To Oliver,

You turn three on Monday.  Three already!  Not my tiny baby anymore.

My Sunshine Through The Rain

I always write a post about you and your brother on your birthdays, to celebrate you, and the year you have had.  To remind me of all those precious times, and so I never forget what you were like.  But this post is going to be really hard to write, because I can’t write about you turning three without talking about how difficult this year has been.

We first raised our concerns at your two year check.  You weren’t yet talking.  And although you should never compare your kids, your older brother and renowned chatterbox, was talking at your age.  The Health Visitor referred you for an appointment with a speech therapist.

Life continued as normal whilst we waited for that appointment.  We worried, but put it to the back of our minds.  Months later when we were finally seen everything changed. Within a minute of being in that hot stuffy room, big scary words were being mentioned and very suddenly your future looked uncertain.  Givens were not givens anymore.  And whilst there was nothing life threatening, and people have been through far worse, my world was none the less rocked.

We were referred to a child development consultant and again began a long agonising wait for the appointment.  In the months that followed I cried a lot.  I’m not very good at uncertainty, it sends me a little bit crazy.  I am very good at obsessing and over analysing things.  I watched everything you did, went over every detail, read article after article, questioned everything, tied myself in knots, and cried many more tears.

For a while there life got really hard.  Your tantrums were extreme.  Born from the frustration of not being able to communicate your needs, but they brought me to my knees, literally. The times I have sat on the kitchen floor and sobbed whilst you raged.  It brings me to tears just thinking about it.

I put our life on hold.  I shouldn’t have, but I did.  I avoided going places because of the tantrums.  I avoided going places because the bigger you got, the more I had to explain your delays people, and there were times when I just didn’t want to talk about it.

I found it so incredibly hard to see your peers all chatting away. It made me sad for you. Scared for you. Friends facebook statuses about their little ones would make me cry, because I couldn’t share the same about you.

I spent so much time worrying.

The thought of you starting playgroup made me feel sick.  Would you cope?  What if you couldn’t go to a normal school?  What if you couldn’t get a job.  What if you never left home? what if?  What if?  What if?

Then there was your Daddy.  My rock.  The one who hugged me every time I cried.  The one who kept telling me it would be okay until I believed it.  The one who told me to slow down and to take one day at a time.  And more importantly the one who told me to enjoy you.

And I am so so sorry my baby boy, because for a little while I didn’t see you.  I just saw all the problems.  I was too worried and scared to appreciate the wonderful little boy that you are.  And it was one of my sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing moments when you came over to me, patted my shoulder and curled yourself into my lap, that through my tears I saw you again.  My sunshine in the rain.

My Sunshine through the rain boy

My gorgeous boy with never ending energy.  The one who introduced me to interval training which has now become the school run as we race down the road, then stop for a few seconds before you shout “Go!” and we are running again.  Man you are fast!

My little boy who loves being outdoors and big open spaces to run free.  My little boy who loves jumping in muddy puddles.  My little boy who rocks a hat.

My little boy who loves “Po Pat” and his black and white cat.  My little boy who loves dressing up.  My little boy who loves sausages and bacon, but turns his nose up at all fruit. My little boy who would do anything for cake.  So much so that it was one of your first words!

My little boy who loves kisses and cuddles and tickles and bundles.  My little boy whose favourite game is “night night” so I lay on the floor and you climb all over me.  My little boy who hero worships his big brother and laughs like crazy at the things he does.

My little boy whose smile lights up a room.

And I see your progress.  Your building vocabulary, putting words together.  Your tantrums getting so less frequent now you can communicate more.  And how we celebrate your successes and cheer you on.  There’s something incredibly magical when your child calls you mama or Mummy or Mum for the first time.  But with you?  It fills my heart every time you say “Mum”.

We saw the consultant at the end of last year.  A really lovely man who was so passionate about his job.  He spent so much time with you, and was the first person in our journey so far to ask us what we thought.  He was very confident that there were no underlying causes, that you just had a speech delay and that you would get there in your own time, you would catch up.

The relief.

