But the clinical definition does not come close to what apraxia is in our life. Because this is what it really is.
It is doing a happy dance because my two-year-old learned to say "no".
It is hours of therapy every week that looks like play but feels like work.
It is breaking "banana" down into two words he can say, "ball" and "nana", so he can ask for his favorite snack.
It is seeing evidence of his intelligence everyday, but not really knowing what is going on in his head.
It is him using sign language to ask me to "help" him hold his lips so that he can say the "eee" sound.
It is reading status updates from friends about the cute things their kids say - kids the same age as my son, or even younger, but they are talking so much more than him.
It is hearing him hum "Jesus Loves Me", all the way through, without words and praying that it means something to him.
It is getting excited because he used gestures and sign language and speech combined to tattle on his sister.
It is me holding his mouth in the right location to blow a bubble.
It is listening to him pray when the only words I can recognize are the names of our family members, and knowing that he is saying "thank you" in the best way he can.
It is seeing him sleep, peacefully, and wanting so much to know what he is really thinking and feeling.
It is a lot, but it is not everything.
It is not as bad as it could be (of course), but still not something we're all that crazy about.
It is a chisel, but not a sledgehammer, for our hearts.
It is my son's burden to bear, but not one to break him.
It is an obstacle and a challenge, but it is so much less than the totality of who my son is - the boy who adores his sister, loves balls and trucks, will try almost any kind of food, will climb like a monkey to get on his daddy's shoulders, has learned how to button and unbutton his pajamas, recognizes the letter "C" everywhere, and insists on praying first at meals.
It is a tool that God can and will use, and is using, to shape our family, our son, and my heart, and for that I am thankful.
How is God using your child's needs to shape your heart? Share in the comments!