Last night, from nowhere, tears appeared. They overran her eyes and streamed in rivulets down her cheeks. I sat beside her, upset to see her so distressed. Without thinking I, in mother mode said, “tell Mummy what’s wrong”. As the words left my lips I ached to retract them. How could I ask a child with a bare handful of words in her vocabulary to tell me what pained her.
“I’m sorry”, I said and held her close, my arm around her shoulders, my head leaning against hers.
Still on she sobbed and as I soothed her with words and kisses, wiped away her tears I felt like joining in her weeping. Her sister and I looked at each other, sharing the pain of not being able to reach the spot that ached, to know the cause.
How can a mother help her child when the root of the problem is hidden?
Little by little the weeping ceased, the tears dried, smiles returned. The moment was passed but its mark remains highlighting the impotence lurking in our relationship.
Today all is back to normal, if anything the smiles are a little more ready. She sits beside her dog and begins to sing. It isn’t clear, the words are only partially formed, the song known by its tune. On the sofa, by her pup, she looks at me and begins, “How much is that doggy in the window? ::woof:: ::woof::” The woofs are the clearest part.
I smile and sing with her, then change it so that she is in the window, the girl with the long red hair. She laughs, all songs are better when she is in them. She is not without a sense of humour, even a sense of the wicked and I relish it.
And for the countless time since first we knew her speech was not forming, my heart breaks that she is held hostage to communication, limited in all its forms, verbal, sign, picture, to only a handful of words.
Somedays all you can say is, it’s just not fair.
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As always, hoping your day a moment of calm and joy.
© 2013, Penbleth / L. McG.-E.. All rights reserved.