At the time that I write this, you are 9.5 years old. You are my firstborn, one of the greatest treasures of my life. As your mommy, I know you possibly more than anyone else, yet there is so much more of you that I long to know. Last year, my heart burst with joy when you finally uttered the longed for word, "Mama." I had waited so long, and it was music to my ears. To this day you will only use this word when you are upset and in need of comfort, which I delight to give to you. I am still hopeful for the day you will say it with joy, just as I hope for the day that your language will be unlocked, and you will be able to give voice to the things on your mind and heart.
(photo by Simple Reflections photography)
If you could speak, what would you have to say? You find little ways to communicate--sounds, gestures, expressions, some simple sign language, but how much do you wish to share that you are unable to? At times I can sense your frustration as I desperately try to interpret your wants and needs. Sometimes I am able to understand; other times I am at a loss. Two days ago we celebrated Thanksgiving, but it was a difficult day. As the morning wore on, you were showing increasing signs that you were not feeling well, but you couldn't tell us what was uncomfortable. You were acting lethargic, and then you refused to eat your lunch. We laid you down for a nap, only to check on you awhile later to find you covered in vomit. You couldn't tell us when it happened, and we could only hope that not much time had passed. Your daddy and I cleaned you up and tried to comfort you the best we could. You had little to no appetite the rest of that day or the next. At times you would break down crying, but you couldn't tell us what you were feeling. As your mother, I hurt when I see you hurting, and I wish I could make everything better again. I was relieved this morning when you eagerly ate your breakfast and seemed interested in playing again!
Until then, I will choose to celebrate the ways you do communicate. On many a morning I will be sitting on the couch sipping my coffee, and you will approach me with a big grin on your face as you eagerly show me one of your beloved See-n-Say toys. These simple toys have mesmerized you since
(photo by Simple Reflections Photography
All my love,
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to know more about Benjamin's remarkable story, please check out my book Reflections from Holland: A New Mother's Journey with Down Syndrome