Monday, December 21, 2009

My Little Drummer Boy

Where do you begin talking about your first born child and what makes him tick? I could go on and on about my boy, my pride and joy, my son. I'm sure any mother could do the same.

Ty is entering into the world of drums. Why we agreed to let my parents give him a drum set for Christmas is beyond me except that they know him well enough to know HE'D LOVE IT MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF. And he did. He really did. Until he broke it about two weeks after they let him open it...a little early by the way. It's not even Christmas yet and the thing is long gone. See, he loves music. He has calmed down when music is on since he was days old. We had a little lamb wind-up toy that played "Jesus Loves Me," and when we changed his diaper as a tiny baby and he'd cry, we would turn on the lamb and he'd stop and crane his neck to see where the music was coming from. It was unreal how much he loved music. As he grew up, (I realize he's only 3,) he grew to love music more and more. His favorite place to go right now is the music store, (Guitar Center,) and he asks me approximately 47 times per day if we can go there.

I told him we'll go every time he...well there's no way to say it...poops on the potty.

So far so good on me loading them all up and going to Guitar Center every single day. As in, we haven't done it yet. He is, I guess you could say, half potty-trained.


He loves drums. We had to get him a new set after he broke the old one and his "drum room" is my closet with the doors shut so he doesn't kill everybody in the house. He plays the piano at Mimi's house and sings along. He listens to my dad play the violin every chance he gets and now when we hear music out somewhere he will say, "I hear the violin, I hear drums, I hear symbols..." and he's right. He's like the little kid in August Rush and I wouldn't be surprised if he supports our entire family one day doing what he loves: playing music.

He's not that good or anything right now but the desire is there. Spoken like a mother, right?

Recently he started preschool for the first time. You've all been exposed to what that process did to me and you've seen and heard how much he has loved it. He has learned how to do things I didn't know I was supposed to be teaching him...(hello, scissors...proficient at age 3? Who knew?) Soon after he started preschool his teacher called me and we talked about how he was doing and she suggested that we might look into getting him help with speech.

We talked to our pediatrician and she suggested the same so we started the process through the school district here and it's been a delight to work with the people involved. The school where the intake/testing has taken place is about a four minute walk from my house. Four minutes if you add in snow/harsh wind and even less than that during nice weather. I had no idea when we moved here how quickly we'd be needing the school and I have said, "Thank You, Lord," numerous times. The school has an early childhood program and guess what.


Ty will start going there in January. During his Christmas party I hugged his teachers and said goodbye. I pulled him out of his beloved school and told him on the way home that after Christmas he would start at a new school. He's excited. He has been to the school down the street a few times and cries when we leave. If you're like me you take that as a good sign. Crying when entering=bad. Crying when leaving=good. He'll go every day for a few hours and after meeting his new teacher and some of the staff at the school I have such excitement for the change ahead. You can't beat being able to walk your kid to school and as a bonus do so between naps for your other kids. Schedule-wise, this will be worlds easier than what I have been doing. It will mean giving up not only his school but BSF, which he has liked even more than school! We are to treat it as real school, operating on the school calendar and I know that giving up some of these things is a small price to pay for what he will be getting.

What I've seen throughout the last few months is that the more people you become involved with, the more opinions there are. I know that, (it's not rocket science,) but when it comes to those people sharing opinions about your child, you (me,) can get defensive. I was at first. The first time his preschool teacher used the words "help with speech," "slower to talk," and "Aspergers," it stung. Over time, I've gotten more used to hearing these things and it doesn't sting as much. While the primary reason he is starting school is to help with speech, we are also facing having him tested by a few other places for the reason behind his speech delay.

And I will now become a poster child for moms of kids with Autism. No matter what we find out in coming months about my boy and his intense little self, I have a passion for helping kids with all kinds and types of Autism. We may find out after seeing the developmental pediatrician that he doesn't have a diagnosis on the scale and if so I will still have more empathy for moms (and dads,) whose kids do. So far the doctors involved have said he shows "soft signs" and that he doesn't show any of the "red flag" signs of a child who will not be able to function later on in school, social environment, etc. Like the studies that have been televised lately, what we have learned is that 1 in 100 kids have at least one symptom on the Autism scale. He seems like other kids in his class except for his conversational skills. Obviously this is why we're starting him in speech therapy this early.

I mentioned a while back that I was going through something that was challenging me spiritually and this is what I was referring to. As much as I believe that God has created Ty the way He did on purpose, I'm afraid of what lies ahead. I'm afraid of what I don't know about and what I might be expected to do. And I'm afraid that he will suffer.

As much as I believe that God created him, I have to also believe that God alone will be given glory by what Ty does with his life. As much as I believe that God created him, I have to also believe that God will comfort his heart when he does suffer, like every kid will!

Bottom line, I have to believe.

Just believe.

Not figure it out or plan it out or act like I know what I'm doing.

Just believe.

Not compare him to the other kids and try to "stay on top of things."

Just believe.

Not pretend or be afraid or be defensive.

Just believe.


We Three Smiths + 1 said...

Oh Mary...what a struggle. Faith will get you far. I also have often worried about Ryder.

I way too often compare him to other children and fear what he does not do compared to others.

But, I also often fail to recognize the things he DOES DO that the other kids do not.

God will get you through this and Ty will do amazing things! We'll keep you guys in our prayers. Merry Christmas to you all!!

Carley said...

Great job expressing yourself on a post that was very personal. We love Ty very much and I'm excited to see how much he grows from going to school and speech. He is a blessing to everyone around him and the Lord gave him to you and Sean to raise! I'm here for you...always.

Michelle said...

Mary, I have been thinking and praying for you guys since your last post and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing. I am sure he will love his new school!

Emily said...

Praying for you guys and for Ty as he goes to his new school. He sounds like an AMAZING little boy, I hope to meet him one of these days:)

Anonymous said...

Mary, first... Ty rocks those drums like nobody's business. I love the way he grooves to the music he plays. Total star quality.

Also, thank you so much for candidly posting about this. I think every mom out there can instantly relate to what you're going through and you are so, so, right about what it means to truly "believe."

It's a great thing that you have tools on your doorstep to help unravel some of the unknowns- we will certainly be praying for ya'll as you face the changes ahead!

Sarah Sharp said...

He is really good at playing those drums!

I am sorry y'all are facing this. It must be scary to just have to wait and see. It is so great y'all are already getting him in speech and being proactive. He seems like such a delightful little boy and he is so lucky to have wonderful parents like you and Sean!

Brooke & Freeland said...

I wish we were closer to hear him rock out on the drums! Thanks for sharing everything going on. We're looking forward to hearing how his new school goes.

Stephanie said...

Mary... I had the same concerns about our son Aidan not long ago. Sounds like after reading your most recent post, though, that like Aidan, speech therapy is the main focus. Good news! Just wanted to let you know we had gone through similar stuff...