My son Geordi, (Geo), was born with an intellectual disability as well as a speech disorder.
Like many of you, I have spent hours upon hours in waiting rooms at doctor’s offices and therapy clinics. In a frantic effort to “fix” my son, I dragged him to every therapy I could find (and AFFORD!).
One afternoon, he was happily playing in the living room with some of his toys and the family dog. I was rushing around the kitchen packing a snack, checking on the contents of the crock pot and making another one of my endless lists. Even as I type this now, (20+ years later), I can picture my shoulders hunched up, my mind racing and the stress that I was putting on myself and Geo mounting.
Eventually, I had to call him to put his toys away and get ready for speech therapy. Geo was about 7 at the time and had a really difficult time with transitions. The inevitable tantrum ensued. I sighed heavily and pulled Geo into my arms trying to soothe him. After he stopped struggling, he looked up at me with defiance in his eyes and said:
“Mommy! – I do not need PEACH THERAPY! – I don’t like PEACH and I am not going!”
At that moment, I looked into his little face with those big blue eyes and I started to giggle. The stress started to melt away and I realized that BOTH Geo and I were getting burnt out on all of the therapies I had him involved in.
Well, needless to say, Geordi did, in fact, need “PEACH” but the message was received loud & clear. From then on, I cut back on his therapy schedule. The extra time we had to just “be” was exactly what the doctor ordered. His meltdowns subsided a bit & it allowed us to experience precious times together like long afternoons at the park with the dog.
And the money we saved? Well, we got him a new bike, enrolled him in a camp that summer and even had a little bit left over for some small luxuries like the occasional ice cream. Vanilla with lots of sprinkles for Geo – & for me? My new favorite flavor…”PEACH.”