by Jennifer Dyer
This weekend I was lamenting the lack of my work with Rachel on her individual speech goals. I am a speech-language pathologist (SLP). I’ve been trained by one of the best SLP’s in the Childhood Apraxia of Speech business. I’ve had several years of experience in the field dealing with autism. Yet here is my daughter, age eight, with apraxia and autism, but still non-verbal for the most part. Painful.
Yet, there is a mental block of some sort between the two of us. I cannot seem to make therapy happen…
So, as I bemoaned my failures as a mother, along with the messes that keep multiplying in my home, I passed by Rachel playing on my bed. She had the sheet pulled over her head, but all the other linens were piled by the headboard. She peeked out and cracked up, saying, “Ti?” (That means tickle.)
I couldn’t resist the smile that cracked my frown. I lunged forward and went to work on her tummy while she hooted and screamed happy sounds.
Then it hit me. Life has many failures. Nothing is ever perfect, but there is something vital to every person’s life. It is free, but not without effort. It takes time, but cannot be traded or bartered. It grows and sustains, but cannot be held in the hand.
It is Love.
Love is the bottom line.
Even if I worked ten hours a day with Rachel and forced her to speak with the clarity of a master orator, but didn’t have love, then all would be meaningless. If I made enough sandwiches to pave a road from here to Pluto, but didn’t love my children, they would still feel hunger. If I cleaned with the fervor of a top royal housekeeper, but didn’t love my children, they would never feel fulfilled.
So, my dear friends, take heart as I do at the sounds of laughter and joy in your home even if you trip over four loads of laundry in the process. And don’t forget the bottom line…
If you want to read further on love and the inspiration for my post and the the above song, check out 1 Corinthians 13.