Last week Jackson hauled his tricycle from the garage to the kitchen. It was bitterly cold outside and my sensory seeker needed to let off some steam. I opened the gate between the kitchen and living room and let him loose.
He peddled like a pro, riding throughout the house.
And I stood there overcome with gratitude.
Peddling a tricycle did not come easily for Jackson, but the motor plan finally stuck and nothing will stop him now.
We’re starting to realize that Apraxia affects more than just Jackson’s speech.
Peddling a tricycle, getting dressed, even smiling (on command) can be very difficult tasks for him.
Children with dyspraxia often reach their milestones late, which was true for Jackson. He sat up late, he crawled late, he walked late.
There is a disconnect between Jackson’s brain and his mouth, which makes it difficult for him to speak. He knows what he wants to say; but simply can’t.
Sometimes we see a disconnect between his brain and other parts of his body.
You can tell he wants to do something, but he can’t always get a particular body part to cooperate. Or when he does, it takes him longer to complete a task than in would most kids.
Take smiling for instance.
I’m ashamed to say it took me nearly four years to realize his unwillingness to smile for the camera was not just a strong-willed behavior.
But put him in front of the camera and tell him to say cheese and the smiles don’t come as easily.
Needless to say, things are (and probably will be) a bit more challenging for Jackson.
But despite those challenges, I never want him to forget that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
In Romans 9 it says: Why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (20-21)
I never want Jackson to think God made a mistake.
I want him to believe He has a purpose and a plan for his life and that He can use even the hardest things for His glory.
My Bible Notes read: God forms each one of us with his plan for our lives in mind. We can gain comfort from knowing that no matter what life holds, God has designed us to successfully meet each challenge and, in the process, bring him glory.
That is my prayer for Jackson.
That is my prayer for myself.
That despite the challenges we face on this special needs journey, our lives will forever bring God glory.
That those who encounter my son, won’t just see a little boy who struggles to talk.
I pray they see the gift he’s been given.
A gift I truly believe is from God (to help him in the hard times).
He has joy.
An overflowing, contagious joy.
You can see it in his eyes.
You can hear it in his laugh.
It keeps us both going on the hardest of days.
The joy of the Lord truly is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)