It’s our weekly event. I walk through the doors and they recognize me and the Cheesedoodle immediately. I don’t even have to check in anymore. They see me and send the page to let the Cheesedoodle’s speech therapist know we’re here. We’re approaching the 2 year mark in therapy, and in the week to week of it, it’s easy to lose sight of the progress he has made. When he’s still struggling to be understood at church events and even within the family. When he is obviously struggling to make himself known, and finally gives up. When he won’t sing his favorite songs with the family, because making words fit with everyone else and keeping to rhythm and tempo is exhausting for him. When I realize that he knows almost the entire alphabet, but I haven’t been understanding what he’s been saying to me. When the snickerdoodle comes out, spontaneously, with polysyllabic words like “yogurt” or “bumblebee” and I realize she’s close to passing him in articulation, (although not vocabulary). When all of these things happen I can get frustrated and wonder why we even make the weekly trek out to the Child Development Center for an hour each week.
But in the long view, the strides he’s made in less than 2 years is pretty amazing. When we started this journey he said nothing at all, and replaced everything with a closed mouth “mmmm” sound. The Lord has brought him a long way, and has used an amazing speech therapist as one of his tools in that.
Last week the mackerdoodle asked her brother what one his toys was named. He thought for a minute and then said, “He-man.” They both giggled together about a starfish named “he-man” and ran off to play some strange hybrid of princesses and superheroes and Star Wars. You know, like you do.
On Friday we had a busy morning with a lot of friends, so we let the Cheesedoodle take some down time in the afternoon to recharge his introvert cells. His choice was to watch something on Netflix (he is his father’s son) but he insisted that I sit beside him on the couch. “Me need you, Mama!” were his exact words, and what mama could resist. At some point, I realized that my right hip was trying to climb the arm of the couch while the Cheesedoodle’s head slowly bored a hole in my left arm pit. I looked down at the yards of empty couch stretching just beyond my son’s blonde head and asked if he could move over, just a little, to give me more room. He shifted his narrow behind a micrometer, and looked at me, adoringly, and said, “Dere. Now you gots WOTS space! From here (he pointed to himself) to over dere (he pointed to the arm of the couch.)” and he snuggled back under my arm, turning back to the continuing adventures of the Voltron Force.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude for a slow and steady answer to prayer that reveals itself in single sounds stretched out over years, but combine into wonderful exchanges that reveal my son’s mind and heart. There have been some miraculous and instant answers to prayer in our life, but this day in and day out healing is no less wonderful.
I am reminded that this is a better picture of how God is normally at work. While he does do big and sudden and spectacular, he is working in our life day in and day out to make us more like Christ. The transforming of our minds, the putting off the old self and putting on the new, the fruit of the spirit, are all accomplished slowly, and steadily over the day in and day out regular pace of life. The Lord is at work – in my cheesedoodle, in me, in us – transforming and healing us bit by bit.