The irony in being an English teacher, a lover of words, conversation, and the power of linguistics, is lost in the fact that my child is nonverbal.
We have all joked about hearing our name on repeat. “Mom, mom, mama, mum, dad, da, pa…” The negotiating. The whining. The constant questions. Make them stop!
Guilty as charged. I have found myself being irritated by the constant chatter.
How DARE I? How can I feel so annoyed by one of the cherished things I beg and pray for my daughter to acquire.
The hypocrisy is real.
How blessed I am that Noah can express himself in so many various ways: through words, sounds, and even through the movements in his body.
…I think about my girl. The connection we have. It is one that is so very hard to explain- there aren’t words in my vocabulary that can accurately or appropriately articulate this understood relationship. The only words spoken come from my tongue. The songs that I sing come from my mouth.
But Hailey looks into my eyes, deep within, and even though she is smiling with her beautiful lips, her eyes are shining brightly with something that spans beyond spoken language.
Her body doesn’t move the same way as her peers ; her words don’t fall off her tongue in the same manner.
But she has something so undeniably special behind those eyes. The vibrant blue shade of pure love is blinding.
I am a teacher, but I have been in a new role this year. I am a student, learning so many valuable nuggets of wisdom.
Not everything has to fit in a perfect box.
Hailey, for example, does not have words YET, to use. But watch her sign “all done” to her therapist before they have even started their session. Girlfriend may not talk, but her sass and intellect shine through so brilliantly.
She may not have the words to demand that we turn on Cocomelon for the millionth time, but she knows how to use voice inflections that we understand and have learned to get what she needs.
She may not sit up perfectly or consistently, crawl, or walk, but she gets where she needs by using what she has or what she can.
Today, I was moved by what a friend, someone who is full of wisdom and spirituality, told me. She said, “I saw Hailey on my drive home. Hailey’s soul came to visit me and told me that she was glad that she chose you as her mom and that you are her whole heart. She is going to have the same tone of voice as you. Never forget you gave birth to a Queen who literally chose you to fulfill a purpose on this earth.”
I didn’t fully understand this conversation at that exact moment, but when Hailey came home, something shifted. We exchanged a knowing look. It was as if she was telling me, “Yeah mom, that is all true. I chose you to be my mom.”
What I can take away from my reflections is that while Hailey doesn’t have words, she has a voice.-a voice that if you take the time to listen to, you will hear what Hailey has to say.