Hello,

About three months ago Sydney and I decided to collaborate and write a poem for Mother's Day.  Our inspiration came from Maranda and a bedtime story our son Trey told me awhile ago.  

First, a bit of background about the inspiration...

When Trey was younger, he wasn't hitting his speech milestones the way he should.  Maranda's motherly instincts told her something wasn't right so she researched and advocated and got Trey into speech therapy as soon as she could.  I'm glad she did because I had my head in the sand, I didn't wanna know there might be something wrong with our son.  I kept telling myself there's nothing wrong with him, he'll talk when he's ready.  It all made me very upset.  But not Maranda; she didn't have any pity parties the way I did. She got Trey into speech therapy as soon as possible because her goal was to get his language all caught up before he starts kindergarten.   

Her instincts were right because Trey was officially diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech at age three. 

Maranda encouraged Trey and the rest of us to learn sign language so he could communicate his basic needs to us.  She worked with him daily, took him to weekly speech therapy sessions and even got him qualified for occupational therapy because when a child is behind in speech, it can also effect other things like balance and motor skills.  Maranda took him to all of those therapy sessions too.  I know, right? What an awesome Mom!

She even found the time to write a super long blog post for other families who might be experiencing the same speech issues.  And she crafted this touching poem for Trey on Apraxia Awareness day.  

Wanna know something else about Trey?  He LOVES to wear dresses and pretty colors.  

Trey used to wear dresses all the time and he said he wanted his hair really long like his big sister Sydney's.  There were even a couple times when he outwardly said he wanted to be a girl.  As parents, we let him express himself however he wanted...fully knowing he would probably be made fun of by some.  We decided our job was to encourage both of our kids to just be themselves.  And of course Maranda was already busy in the background researching gender identity issues in toddlers just in case...

Trey doesn't wear dresses as much as he used to, or I guess I should say, society doesn't let him wear them as much as he'd like to.  He's starting to pick up on social cues and norms and doesn't like to wear them to preschool because he might get made fun of, but when he knows he's going to a place he can just be himself, he'll wear a dress.  (Thanks, Rosie!)

One day when Trey wore a dress, some kids made fun of him.  I know it happened because when we were laying in bed together later that same night he told me all about it.  I asked him what he did when they made fun of him?  He said he gave the kids who made fun of him a big red X and the ones who didn't got a green check mark.  

That blew me away.  I gave him a big hug and told him he's awesome! 

From that night on, sometimes I'll give Trey the check mark sign with my fingers and he'll give it back to me.  It's become our thing.  I guess I'm just trying to keep on encouraging him to always Bee the Check Mark and look for those awesome qualities in others.  

Which leads me to this poem.  Now that you know the background, it might make a bit more sense.  

I'm SO glad we got it done because Trey has graduated from speech therapy and he just finished his occupational therapy last week!  It turns out Maranda reached her goal of getting him ready for kindergarten.  Nice job, Mama!

And the kids and I reached our goal too, we drew the final picture only hours before Mother's Day.  Phew!

So this poem is dedicated to Maranda because she's such an awesome Mom to Sydney and Trey.  We love you!  Thanks for all you've done for our son and for this entire family.  

And thanks to Sydney for drawing the pictures, and to Trey for being such a beautiful person inside and out.  Daddy loves you!

Happy Mother's Day!