“Charlie’s fun to have in class, but sometimes it’s hard to understand him.”

“Why is it hard to understand him?”

“Because he’s speaks in Spanish.”

This conversation was relayed to me by the mom of one of Charlie’s classmates.

It made me laugh out loud and melted my heart.  He is so loved and understood by his classmates, even if communication is sometimes a struggle.

with his two beloved teachers.

School’s out and boy am I a mess of emotions.  I’m not typically a sentimental person but the end of the school year gets me every single time.

We have big school-related changes on the horizon {kindergarten!} and they all center around our favorite little tow-head, Charlie.  I’m in way over my head so I’ve been doing what I do best; research the heck out of all of the various options and opportunities available.  Then talk incessantly about it.  Worry.  Fret.  Pray.  Dutifully get my ducks in a row for every. single. option. possible.

Writing openly and honestly about Charlie has been a challenge.  Not for the obvious reasons, but because it seems like my words tumble out all backwards.  And as he gets older I’m beginning to walk a finer line of what to share and what is his to keep safe within our family.

This much I do know: Charlie is healthy, happy and thriving.  {Yay!}  We have {finally!} found a speech therapist who has helped Charlie to – get this – speak!  We have continued with weekly hippotherapy lessons.  And while I’m not honestly sure if I’ve seen any speech improvement related to riding, I have seen a little boy who is learning how to ride a horse, trust others, and bond with his pony.  And there is little doubt that this past school year has been a great time of growth for our little guy.

However, what I also see is a little boy who has become very aware of his limitations in comparison to his peers.  I see bonds forming between Henry and William that are different than with Charlie.  On the other hand I see that the overall bonds of brotherhood are stronger than any chromosome count and stand witness as they weave all three boys together in ways that only a mother could dream of.  But the subtle differences are there.  I see them.  The hardest part is that I’ve noticed that Charlie sees them too.

It’s oh so difficult to accept that things will always be harder for Charlie.  And yet I have no doubt that we could all learn a thing or two from our second-born.

I’m clearly in over my head in so many ways but it also feels like a good place to be.

Life can be confusing.  The same sweet little boy that I often worry and fret over is also the same little boy who has taught me the greatest life lessons.  And when it all seems a bit overwhelming – as it often is – all I need to do is pause and watch Charlie in action.  Almost immediately my heart is refreshed and I’m reassured that we can – we are – doing this all together.


4 thoughts on “Charlie

  1. I wish we could grab coffee together and chat! I feel the same things (well not the exact same things, but because of your 2nd and our 4th, we have a bond). And though ours is still a baby, I have so many thoughts about the future and what it looks like with these brothers and friends down the road, etc. Thankful for your faith and mine and our little boys!

  2. Charlie, keep reminding your mama this is not a race, but a marathon. Remind her to stop and be still, listening to God’s voice. All advice given from a Mom who knows all too well what you mean Libby! One day at a time, remember we can’t plan the future, we aren’t promised tomorrow! I can’t believe Charlie still has that precious blonde hair! My oldest was a toe-headed blonde, but by 5 it had slowly become darker. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Parker says “hi Charlie!” Rock on in K! XO

  3. Beautifully written, as always Libby. One thing I know for sure: Charlie is so blessed to have the mama he has, the papa he has, the brothers he has and sister he will soon have (and of course the other way around too!).

    As you know I can get all tied up in my thoughts too, but my current work is trying to stay mindful and in the moment and it often feels like I don’t have anything to worry about in those moments. I feel like children are our perfect teachers because they only live in the moment and when I am getting all overwhelmed and feeling like I can’t do it anymore, I sit down on the floor and stare into one of our boys’ eyes and instantly I am in the moment again. I concentrate on my breathing and on him and what he is doing in the now… I love what the above commenter said about not being able to plan the future — so true!!! And if our thoughts are all tied up in the future, who is here to enjoy the now? Sorry for my ramblings, just a reflection of my own struggles as a mama to stay present and not let my thoughts rule my life as they would like to! ;-) Love and hugs to all of you!!! So excited for your princess! oxoxo,h

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