Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

This title came to me in about three seconds, probably because I’ve been living, breathing, and intensely photographing baseball all three days this past weekend. Our baseball season got extended into June this year because my middle son, who is eight, got selected to play on the all-star team. Also, my husband, who played baseball in college, was nominated to be the head coach. And I, consequently, became one of the team moms.

Although it is rare that I talk about the rest of my family on this blog, I am immensely proud of both of them and their competitive spirit, natural athletic ability, and good sportsmanship. It is a gift for the most part, I was not blessed with. While I’ve always exercised and am coordinated, I was never a team-sports kind of girl. When I was eight, I was happier with my nose planted in a book or writing stories. So, needless to say, having three boys and a hubby who loves sports was kind of a life changing experience for me.

Because this is a blog about apraxia and not baseball, I won’t go into the details of our weekend, but I did want to share one of my favorite pictures of my little stud playing hard …

Yes, my son is lucky number seven and yes, he was safe!

Baseball is a huge part of Lil’ Man’s life and he loves hanging out at the ball field with his friends. My biggest fear, however, is that he will get lost and not be able to tell someone pertinent information about himself. It scares me to death and I spent all day looking up every five seconds to make sure he was still there. This results in one mentally and physically depleted mama by the end of a long, hot, southern summer day.

The ball field that we visited this past weekend had the best play ground I’ve ever seen! Jake was thrilled to see monkey bars that were just his size and he instantly ran up to them to give it a try. His taut muscles held his little body up and his arms moved slowly in perfect rhythm across the bars.

I held my breath with every forward swing and couldn’t help but feel deeply blessed that apraxia does not affect the movement of my boy’s limbs. I know this is yet another obstacle so many families face and my heart goes out to them. As each arm moved forward, I thought, The brain is an amazing thing. It tells each arm to move at just the right moment, it tells his fingers to grasp firmly onto the bar, and it tells his body to swing forward. If only his brain could send that same clear message to his mouth and make all of those trapped words come out.

I mentioned last week that Jake is on a new diet and I’ve actually started a food journal where I’ve been keeping up with what he eats as well as any improvements or regressions in his speech. The preservative and dye free, all organic diet is pretty simple, but finding fruits, veggies, and good protein sources that don’t literally make my Lil’ Man gag and shake in revulsion is a whole other story.

I’ve somewhat convinced myself that he can’t help his pickiness because I’ve read that a lot of children with apraxia have sensory issues in the taste department. Maybe so. Maybe not. All I know is that if I force him to eat certain foods, his body responds as if I’ve just made him chug vomit.

Stay tuned for the results. I’m finding that feeding my child perfectly is taking up a lot of time and the biggest challenge I’m facing is juggling all of these roles I put upon myself.

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