was time to pick Henry up from school.

In almost two and a half years this has happened a handful of times.

It was pure heaven, the normalness of the morning.  Putting William down for a nap.  Checking my e-mail while drinking a latte.  Returning phone calls while Charlie watched Signing Time.  Keeping the laundry cycle in motion.  Straightening up the house.  *Gardening* with Charlie, who happily sampled the new mulch covering our flower beds.

Our morning was free because I did something I wish I would have done months ago.

I was bold.

I cancelled Charlie’s weekly speech therapy appointments.  Not just for the day – our calendar is now free every Monday morning.

I cancelled even though speech is the area where Charlie shows the most delay.

I finally trusted my instincts and followed through.  No more appointments where I knew we were wasting our time.  Where Charlie and I led the sessions.  Sessions that cost us almost $200 apiece for “professional speech help.”  Sessions that forced me to wake William from his morning nap for yet another appointment.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a true believer in the early intervention programs Charlie has participated in.  His occupational therapist and physical therapist are amazing and literally helped us baby-step by baby-step to get our little guy moving – rolling, crawling, walking – and they are still helping to prepare him for the classroom.  And we have Teacher Chris – our educator – a huge bright spot at the end of our week who comes into our home and teaches both Charlie and his stubborn mama so many things.  Add some Munchkin music to the mix and our little guy has one busy, yet well-rounded calendar.

I also learned that just because you finally *qualify* for a service doesn’t mean that you need to accept it.  After all what good is a therapy service if you aren’t learning anything?  I learned this the hard way, keeping too many appointments out of guilt.  I wanted to ensure that I was giving Charlie every opportunity available as long as it was available.  And with his third birthday looming, I hesitated to drop any service and instead subscribed to the theory we needed to “use it before we would lose it.”

I’ll be honest, this almost three-year marathon of therapy sessions has lost it’s allure.  I’m not looking for any sympathy – I did what any mother would do – whatever it takes to ensure the best start for their child.  And while all of the other moms would meet at Starbucks for a leisurely morning coffee I would hit the drive thru as we rushed to our next appointment.  I’m pretty matter of fact about it, I don’t feel sorry for myself.  Yet I was sorry to miss that time with other moms, babies and toddlers in tow.

As the days rush by I frequently remind myself this is just a short moment in time.  And while I might long for uncomplicated mornings with my little ones I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  That yes, our days are different than I planned or dreamed.  But different is good.  Different can teach you to appreciate the goodness that is right before you.  And I’m pretty sure that different allows you to savor *normal* everyday moments that otherwise would have been taken for granted.  Today I know better.  They are a gift.

Our morning stretched before us.  Wide-open and unplanned.

We went outside to tackle some spring chores.  As I dug in the dirt, Charlie explored the yard while we chatted.  “Dirt. Duh, duh, dirt.  No, Charlie we don’t eat the dirt!  Swing!  Sign swing Charlie.  Ok, let’s swing!”  I pointed out new plants peeking through the ground and gave wagon rides to my sweet boy.  He practiced watering the flowers {and his shoes}.  We talked the whole time.  I prompted him as we ran through his list of sounds.  We signed.  We laughed.  Just like we do everywhere we go.

I have to say it was pretty therapeutic.

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11 thoughts on “Be bold. Trust yourself. Even if you have no idea what you are doing.

  1. So true, so right – so glad you followed your gut and trusted your mamaheart.

    I love the image of you and Charlie digging in the garden dirt after a delicious morning at home – those moments are so rich with love, learning, language and all the good stuff we all need, right?

    Thanks for the reminder – I needed it.

    xoxo

  2. Oh, I could so relate to your post. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who craves some normalcy. We just passed the two year mark in EI, and although our therapists are free and at home where I live, they are plenty (9x a week). I do think the best therapy is allowing your child to be in a normal environment with quality mom time. Enjoy it!!

  3. Ah Libby, thank you for this. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I so often feel like I’m caught up in that fine balance between doing too much and not doing enough. Sometimes, like you found today, I find the time I just spend with Nate “talking” and being is the best therapy he (and I) can get!

    I’m thankful to have found you and to know you are one step ahead in this journey!

    Danielle

  4. Libby, You have chosen wisdom over fear…this will serve you and your family well. The mysteries of God’s kingdom are being revealed to you and through you. Such beauty, such joy, such abundance of life. Shalom.

  5. I did the same thing… canceled this week of therapists entirely. Not for good… but just for some peace in what has been a very hectic couple weeks leading up to the school musical. $200 per speech session??!?!?! Seriously? If we had to pay for it out of pocket (and especially that much), I wouldn’t have any therapies. We do what you do… we talk all the time, learn through exploring our environment, label EVERYthing we see, and give John Michael lots of opportunity to mimic our sounds and words. Speech therapists can’t do much better than that! I guess if my little guy had serious oral problems or hearing issues, that would be different. I think we’re similar in our approach. We only do 2 hours of therapy a week and other friends do 7 to 9 hours… Thanks for your post.

  6. Coming from the EI field – this is amazing to hear! I wish other families with special needs children would have more “normal” days. I feel that they are guilted into appts, therapy sessions, etc. To many more free-Mondays!

  7. :) :) :) Good for you and Charlie!! :) :) :)

    We are walking the same path as you dear friend. It is what it is and when Sam si ready, speech will happen-in the meantime we do as you do, we go about our day and we talk a lot. It might not be “typical” talking, yet, but Sam and I, we talk all the time. And there is nothing like it.

    Our children are first and foremost children. Just like any other child. But we as Moms carry this guilt of having to do more, push, try everything when really, God’s plan for when it will happen is sufficient.

    I as well am not saying that I do not believe in EI, I am simply tired of it running our daily lives- I mean having a “schedule” at 3yrs old is a little ridiculous… :)

    And I find our days to be full of those moments that make not just myself smile but Sam as well.

    High five to you for taking such a step and trusting yourself.

  8. Libby – Thank you for giving me “permission” I have been feeling this for the last 2 months and am “there” after only 7 months, can’t imagine almost 3 years of this feeling. Some I am quitting altogether, others I am changing providers..bottom line is our home “productive play” is the best therapy ever! Hugs to you all! Wish I lived closer to have a Stabucks latte with you on Mondays! :) Lara

  9. I can also relate to your post. We gave up on our ST when it was obvious that I was doing more than she was (this was awhile ago…we have an incredible ST now). It felt like something we were supposed to do and became something that we didn’t what to do. It’s good to follow your instincts. Keep up the great work on your blog!

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