We still have a long way to go.  The speech therapists we have seen since are still using big scary words and labels, and it feels like we are in a bit of a battle to understand.  They don’t agree with the consultant.  We don’t always agree with what they say.  We are fighting for you.  Fighting to get you help and support, and fighting to make sure it’s the right help and support.  It’s a bit of a roller coaster.  Through it all, I maintain that whilst they are the experts in their fields, we are the experts in you.

I’m learning to live with the uncertainty, to focus on the now.  And most importantly to enjoy you.

And you?  You continue to thrive.  You continue to learn and grow.  You started playgroup and you love it.  I find it hard not knowing what you got up to in those three hours without me.  However, the smile on your face when you run out the door to see me is priceless.

You are stubborn and funny and unique and wonderful.

You make me smile every day.

You’ve taught me to see the sunshine through the rain.

Happy third birthday my darling boy with the crazy hair.  I love you.



If you are going through difficult times and need to talk, BetterHelp can help.

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Claire Kirby

34 Comments on Seeing The Sunshine Through The Rain

  1. Such a sweet post. My youngest boy has a speech delay as well, so I get it. He just turned 3 a month ago. He’s quite the chatterbox now…we just can’t understand a word of it. But at least he’s trying finally. Months of speech therapy, and at least he’s trying. I love him so much, and he has so much love to give…but it’s hard to cling to the good when you’re in the midst of a tantrum. Good luck to you all!

  2. Hi Claire. Thanks for sharing this lovely, and very difficult year with us all. It looks as though you have all grown with your little, beautiful man. I am so happy you can hear him call you “mum” and enjoy all the little celebrations along the path. When people share these great posts, like you have just done, they make me become a better mom. <3 #BlogCrush I hope his birthday was happy and this year ahead is a wonderful and positive journey for you all.

  3. This post is so honest and heartfelt. I’m sorry to hear that this year has been so tough on all of you. We’ve also been in that horrible situation where different experts can’t agree, and you so desperately want the right help for you child. It’s awful when we want answers now, but there are none; when you have to wait months for an appointment and then it arrives and feels like it was a waste of time and nothing has been resolved. I hope that your little boy (and you) get the help you need very soon and that this year is a better one for you all. Also, happy birthday, little man! #blogcrush

  4. This is eloquently put, very raw, very true and immensely relatable to anyone going through a similar situation. The uncertainty, the hell that is comparison with children the same age, the sinking feeling at the bottom of your stomach, the loneliness and the carousel of other emotions that accompany this limbo situation… Oliver is beautiful and at the end of the day, one way or another, will always, always shine. #blogcrush

  5. It’s natural to worry as a parent but I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult year. It can’t have been easy for any of you. I’m sure your little boy will get there in the end #stayclassymama

  6. So sorry to read it’s been a tough year for you all. You are right though, you are the only experts in him and He is a very lucky boy to have you fighting to get all the support ( the right kind of support) he needs. It’s hard to see sunshine through the rain like you say particularly when you are going through so much uncertainty but I’m glad you have and as hard as it is it’s exactly what he needs. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama and stay strong x

  7. What a perfect little boy. He’s lucky to have you for a mom and you’re lucky to have him as a son. This post was absolutely beautiful. <3

  8. This brought tears to my eyes, it’s such a moving piece of writing. Your husband is absolutely right, of course. I’m glad things are getting better, and it’s so important to celebrate the successes. #PostsFromTheHeart

  9. you’re little boy is just adorable, I hope he has a lovely birthday. I’m sure things will improve with his speech, my little man was much the same, he barely said a word and actually didn’t start walking until he was 2 years old. then he just suddenly blossomed at now at 6 you wouldn’t know he had such a ‘slow’ start. All kids bloom in their own time and their own way. x

  10. This is lovely, the worry is awful but the ‘Mum’ makes it melt away I’m sure. Happy Birthday to your big little boy #postsfromtheheart

  11. I think sometimes the ‘professionals ‘ bounce about big scary words to make themselves seem important. I was advised harry had speech problems. This is the child who started talking at 12 months and has never stopped for air. I was told he could have Cystic Fibrosis ( he doesn’t !! ) sadly the 1 diagnoses they wouldn’t agree on was for asthma , until he had a major asthma attack 6 months ago and then they turned to me as if i hadnt been asking for treatment for it since he was 18mth old ! #postsfromtheheart

