Saturday, May 13, 2017

Letter to My Son

Dear Son,

You are finished with speech therapy for the school year.  Juli, your therapist, filled out your IEP for next year.  I hope we have Wednesdays again, if possible.  That seems to work out.  I had an interesting conversation with Juli. She said that she ended the school year with starting to work on the "th" and "sh" sounds.

I shared, "If Gregory says, "I want the ball over 'air." If I correct him "over THERE", then he will repeat it correctly."

Juli explained, "We first practice the sound.  Then we use the sound in words.  It takes a while before the sound makes it into every day conversations.  I notice that the "L" sound is part of his every day conversation now."  She is right.

You say "L" words beautifully now, such as when we went to Spudley's.  The restaurant has a map showing all the restaurants in the area, at least when the map was made.  You pretended your hand was a toy car and you drove through the streets.  I asked where you were going.  You replied, "I'm not sure.  It's very complicated."  The "L" sound in the middle of the word was beautiful and it wasn't effort or pause on your part.

Your speech therapist said she will pick up the "th" and "sh" sounds starting off the new school year.  It's interesting to better understand the process of speech.

At St. Augustine's, you studied plants one week.  You learned how a plant can be seen as a person's body, "Your hands are the leaves, your body is the stem, your feet are roots and your head is the flower."  Your teacher had each child plant a bean in a clear cup.  When you brought home the growing bean plant, we looked at the roots and talked about the parts.

It was perfect timing, because soon after the studies at school, we went to Longue Vue House and Gardens for a "Kinder Garden Activity."  This included walking in the children's section where kids (of all ages) were able to touch, smell and taste various herbs.  You liked the art projects too and loved walking through the kids maze of plants.  Both you and TJ enjoyed digging in the gardens (yes, it was allowed).

It wasn't long after that you asked, "Can we have a fairy garden?"  Daddy moved a large planter over so Mommy could repot some plants.  Then in a smaller container, we added your bean plant and a few little pieces for a fairy garden.  I'm hoping you take after your great grand-mother with a green thumb!

Chapel Day at school was lovely.  Last year you sat, you walked, you ran from end to end and sometimes you sang.  This year - completely different, you sang the songs and did the hand motions and you were part of the group.  I love that you have this from your school. Sometimes when we drive to school, we start singing in the car, "This is the day, This is the day that the Lord has made..." - the song you sing when your school group enters the church.

Just recently Mommy was listening to the K-Love radio station, a Christian station.  A song came on... I'm horrible with titles... but it was about someone who wanted to go back to his childhood, "this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine"- that was a small part of the song.  After the song ended, you asked, "Mommy, was that a Bible song about Jesus?"  Yes, it was.  I love how you recognized your faith in a song.

After Chapel Day, we went to the park.  You saw a path that walks all the way around the park.  You said you wanted to go on the path.  I asked if you were sure, "Do you want to go on the path or go to the playground?"  You picked the path.  This made me so happy!  The park has a lot to offer.  You were thrilled to see three baby geese along the walk, as well as a white rooster, turtles, lots of ducks and birds... and you found a favorite tree that you called your "treehouse."  The limbs touched the ground, but it wasn't an oak.  The low limbs created a curtain all the way around the tree.  You found a small opening and called it your door.  Then you said another gap in the leaves was your window.  I enjoyed your enjoyment of nature.

You can also be so serious at times.  When it was raining and Opa and Oma picked you up from school, you said, "You have to be careful, Opa.  It's raining.  It's important to be careful because of the canal."  The other day we saw a car that slid into the canal.  Images stay with you.

This past week Mommy took you to get a hair cut.  You saw a gift wrapped up and wanted to know what it was for.  I said, "It's for a boy who is willing to be brave.  To do something he might not want to do."  You said, "I'm brave!"  I asked, "Are you willing to do something you might not want to do?"  You thought for a moment and asked with a quiver in your voice, "A haircut?"  I shook my head in agreement.  "NO Mommy, YOU can cut my hair, not Mrs. Gwen!"

That started a conversation.  "What's the difference between Mrs. Gwen cutting your hair and Mommy cutting your hair?"
You were in tears at this point, "I don't like the hummer."
This was a puzzle, "Why don't you like the hummer?  Is it the sound?
"No, because it feels like a bug."
I tried to reason with you, "But you know it's not a bug.  It's just a little tickle."
By the time we arrived at the hair salon and you were unbuckled, you ran to the other side of the vehicle, not wanting to get out.  The only way you would calm down and agree to go is when I said, "We will ask Mrs. Gwen not to use the hummer (electric blade).  But you have to promise to be very still and listen to Mrs. Gwen and not get upset."
Mrs. Gwen said it was the best hair cut yet!  You did wonderfully, no hummer involved.  It helps to ask questions and understand your fears, to help you find a way through them or around them.

Mommy has a new book for us to read together, but I want to download some activities to go along with the book.  It's about bugs that have their own language.  Nothing is written in English, so the reader has to decode the words based on the pictures.  It's detective work.  Mommy's cousin, Holly, suggested the book for you after experiencing a great response from the kids at her school.

Holly has suggested many great reading materials, including the two crayon books you have.  We can read those books over and over and you don't tire of them.  The other day, you broke a crayon.  You jumped up, "Don't run away, crayon.  I'll get tape and fix you up!"  It was adorable.

Today was Kristen's college graduation party.  Mommy made the cake.  You said, "I want to help, Mommy.  I want to decorate the top of the cake."  Ummm, no.  I love you, sweetheart, but I couldn't let you do that.  However, I turned a baking sheet over and showed you how to hold a piping bag.  You practiced a few times to see how the design came out, then you just wanted to eat the icing.

There's some left over icing and I plan on letting you practice some more, especially after you said, "I want to be a cake decorator too!"  It's a great skill and will take hand strength.  Also to note.. you practiced with your right hand.  I wonder when we practice more if you will shift to your left hand.

Tomorrow is a special day.  A day that many years in the past, left a sting of pain.  You have taken that pain away and filled it with joy overflowing.  Thank you for gifting me with being a Mom, every day is Mother's Day.  Thank you for being such a sweet boy, wanting to do the right things, loving to learn, offering adorable laughter, sharing your fears and working through them...  I'm grateful for you and for Daddy.  Our family is filled with laughter and love, every day simple blessings that make for happy memories.

Love Always,

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