I failed her

By Laura Smith|June 15, 2015|apraxia blog|

Little J is 2:11, the exact age my daughter was when I took her into Child Find.  This is also the time I started blogging.  I was talking with a client’s mom today, and he is the baby…the baby of like 6 or 7 kids (I tend to lose track), and she was saying every once in awhile they realize just how much they are missing out on.  These include the funny sayings, or the inside jokes each family develops.

My situation is slightly different.  A was my first born.  Her milestones (or inchstones) are etched not only in my memory, but in written words as well.  Each time my son does or says something, I can’t help but have flashbacks to her development.

Just the realization that Jace is 2:11 was mind blowing.  That’s the age I took A to Child Find.  I will NEVER forget that age.  I will NEVER forget the dread walking her up the sidewalk, the overwhelming desire to turn back toward my car, or the three words that made my head spin because I instantly knew they were true,

“This is apraxia.”

I read an old post around that time: Background and suspicions of apraxia in my own daughter.  My last line was:

“I had to accept that I had failed her.”

Wow.  Ouch.  However, yes, this was EXACTLY the place I was in.  So much fear, so much weight, so much worry, so much pain, so much GUILT.

The post is surreal.  I talked about how my mentor took me to a conference years earlier given by Ruth Stoeckel.  I could not have even IMAGINED that years later I will be able to say Ruth Stoeckel is also my mentor.  Seriously, that would have been so UNBELIEVABLE to me at that time.

Yet, it happened.

I remember feeling so embarrassed that I was an SLP who couldn’t help my child.  I had a parent support group I found, but no one was an SLP.  I felt so lonely.  I would not have believed you if at that time someone would have said I would be part of a newly found support group with 22 other women who shared my exact experience.

Yet, it happened.

I would have laughed if  you told me I would have gone on a crazy gut intuition to meet MMA superstar Ronda Rousey just because I had a suspicion from an interview that she had apraxia, but I did; and now my daughter will always know a famous woman who had apraxia and beat it, and will have an autographed copy of her book.

Yet, it happened.

Just recently in my SLP Moms of Apraxia group a fretting mother reminds me of my early self. She made the comment “I’m afraid I’ll miss something and ruin his life.”

I told her she couldn’t put that out there.  She had to stay positive because she is already amazing and doing everything she could for him……but today I realized, at her stage I felt the same way.  I felt the same way, but time marched on, A got better, so much better in fact, a fellow mom of apraxia met her yesterday to take my family pictures and told me she would never know A had apraxia.

Dang.  Imagine that.  I guess I didn’t fail her after all, but no one could have convinced me of that during that fateful day I received her diagnosis.  I KNEW in my SOUL I had failed her.

So glad and grateful I was wrong.

Another mom further in this process in my SLP MOM group said, “If you put your concern out into the universe, the answer always comes in the strangest ways.”

I couldn’t agree more.  For me though, I substitute “God” for “Universe.”  He has always come through.  For me, I don’t believe in coincidences.  Coincidence to me, is code for “God is telling you something right now.  Listen.”

My journey, A’s journey, is far from over.  I’ve stopped trying to imagine what may be to come. Instead, I’m going to trust in coincidences (or God’s word).



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