Tell Me All About It

“Mama, pwease! I want some milk.”
“I will get some milk, Bess.”
“Ank u, Mama. I dink milk!”

Bess has no language issues. No speech issues. Her skills are more advanced than Graham’s were at this age. She’s been two-years-old for one-whole-week and amazes me with her ability to communicate. She also signs.

I anticipated it would be extremely difficult to have a verbal child after having a nonverbal Adelaide for almost 4 years. But it’s not even bittersweet.

I can’t quite affix a label to how I feel, but communicating with Bess brings such joy. But joy’s not it. Joy I thought would be tainted with grief, as she passes her older sister. But the relief trumps all.

And I felt guilty last week for feeling so great about it. For getting a break from hearing,
“It’s ok, Mama.”
“We need to work on this, Mama.”
“It’s very common with these brain abnormalities to be nonverbal, Mama.”

I felt a twinge of guilt for the excitement and newness and breath-of-fresh-airness of hearing,
“Her language skills are very advanced, Mama!”
“Fabulous work, Mama!”
“We can tell you do so many things right at home, Mama!”

I reluctantly told Dave how beautiful it was to get a respite from the work. It couldn’t be normal to be so happy about their chasm growing, but I needed to share my abnormal with someone.

We’re transparent on this journey. He and I. The only two people on this entire planet who know how it feels to parent our three particular kids. Openness keeps us from loneliness…I said that in a dream once…not sure where it came from. But I was still a tad fearful that he would find my feelings strange. Instead, he hugged me with an, “I know. It feels great.”

“Bess, here’s your milk.”
“Ank u, Mama!”
“You’re welcome, Bess.”
“Addie want milk, too.”
“Yes, I’m getting a bottle for Adelaide.”
“Ank u, Mama! Addie dink milk, too.”
“Yes she does.”

Joy. I think. Still not sure. Possibly joyful alleviation.



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