  12. This is such a beautiful post Claire. I had no idea that you were going through this but I’m so glad things are starting to look more positive now. Happy birthday oliver 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  13. This was just beautiful and very very moving – i’m in tears typing this. Well done you for being so strong and to your husband for supporting you through it. You have a handsome son with a beautiful smile 🙂 #postsfromtheheart

  14. This just reminds me so much of what we have been through with our little boy. At two I just knew things weren’t right as he would just make sounds. The number of times people said ‘he’s just a boy, it’ll come’ But it didn’t and we went through the scary times and the endless speech therapy and awful paedetrician appointments. But now he is at school and he has a lot of support but he is coming on leaps and bounds and I never would have imagined it, But that whole time I worried myself sick, and at times, I didn’t appreciate him, who he was, what a joy. Just like the joy you obviously have. #postsfromtheheart

  15. What a beautiful heartfelt posts lovely. I love posts like these and amid all the crazy and humour it’s so lovely to honour them in this way every birthday. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  16. What a moving post.I’ve cried all over my keybpoard.Great news that he is doing so well.Fingers and toes crossed for you all.You’re doing a fabulous job x#StayClassyMama

  17. I felt the relief for you, reading that. We have delayed speech at home too, and the fear of the unknown and the thought of an uphill struggle that I might not be strong enough to deal with effectively has been a worry. But we got there eventually and now, aged 3 and a few months his annunciation is improving no end and we will start speech therapy soon. When he is tired at the end of the day and he stumbles over his words, I am reminded what a challenge it is for him each and every day, and like you I’ve learned so much. Love that your husband is so supportive! And all the things that make you smile – those moments are so special aren’t they x

  18. It can be so hard when we worry about our children, isn’t it? We only want what’s best for them and it can be so scary when we don’t know how to help them. I’m so happy that he’s making progress and things are looking better for both of you. Happy birthday Oliver! #stayclassymama

  19. Oh Claire this brought tears. What a beautiful post. Your sunshine through the rain focus is just simply stunning. You are the most amazing mummy – this shines through and your boy sounds like the most gorgeous boy – I’m so glad you realise that. It can be so tough to focus on the good sometimes, but your husband was so right to make this the focus for you – it must make all the difference for you both. Big hugs xx #BloggerClubUK

  20. A beautiful post, it sounds like a very stressful experience for you family. Your little boy looks just gorgeous. lots of the sentiments you expressed resonated with me, like feeling you have to fight for them, and cutting yourself off from the world as it all seems too much. Hoping things continue to get better and better #bloggersclubuk

  21. What a wonderful, heartfelt post. My little girl will be 3 on Thursday and I’m in the middle of writing a post about it…you’ve inspired me! It must be so scary to find out that your child has a problem, I’m the same as you…I don’t deal well with uncertainty, I want all the answers now! It sounds like he’s coming on in leaps & bounds though, and I hope he enjoyed his birthday #TwinklyTuesday

  22. I cried. I wondered what the update was. Keep going, they are all so different. If there is a cause for the delay it will present itself soon enough. If there is no cause then before you know it he’ll have caught up and be overtaking his peers at “his stuff” and finding his level in the things that might be eluding him now. You are a fabulous mummy. You do your best every day, leave the guilt on the wave behind. Xxxxx

  23. Beautiful post which made me cry a little bit. Well done for getting through the last year and fighting for your lovely boy. With so much love behind him he is going to be just fine. x

  24. Oh Claire, what a beautiful, touching post. I had no idea you went through such a tough time the past year. I’m glad there is progress and that you are seeing the “sunshine in the rain”. Hang in there, you’re doing a great job. Hugs. And happy 3rd birthday Oliver!

  25. Ah Claire this just made me cry it’s so beautifully written. Firstly, a big happy birthday Oliver! He sounds so wonderfull and speech – or speech delay – is just a small part of a person. Nevertheless I can fully sympathise with the worry and uncertainty – we love our children so much that to see them encounter difficulties is heart breaking. I’m so pleased oliver is doing so well and you have a great consultant. I’m sure in a few years it will be hard to remember there being any differences between him and his peers. Here’s to a great fourth year with much fun, love and laughter xx

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