I remember when my son was younger, and how many of his therapists and teachers would tell me that he would understand more as he would get older and mature. I just never believed it. I never let myself hope for this. Hope is such a delicate topic. You hope that he will be able to be independent. Yet the fear that he won’t be independent balances out the hope. Hope also opens up old wounds. My daughter used to say: “This is the year. This is the year that he will talk. I know it. I have hope.”
The year would come. The year would go. And she’d say the same thing to me the following year. She did this for some time and now that he is going to turn nine in a few months, I realized she hasn’t said that in the last couple of years. Have we just accepted this? Have we simply accepted reality of the fact that he won’t speak.? Was it that each year that passed and he didn’t talk we realized that we were just fooling ourselves? Maybe the crushing realization was too much?
But his therapists and teachers were correct about his maturity. He is learning to control his anger. He still gets upset but he is learning to breathe it thru. His cognitive skills are also increasing. I see it in the little things. His daily chore is to feed the dogs. As soon as I tell him that Bella and Harley are hungry, he will go get the food and pour it to their bowls. When I tell him to get his shoes or that we are going for a ride he knows. He also has to help with the laundry and he willingly does. I tell him it is time to go to bed and he will run upstairs. He will lay down on my bed but after he is asleep I take him to his bed. But these are things he would not do a year ago. Or maybe it is that I just didn’t give him the credit so I wouldn’t ask.
He uses his PECs so much more now too. In the mornings, he will wake me up and bring me the doggies PEC to tell me that the doggies need to go out. They need to pee and I need to open the door. As I come downstairs the dogs are anxiously waiting by the door. And he knows this is what they need. Is he doing more because he is maturing? Is he doing more because he is more aware of what is going on? Is this a good indicator that he will speak soon?
The last question I try to avoid. I don’t think speaking will be part of his future. Maybe I am simply being protective of my heart and not let it hope. This is a hard one.
But one thing is for sure. This kiddo has grown so much these six months we have been in quarantine. We have all grown so much as a family. I know that many families out there have had terrible life altering experiences due to this pandemic. But I know that we are blessed. This pandemic has increased our family time. Has stopped us from always being on the run. And has helped us know each other more.
Lately, my son will be on his swing, or laying on the grass with his dogs, or coloring in his room. Then suddenly, he runs to me, puts both of his hands on my face and simply stares at me. My husband says that he is thinking, “Oh, I didn’t tell her I love her today.” So he gets up and stares. After his stares, I always get a kiss.
This kiddo doesn’t speak. But my does he communicate. And I am beyond grateful for this. Hope is something I don’t let my heart feel, I simply can’t handle it.