It has been a bittersweet weekend. Hmmm, where shall I start, sweet or bitter. Well, best get the not great stuff out of the way, shall we?
Many of you know that we have been concerned about Lucy's speech, or rather lack of clear speech for a year or more now. About 12 weeks ago we began a process with the local school system, hoping to identify the problem and seek out appropriate services for her. After many meetings and 4 drop off "playgroups" for her, on Friday morning I finally got the answers we have been seeking. Unfortunately, the results of her testing were much more severe than we anticipated. The good news was that she shows no signs of Autism, Asbergers, nor any other "worst case scenarios" including mechanical issues. The bad news was that her speech delay is much more severe than we suspected. A normal child her age scores a 100 with many scoring over that. Lucy scored a 1. Not a typo...ONE. In another test she was at a 0% in language skills. They feel that Lucy is a highly intelligent child with much potential, but that it is going to take a lot of work and time to get her caught up to her peers. The speech therapist feels like she is able to make all the appropriate sounds but for some reason her brain does not put them in the appropriate place. So, the group of experts preceded to try to advocate for Lucy and convince me that enrolling her in their pre-school was the most helpful thing we could do for her. I am sure they had a conversation before I got there about convincing me, because I have told them in no uncertain terms over the past 12 weeks that Lucy WOULD NOT start pre-school until the fall of 2012. They pointed out to me that she does so much better at interacting and participating when I am not present, that she needs to practice speaking with teachers and peers, that she needs the extra coaching she would get by being in school. They talked about how speech is such an important part of reading and that if she cannot sound out the appropriate letters she will have a hard time learning to read. They talked about how her speech problem is so severe it will take more than a year to catch her up to her peers. They gave me until Monday morning to talk to Bruce and make the decision.
So that's where I was Friday, sobbing into the phone to my Mom, crying over my lunch, moaning to a dear friend and my sister, weeping on Bruce's shoulder. Here's the thing, I KNOW that going to school is the right decision FOR LUCY. My decision was made before I left the office, and Bruce was in agreement after our discussion of the meeting. Here's the rub though, this is not the right decision FOR ME! I am crying again as I write this. I love my baby girl desperately, and more than that, I like her. I like spending time with her, I like reading her stories and playing tea party or "lions" and doing art and cooking projects. I like taking her on play dates and enjoying time with our friends. I like putting her down for naps and coming back in when she needs "just one more kiss." I am not ready to turn her over to strangers for 4 hours a day/4 days a week. What if they don't tell her how strong and smart and beautiful she is when she gets frustrated by not being able to communicate. What if they forget to help her get her lunch unpacked? What if she gets cold and they don't notice to give her a sweater? And on a deeper level, part of who I am right now ( a VERY LARGE PART) is a stay-at-home Mom. How can I be a stay-at-home Mom with out a child at home?? You don't need to feel compelled to answer that for me, I already have some ideas! ;) I thought I would have another year before she begins what I expect will entail now, 18 years of schooling ahead of her. I thought we would have another summer to get her ready and excited to start school. Time to take her somewhere special to pick out her first backpack and lunchbox.
But life doesn't always follow our expectations, does it? In this case our path took a sharp left turn, and woooweee, I did not expect it to lead in that direction. Nonetheless, we forge on. When I finish typing this I will call the school and tell them she will be there next Monday morning for her first day of pre-school. I keep remembering what my Mom reminded me. Our job as parents is to do the best thing for our child, which might not be the thing that is best for ourselves.
I am going to be super busy this week planning lots of play dates and special moments for Lucy, but don't worry friends, I suspect I will suddenly have more time for blogging in the near future! ;) Light a candle for me next Monday morning and send me prayers for strength!
Sooooo, would you like to hear the SWEET part of our weekend? Our dear friends, the Adlers, watched Lucy and Griffin for us on Saturday night so Bruce and I could go to the Wine and Jazz Festival in Evansville to celebrate our ninth anniversary. We has So Much Fun!!! We drank lots of wine, some great dry reds and a lot of way tooooo sweet whites, listened to great jazz, watched the swing dancers tear it up, ran into some fun friends we are excited to get to know better, ate good food, made new friends and even helped a damsel in distress. It was exactly what we needed to give our brains a break from the Lucy situation and re-embrace our joy of the NOW.
I have a lot of pictures I can't wait to share with you. Until then, friends, May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you be safe, May you live with ease.
Big Love to You.