October is my favorite month and fall is my favorite season, but my heart just isn’t in it this year. Usually by now the bushes outside our house are strung with several hundred orange lights and the pumpkins, scarecrows, spider web, and tombstones are screaming, “Halloween rocks!”
But this year I’m feeling a lot more grown up and focused on the task at hand: apraxia. My heart is all wrapped up in this crazy speech disorder. For the most part, it consumes me and I know I cannot rest until my baby is speaking at an age appropriate level. As I told our SLP last week after I voiced some of my therapy concerns, “I will do whatever it takes to beat apraxia.”
And I mean it.
Since apraxia has hijacked the fun, laid-back me, I am lacking the motivation, time, and energy to go all out for this holiday like I usually do. But, the show will go on! Same time, same channel, but with a new cast and a different plot.
You see, this year I am not boycotting Halloween, I’m just doing things a little differently.
Example #1 – Costume. I am still dressing up on Halloween night. I don’t care what’s going on in my life, I’ve been going strong for 37 years and I can’t stop in year 38. This year I am going to be a mad scientist because that’s what I feel like these days as I’m scooping and measuring all of these supplements & fatty acids for Lil’ Man.
Example #2 – Corn Maze. Every day on the way to school I pass the corn maze and instead of the giddiness I usually feel at getting lost in one of these things, I find myself deep in thought comparing this attraction to apraxia. After all, having a child with CAS is a lot like being lost in a corn maze, isn’t it? You go down one path because you think it’s the way out, but then you realize it’s a dead-end. Some moms can linger in the corn field for hours, feeling lost and frustrated, while others are waiting for the rest of their group at the exit sign. People a few rows over boast that they’ve figured it out, but really they’re just as lost as you are. No one ever goes straight through the maze; I don’t care how good your sense of direction is.
Example #3 – Carving Pumpkins. We haven’t even thought about carving pumpkins yet, but I did get genuinely excited to vote for the Sesame Street pumpkin contest at our SLP’s office. Cute, cute, cute.
Example #4 – Trick-or-Treat. Instead of spending time gradually stocking up on candy for the at least 500 trick-or-treaters we will have, Jake’s been practicing saying “trick or treat.” The “tr” is hard for him and while I know we can make a sign for him to hold up, I think he can say it correctly if he practices it enough. I am breaking the words “trick” and “treat” down into two syllables (“ter-ick” and “ter-eat”), which seems to help.
Example #5 – Buying pumpkins. Usually by now we have a few pumpkins adorning the yard. This year we have zilch. Instead of hunting for the biggest and best or ugliest and wartiest pumpkin we can find, I’m going to head to the grocery store this weekend to buy a few medium-sized pumpkins that Jake can do projects with. The blog Teach Preschool has some great ideas and I can’t wait to try them out.
Example #6 – Games. Instead of spending what little free time I have decorating, I’m going to play a few of these fun fall speech games that my favorite bloggers are posting lately. Check out Heather’s Speech Therapy and Playing with Words 365 for some great ideas.
So, that’s my Halloween festivities in a nutshell. Even though I am focused and not celebrating this holiday as I typically do, I am grateful because Jake is doing better than ever. The problem is that we are still in the corn maze and I hope and pray everyday that we are close to the end. Once we’ve officially beat this thing, I can breathe a sigh of relief.