This past week, Grace was evaluated in speech therapy. She took a standardized speech assessment test and she failed it. And we rejoiced! High fives all around from her speech therapist and myself! Up high, down low and even some that were too slow but managed to hit the hand anyway! Because up until this point, Grace didn’t have enough sounds, words or phrases to even start there. But vowels are beautiful, consonants are increasing and she has phrases and words that are on age level. So, she was able to take a real speech assessment that had not been a possibility until now! And she failed. And that was a good thing.
I am happy for her to fail because in reality, it is a huge success. Similar to when she fails at things that she knows she could succeed in. She is in a season of what seems to be “on purpose” failure, so that she can turn right around and apologize, receive forgiveness and support and move on. Granted, there are consequences to throwing a toy in a fit of rage that involve some time with her mom away from the conflict but consequences can still be safe. That it is a safe place to “test the waters” and fail at something she knows how to do, simply to be brought back into acceptance and the knowledge that no matter what, we love you and you don’t have to do this, but if you do, you are always “in.” In our family, in our hearts, in our love and we love you no matter what.
So testing the limits of love, even if it looks messy or much like a failure is actually a success. That she is “on the charts” so to speak in knowing that there is something to lose and something to gain. Much like that speech assessment – it is progress just to fail. Grace’s speech therapist, in the midst of the rejoicing at a failure, commented that she is obviously thriving and gaining ground and very smart and very loved. Grace then articulated clear as day the word LEMONADE. L’s and M’s beautifully clear and a hard three-syllable word out on the table for everyone to hear. Because that girl knows what she wants. LEMONADE. GATORADE. I’M SORRY MOMMY. “It’s ok, you don’t have to throw a fit or scream. I always love you.” OK MOMMY. (head on shoulder, arms wrapped around my neck and that sigh of relief and safety). Failure that is really success.
Sort of like when Grace adeptly called her brother a “poopy head.” So crystal clear in articulation, I heard it over the music in the van. A failure in appropriate polite conversation among family but a huge success in speech improvement. Good articulation in the plosive “p” sound, nice ending consonants and used very skillfully in a sentence. The context was right on.
Happy to fail….