Although May is the busiest month of the year for us, a couple of weeks ago my family and I ventured an hour across town on a Saturday to go to the CASANA’s (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association North America) Walk for Apraxia.
I was ecstatic to support an event for apraxia, while at the same time enjoying a day of play on a beautiful spring morning. And the timing for this event was impeccable. The week before the event had been emotionally trying and I desperately needed some time to chill out and decompress from all of the mental angst that comes from dealing with this disorder day in and day out.
The walk was held at a playground and it felt a little surreal when I walked up to the crowd to check in and get our t-shirts. You could feel the energy in the air and it spilled over to the slides and swings where lots of kids with apraxia ran happily from one activity to the next. Some kids moved a little slower than others, but it certainly didn’t stop them from having a fun day at the park. Hooray! We are not stranded on a deserted island anymore!
Many times throughout that morning, if I allowed myself to really feel what the event signified and all the overwhelming love and worry that was within those few hundred bodies, tears would fill my eyes. After all, it was these mothers, fathers, friends, and family that breathed life into this event. That support is truly remarkable and touched my heart and soul even while those innocent children were running without a care in the world.
While my kids played with Daddy on the playground, I stuck my raffle tickets into a few fabulous giveaway envelopes, and then we took a short walk around the park. One of the reasons I wanted to attend this walk, was to reassure myself by looking into real faces, that we are not alone in this battle. And as we walked with everyone, I could feel that with determination and perseverance, we were all going to make it. Some through words, others with sign language or AAC devices, but our kids would make it … eventually.
At the end of the walk, all of the kids lined up and Rachel, the walk coordinator, proudly placed a shiny, gold medallion around each one of their little necks. Lil’ Man has been known to swipe his brothers’ trophies every once in a while, but now he has his very own medal.