My middle child, Mister, is the quiet type. Literally, he doesn't speak much. His speech therapist and I agree it's a a mechanical issue. It's as if his mouth doesn't know how to make the correct shapes for sound production. He has had a speech therapist for one month and thus far it's going well. He follows her directions, he responds to her cues, and he is willing to transfer the tools he learns with her to his life with me.
Yesterday during his lesson I was listening from the kitchen and I heard him put two words together for the first time. He said, "I want". As he speaks normally in single words and single sounds, it was awesome for me, after only four visits with the therapist, to hear his little voice. But I wondered why is "I want" where we start?
Oddly it would be helpful for him to be able to indicate to me what he wants: to eat, to do, to see, to show me, to play, to read, to watch. As a kid in a stay at home mother's house, most of his time can be filled with what he wants. There are a few things we have to do. We have to arrive in a timely fashion to The Y and to drop and pick up his sister from school. Thankfully, he is a go with the flow kind of kid. I think though, as he learns how to communicate what he wants he will be more at liberty to tell me what he does NOT want, as well. Funny how those two little words weigh so much.
"I want" sets the stage for inescapable elements of being human. What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you want to go to college? Who do you want to marry? How many children do you want to have? Where do you want to vacation? How do you want to spend your life? Where do you want to retire? What do you WANT TO DO? To drive? To own? From the smallest parts of our life to our largest desires - "I want" is where it all starts.
To hear my little boy's voice utter the simplest of words with the most amazing possibilities stopped me in my kitchen, mid dish washing, and it gave me pause. How has my own sequence of "I want" panned out? How will his?