Ahhh, Lucas. What can I say really? To know him is to love him.
Little Lucas, tiny and vibrant, skilled yet different. Always stood out. Grabs your heart, twists it and never leaves it the same. Yep, that's my Lukie.
It wasn't very long after his birth that I realized Lucas was different. He whimpered, cried and craved me. He awoke every hour to nurse and couldn't be put down. But it wasn't until after his first birthday that I realized Lucas was really different. Things just weren't right. I'd only had one other kid, but I knew in my mamma heart that my quiet, backward toddler wasn't where a 2-year-old needed to be.
At his 2-year well child exam, I said as much to Dr. Sorrells, who agreed and pointed me in the direction of First Steps for speech therapy, because my tot was talking. That was the beginning of a long, often discouraging journey that has created moments proud enough to bring mamma to tears.
I cry a lot when I think of the steps Lukie takes in life. I cry for the little boy who works so very hard to take those big steps. I'm crying now. He just does that, ya know?
Lucas was diagnosed with both developmental and speech delays. He had a developmental and speech therapist for more than a year, then he went into the special needs preschool, where he worked at becoming a big boy for two years. Then, he went into kindergarten. Here, he spent another two years developing. Then, we took the very big step of first grade.
Two months into first grade at the parent-teacher conferences, his teacher explained that we would have to look at holding Lucas back again. He just was not progressing, couldn't read and was really struggling to keep up with first grade work. He was just too far behind. She would work with him, she said, and we agreed to do our part. I cried for my little guy. Another big step ahead ...
We got Lucas' report card today. He got an A+ in spelling, B+ in math and a C+ in reading. In previous report cards, Lucas wasn't meeting "grade level expectations." Now, I'm thrilled to report that he's exceeding them. Yes, exceeding, not just meeting -- all in just five months.
When I told my little man how very proud I was of him, he said, "I did good, didn't I?"
Oh, Lucas, you did good buddy. You hit it out of the park.
Lucas has to take very big steps in life. It doesn't come easy, but he works as hard as any little person ever has. He accepts every challenge head-on. It may take time, but he wins the race.
I couldn't be prouder of my tiny, yet tenacious first-grader whose well on his way to second grade.