I've been reminiscing about the point at which Bud started using words to talk with us, and not just near us. He often used one of his earliest "shared phrases" when we were having a good cuddle. He'd squeeze me tight and press his sweaty little face to mine and in a breathy sigh say, "So nice." They were the two sweetest words I'd ever heard.
I told Bud about it recently while we were hugging: "When you were a very little boy and we hugged each other, you used to say, 'so nice.'"
"So nice," Bud repeated. He burrowed his face into my neck and I melted into the joy of the recreated moment.
Tonight at bedtime we were having a cuddle and I asked, "Do you remember what you used to say to me when you were little?"
He wrapped his arms around me, laid his nose alongside mine and said "So nice."
"That's right," I said. "So nice." He let out a loud blast of fake laughter, then we laid there nose-to-nose in the dark, quiet room.
Bud finally broke the silence. "I talked, Mum?" he asked. "When I was little? I talked?"
"You talked," I said. "You were quiet a lot, but you said 'so nice.'"
We said our goodnights then and I left the room, but I haven't stopped thinking about his question. Does he remember not talking? Was he aware of that difference at the time? If he was, how did he feel about it? What does it mean to him now? What does he think about his current speech patterns? Is he aware that they are different from ours? And if so, how does that feel to him?
Bud's language is a gift. It's wonderful to hear his voice. But sometimes I think it would be so nice to be able to read his mind.