Around two-ish, Peter did start walking or running, however talking was a different story. Peter had developed the fine art of high pitched grunting and pointing for his basic needs, and being the third child, we were not really concerned. He was surrounded by four other individuals who were always ready to jump to meet his grunts. When we decided he really needed to verbalize instead of grunt, we did the usual, "No, you will not get this until you say the word", but only higher and louder grunts expelled from his mouth. Sherry, a good friend, and also a Speech Therapist, how convenient is that, offered her services and we started teaching Peter sign language. Now, if you have ever tried to learn sign language, that is not an easy task! I have great respect for those individuals who can move their hands faster than a speeding bullet in an effort to translate the spoken word. Through Sherry, Peter and I learned some basic signs, and made very slow progress. At that time, I was hesitant to start Speech Therapy at a clinic , as I really thought Peter would talk, and our insurance did not cover it. After awhile, it was quite clear, that Peter had no intention of using any intelligible words, so off he went twice a week to Speech Therapy. When I look back on that time period, I remember being extremely frustrated with the health care system, and part of that frustration, I now believe, most likely related to a bit of denial and "this is not fair" feelings that were still floating around my head. However, the frustration was outweighed by the benefits. By going to Speech Therapy, we were introduced to a very special person named Ginny Brydges. The name, Ginny Byrdges to this day, conjures up feelings of greatness!
When Peter first met Ginny Brydges, after an initial evaluation, she told me there was a good chance Peter would never talk. Of course, Miss Denial here, just looked at her and thought...yeah right! After weeks, no months, maybe even years, I am thinking around the age of four, Peter started talking. In this high pitched tiny little voice, words began to form. Phone calls were made, tape recordings were sent to those far away, and Ginny Brydges was declared a saint. How she ever, got Peter to talk, I do not know. But she did. I still hold the memory of Peters' 6th birthday party at MacDonald's. In walks Ginny Brydges, and you would think God walked in. The excitement in Peter seeing her and shouting "Ginny Brydges Ginny Brydges" still brings tears to my eyes.
In his early years of talking, Peter always remained a man or child of few words. His sentences were only made up of one or two words. Until one day, as clear as a bell, he loudly proclaimed..."Mike, you really pith me off, you really pith me off". Normally, this sentence may conjure up at least a rasied eyebrow. But not in our house! We looked at each, big smiles crossed our faces, and we celebrated. Calls were again made and jubilation abound in our house.
So, once again, God placed special people in our life's, who helped us walk the path. Maybe not as fast as we wanted to walk, but always there to assist along the way. Peter continued on with Speech Therapy all through his grade school and high school years, either with Ginny or with a school Speech Therapist guiding the way. just said!!!