Today’s daily prompt: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?
Well, since both my car and under my couch cushions have recently been vacuumed (what are the chances of THAT happening?), I had to go to my purse. The coin I pulled out was a nickel from 1995.
The year 1995 was memorable because it was my first year as a full-time stay-at-home mom. I gave up my job as a veterinarian to be home with my kids. My oldest son was five years old and starting first grade that year and my youngest son was two years old. I was feeling quite happy, excited, and blessed to be able to stay at home with my children. I had felt I missed so much of my oldest son’s kindergarten year. I worked nights so I missed important things like going to his kindergarten orientation meeting the first week and other special programs. I felt his kindergarten teacher held that against me too because I remember asking her a question one day (I can’t even remember now what the question was) and I’ll never forget how belittled I felt when her comment to me was: “Well, Mrs. _____, if you HAD COME to the orientation the other night, you would know the answer to that question!” I had explained to her prior to the orientation that I was the sole night shift veterinarian who worked at a clinic who stayed open until 10 pm and wouldn’t be able to miss work to come (which I deeply regretted). As a working mother, I felt guilty. I couldn’t seem to find a happy balance between work and being a mother.
My youngest son had significant speech/language delays which quite frankly had me worried. We were very busy that whole year having medical evaluations done on him. We had taken him for hearing tests and speech language evaluations. Our pediatrician recommended a pediatric neurologist who did more testing. We were referred to the Child Developement Center at Vanderbilt for all day testing by a team of doctors and specialists where autism was ruled out. They referred us to the Genetics Center for genetic testing, mainly to rule out Fragile X syndrome, a common cause of speech and language delays in children. We were told he had several of the physical characteristics that go along with that condition. Thankfully, all his chromosomal studies were normal. Yep, 1995 was a year that my husband and I did quite a bit of worrying. Our son’s final diagnosis was developmental verbal apraxia (cause unknown) and he required intensive speech and language therapy. We found a wonderful speech language pathologist through Vanderbilt where he started individual therapy. We also enrolled him in a pre-school at the elementary school where he received both individual and group speech language therapy. That is what I remember most about 1995– all the medical appointments and evaluations that we had done on our son. The good news? He thrived and began talking at age 4.
I also remember 1995 being a sad year as my father passed away in May of 1994. I was still grieving deeply for him.