Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inadequate & Humbled

This week has been a difficult one as a Mom for me. In the past week, I have felt completely insufficient and feeble as a parent, not able to protect my child from pain, and then subjecting him to scrutiny, all-be-it necessary.

We had a speech therapy assessment today from a referral of his doctor. As we walked through the automatic doors, I knew that his speech was a bit behind, but I had been able to understand him and translate for others - what more can I expect from my 3 year old son?

The appointment quickly turned sour as my sweet child was working his hardest to decipher and pronounce words and actions drawn on old, dog-eared pages. With each word, she would scribble and mark her piece of paper in a type so small that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't spy on her notes. As I sat and heard my son work with each word, it took absolutely everything I had to not coach him to the correct answer, reassuring him that he knew exactly what the picture was.

As we neared the end of the tests, she told me with a snobby certainty that he was below average with his pronunciation, comprehension, and sentence structure. I had no idea that a 3 year old child should know such complex sentences, and her statements took me back. As she was telling me that less than 50% of his words were intelligible, I wanted to reach over my baby boy and the little, tiny table where he sat to strangle her. How dare she tell me that he isn't perfect and wonderful?

As the appointment ended and we prepared to leave, I felt like my parenting skills were the ones being tested and analyzed as he erupted in a hungry, frustrated temper tantrum. I ushered him out of the office, surrounded by other mothers and children waiting for their appointments and went to the car. After snapping him into his new big-boy booster seat, I sunk into the drivers side with a defeated pride and started to cry. What did I do wrong? What should I have done?

After I took a moment to collect my thoughts and tears, I realized that absolutely nothing is wrong with my son. God designed him without fault and while he has things he needs to work on, and skills that we need to learn along with him, I have nothing to fear. He is still my gentle, generous, kind-hearted baby. And while I feel completely inadequate as his mother at times, he was given to me. Given to me to care for, defend, and love.

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