I have been thinking about this post for a long time.. Maybe it is the terrifying solidification of preschool registration this week that I was finally able to pull my thoughts together. If you had asked me just a few years ago what I envisioned motherhood would be like, I would have most definitely painted a different world than the one I actually live in today. It would have been so romantic.. my kids would be so clean and always polite and never watch TV because we would be too busy making sweet little arts and crafts.. The truth is, it is a little more chaotic than that. But SO full of love I could burst. Since becoming a mom I have learned far more than I ever could have imagined. I have learned the true meaning of love, faith, purpose, friendship, loyalty, pride, defeat and the list goes on and on...
But this post is really about Liam. Liam is truly the most remarkable child I have ever met and I thank God each day for letting me be his Momma. Liam is the happiest, silliest, most charming, stubborn and adorable little boy, and in his short 3 years he has climbed some mountains.
Liam was born with plagiocephaly and torticollis.. meaning he had a flat spot on his head and a crooked neck. This was most likely because Nicholas sat on top of him the entire time in the womb! We started physical and occupational therapy when he was just 3 months old. Somewhere around a year we switched to an osteopath that focused more on manipulation and after 3-4 appointments every week he graduated with a fine round noggin around 18 months... Mountain conquered.
Ironically it was about 18 months where Nicholas started talking up a storm.. non-stop actually. While I know good and well that we are not to compare siblings, I couldn't help but notice that Liam was not. After countless sleepless nights and far too much research from Dr. Google, I decided to seek early intervention. Just a week before Liam's 2nd birthday he had his first speech evaluation. My intuition was with reason and we started therapy right away.
Liam liked speech therapy, and enjoyed meeting new people away from his brothers.. but progress was SLOW. Nicholas was now telling us full stories of world domination and Liam was still only saying Dada..
This picture was taken on Liam's 3rd birthday.. that week he was placed with a new speech therapist. I also started Liam on fish oil and some essential oil blends that I read helped with speech delays. With this new combination and continued prayer Liam has started making some real progress. He is finally calling me "Mama" which literally brings me to tears every time I hear it.
Liam doesn't have a formal diagnosis yet.. we suspect he is suffering from Apraxia of Speech. "Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. The messages from the brain to the mouth are disrupted, and the person cannot move his or her lips or tongue to the right place to say sounds correctly, even though the muscles are not weak." Imagine understanding everything around you and not being able to respond the way you want. It. Is. Hard.
This mountain has been difficult. I admit that most nights I wake up in a panic and my husband will find me deep in research, looking for a new treatment, or book, or doctor, or school that may help.. Some days are easier than others but it is never far from my mind.. I am always worried about Liam. I know my guy is strong but I also know how mean kids are. Regardless of the stress and fear, we still have a happy and loving home. Liam is lucky to have 2 brothers that are going to have his back no matter what and 2 parents that are going to push him all the way up this mountain. We may still be just at the bottom.. and there is no doubt that it is a long way up. But we are going to trek on. Darren and I have learned some perspective and we will continue to celebrate each and every tiny step. We must always remember to stay humble and that everyone is climbing their own peak.
While Liam has struggled to communicate with us verbally, he has no trouble 'talking to us'.. He may not say "I love you" yet, but I know he does when he holds my hand or rubs my arm while we read books. When he is naughty he might not say "I am sorry" with words but he gives the most heartfelt hugs and kisses. I have no doubt in my body that Liam will reach the top of this mountain. I will be his voice for as long as he needs.. I can't wait to watch him get there, and when he does I have no idea what he will shout.. But I know that it will be AMAZING.