May I Have a Few Words With You, Please?
How amazed would you be and how much applause would you give to a seven-month-old who could speak more than five hundred words accurately and use those words in the correct context? And what joy would you have if that same seven-month old could hold short conversations with you and tell you on most days what they wanted for dinner or where they wanted to go like, on an “adventure downtown.” If that seven-month-old could tell you that they hurt their knee and could ask for a band-aid that would be nearly phenomenal. Imagine all of that at only seven months old. For us, that is exactly how it is.
Seven months ago there were words in Grant’s spoken language, but they formed a random vocabulary list of sorts, in no particular order. He could identify shapes, colors, numbers, animals, objects, places and people but those words individually stood alone; there were very few complete sentences. Recently though, Grant’s single words have begun mingling with each other. Now, when you hear one, there is usually another right behind it.
Popcorn, he loves it. I’ve heard him say it countless times. Last week, however, his request was quite different. “I want more popcorn, please.” Wow, all I could do in that moment was hug him for as long as he would allow. Those single words finally found each other at the right time, and everything about their relationship was just right.
I don’t know the intricate maze that his words must travel before they find their way out; how many exits in his mind look real, only to find it’s another wall.
Sometimes I watch his eyes travel back and forth and up as he searches for what to say. But on this day he said much more than he had before, and I gave him much more popcorn just to see his dimpled-smile.
Everyday Grant asks to know more. “What is that?” “What is name?” He’s asked for the names of vehicle parts, and politicians, and musical instruments, without prompting. On yesterday he even asked his younger sister, “Why are you crying?” Then, I cried.
People ask if we feel that he is making up for lost time. No. Time was never lost. Time was always where it should have been, waiting on us to learn this valuable truth: There is an unmistakable beauty in a journey that has Hope travelling with it. Hope gives every reason not to give up even on the worst and most unpredictable of days…