When I first became a mother very nearly twelve years ago, I had all the normal concerns of a new parent…
Will I ever sleep again?
Will I know how to react if my son is unwell?
Will my built in feeding devices ever stop leaking?
But, ‘Will my child ever talk?’ was not one of them.
My first son did talk, from a very young age he had a severe case of verbal diarrhoea (but it was pretty adorable).
When I fell pregnant again it never crossed my mind that it would be different this time.
Then during my twenty week scan abnormalities were found on our baby’s brain. We were told that our unborn child would have learning difficulties of some degree, probably Down’s Syndrome, but without invasive testing they couldn't tell us anymore.
So instead we started on our unknown path.
Now even at this point it never occurred to me that I wouldn't get to hear my child's voice or that I would learn a whole new way of talking.
At eight months old my son called from his cot "mama".
We all know the feeling when we get that first word. It's beautiful.
But I didn't know then that it would be years before I heard that again.
My son is nine years old now and recently we have been blessed with the words "mama " "dada " and even the word "no" (oh I love that one).
At times I've felt overwhelmed by the thought that my son may not get to make a phone call, sing along to a song, shout at me or call our family dog. And how cruel it seems to have that taken away from him.
I look at him and he smiles, moving his hands into the few words that he's learnt.
His hands making signs, him guiding me to the thing that he wants.
He lifts his hand and moves my face to look at him, into his beautiful eyes.
I can read his eyes now, I can see his desires and needs, I witness his joy and feel his pain.
Sometimes I lose my beautiful son behind those big blue eyes but my eyes search his, eagerly waiting for his return.
It's not about what we don't have!
It's about the magic and the strength of a little boy who found us a new way.
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