3rd time is the charm

Published 4:32 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

When I awakened this morning, something hovered near my consciousness. A thought floated right beyond my reach, but lingered there. Suddenly, a dawning filled my mind with delight as I remembered that something very special happened on this day 33 years ago. My favorite youngest son made his entrance into our lives, and as with all such events changed our world forever.

From that moment forward, our circle of four became a circle of five, and we were so much richer for it. Ryan was beautiful and perfect. Now our family was complete, and we set out to welcome this little guy into the world.

I remember when another mother told me the third child makes a huge difference. She laughingly shared the first time she tried to take three children shopping that she could hold onto two little hands, but the third child was all over the place! It did make a difference in the amount of work and planning, but another child meant so much more love to share.

We knew Ryan was the caboose, and his dad babied him unmercifully. I think the thought of not having a baby in the house was in the forefront of Glen R.’s mind when he refused to even think of taking Ryan’s binky away. I thought Ryan would learn to speak more clearly without a pacifier hanging from his lip, but his dad bought multiples. I had to give up the idea when I realized it was impossible to win on this one when Glen R. went to great lengths to tie bright red ribbon necklaces on each pacifier and place them strategically around the house in case Ryan lost one.

Now, I think about those days and smile, but at the time I wondered if we were doing the right thing. Especially when Ryan only grunted and pointed at objects when he wanted something. All my friends’ children of the same age were talking clearly, and I became concerned.

I knew there was a speech lab at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg so I made an appointment for Ryan to be evaluated. The day came for his evaluation, and I dressed him in knee socks, shorts, an adorable little shirt, and darling Buster Brown shoes. His baby blue eyes shone so brightly it was hard for me to believe anything was truly wrong, but I wanted to make sure he didn’t need speech therapy.

Soon, we got the report that our baby was indeed a little behind. The professionals told us not to worry, but we needed to bring him back in three months for another evaluation. This went on for quite a while with the same news each time. Meanwhile, many prayers went up for this little guy.

Finally, one day our baby boy began to speak clearly and in complete sentences. This child always wanted to do everything perfectly so I guess he waited until he could speak clearly and almost hold a conversation before he made much of an attempt!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.