I swear, we were only gone for 5 days, but it seems like we've ended up with 5 weeks worth of dirty laundry. If nobody hears from me by tomorrow night, send help because I probably got stuck beneath a laundry-lanche and can't get up.
But it's getting there. My only REAL problem today is mad feelings about people who think it's okay to get onto my daughter about her problem pronouncing "r" and "sh" sounds, to the point where she feels sad about it. And then keep going.
I'm going to write the rest of this as a sort of letter to the person or persons who made my baby sad, because I can't actually tell these people for "keep the peace" and "it wouldn't change them anyway" reasons, and I need to get the words out of me so they don't fester in my heart:
Oh, you think she needs a hearing test because YOUR kids never had this problem? Well, she has passed every hearing test she has had as of this spring, thankyouverymuch, sorry if I didn't send out a memo to people whose business it isn't.
I know she's taking longer than a lot of kids to get those sounds pinned down, my hearing is fine, I didn't need you to tell me. I had a problem with those sounds at her age. I worked with a school therapist and got over it. I have a sibling who had "r" trouble for even longer than age 5. It's normal. Some kids take longer. We have a pediatrician we trust and family members with relevant training that we trust. When one of them says she needs more than just time, that's when we'll get her into therapy. I love her, I'm her mother, so obviously I ask these questions every time we see the doctor EVEN when I am pretty sure things haven't reached that point and we still seem to be operating within a normal developmental range.
Argh! I hate that she felt sad about something and I wasn't there to protect her! I hate that someone who should have been protecting her thought that being ahead of the curve was more important than keeping my baby's fierce and fearless heart unbruised. I want her to stay fierce and fearless. I don't want her to have to feel like she's somehow less than others because of the thoughtless opinion of a person she cares about. A person who should have known better.
I know she'll bounce back, but I also know that she'll still feel the little scar that says "not good enough because of my speech" for a lifetime. I know, because I was just like her once and I still feel that scar. And I know that, subconciously, she will be a little less fearless now. I know, because that's how it went for me. I had a fully confident, happy kid. I had a kid who didn't think she was different just because she pronounces two damn sounds out of the entire English language a little differently from most kids.
I am mourning the loss of her unshakable self-confidence. I am mourning the loss of that bit of innocence. That sure and certain knowledge that she is fantastic and amazing coupled with a complete absence of knowledge of adult constructs like "worth" and "equal" that only truly exist to a child when someone tells them, by word or deed, that they do.
I know that a heart can't remain free of those tiny scars forever. I knew a day would come when I would be talking to my baby and realize beyond a doubt that her heart had been touched and that damage, however small, had been done. I just hoped it would be later on. I just hoped that it would have come from a stranger. Someone on the fringes of her life whose words and actions could be more easily dismissed.
I know you love her in your way. I just think that maybe you weren't taught HOW to love and how to tend another heart. Or maybe you knew once but were hurt and cynicism clouds your judgement. I can't really know, only guess. I'm going to try to move on and not carry anger in my heart for you. My words would never change you, your ways are set. Anger would only keep me from doing my best heart tending.
I will pray for you, and be more watchful in the future.
I'm going to wipe off my sad/angry tears now and do whatever I can to build my babies up today. I know that scars never disappear, but maybe if I can stay proactive about building my kids up when they've been battered then the scars will function more as decoration than direction. Building. That's what I'll do.
That, and a whole lot of laundry.