When Hailey turned two over the summer, I began to be a little concerned over her lack of vocab. Long story short we started her in the Infants and Toddlers program that's free in the state of Maryland. A speech therapist comes to our house for a 45min session every other week. Hailey loves her and has been doing great. She has made incredible strides, both of our moments of communication frustration have decreased by leaps and bounds and I couldn't be more happy with how its gone.
At her last session, I asked our therapist what she thought of Hailey's progress, and did she think it was time for her to be re-evaluated. I basically was trying to ask without being too blunt if it was time for her to dismiss Hailey because I didn't want to have her keep coming, taking up our therapist's time, if Hailey was doing well enough. She told me that if we tested her and found her to be "typical" for her age, then she would be dismissed, but she added, "if we don't test her, then we don't find out, and then we can just keep going." They re-test anyway as part of the program after 6 months and it's only been about 4 for us. She then said, "I also just really enjoy working with your family, you are like the model family." I stumbled around my words and said something like "no, no..." She said, "yes, really, you are."
It was such a sweet thing for her to say, and it did make me feel proud of our little family. Our children are happy, loved, clean, dressed and fed. But then it got me thinking about it more. What else does she see in the other homes she visits? I am so blessed to have grown up in a stable, loving family...to have married a faithful, virtuous Catholic man, and be raising our children in a house full of love. These things are normal to me and all I've ever known. What a blessing and a gift. And it made my heart ache a little wondering what other types of homes she witnesses. It made me want to be more patient, gentle and loving toward my husband and children.
Because that's the thing. We aren't the model family. Not in the slightest. Maybe to her...and I am more than grateful for her words of affirmation and the opportunity to be a witness to her. But we aren't the model family. Not in my book. I look to the Holy Family, St. Gianna and Pietro Molla, Louis and Zellie Martin (St. Therese's parents), to name a few, as my role models. I strive to imitate these holy men and women, and fail many times.
My only hope is that in being a model to Hailey's speech therapist, she is seeing Christ in us and may grow closer to Him.
Now I'm going to go to bed, and hope that by going to bed at a reasonable hour, I won't be Mrs. Grumpy who greets her children in a ugly mood in the morning.