Thursday, August 10, 2006

So nice

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.


Joel Smith said...

I can't speak for him, and won't try.

What I will say is that I remember some of the time, just a little bit, when I didn't expressively communicate. I saw no point, I had no interest in it, and I remember being perfectly content with that. I think for me I didn't see the *point* of why someone would express themselves with, say, language. I didn't see what it would get me. I do remember understanding other people just fine at that age though, sometimes being very interested in the conversations around me. I just saw no point in participating.

Kristina Chew said...

I would hazard that Bud, like Charlie, does remember that time----in Charlie's case, he does not have words to talk about it, because he did not have the words then.

I remember that my husband once had a dream about a Charlie before he could talk and in the dream, "Charlie was talking," as Jim told me.

"What did he say?" I asked.

Jim could not say: "But he was talking."

gretchen said...

Or, I wonder if Bud is thinking about other "little" people he has met- smaller babies, maybe- who don't talk?

I don't like to think that Henry knows he is different. But that is me putting my head in the sand- if he is aware of the world around him, then he must be aware that he is different from the other kids...

Mamaroo said...

I believe Roo knows that he is "different". I know he understands everything being said and going on around him although he may not always indicate this. Sometimes he cries for no reason I can figure and what I gather is that he just feels the frustration of not being able to "talk" like others around him can. It is so difficult, adding in his apraxia, that it is easier not to make the effort most times for him. I also wish I could read his mind! One day I am hoping he has the words and the memory to talk to me about how he was feeling and what he was thinking as a four year old with very limited language skills.

Daisy said...

Isn't it amazing how a word or phrase connects so firmly with a feeling, even for our differently-connected children? Mine climbed into my lap at age 10(!), awkwardly turned to face me, and reached for my hands to play Row Row Row Your Boat, a game we played together when he was 3 or 4.

mumkeepingsane said...

That has to be the sweetest thing I've ever heard. *sniff*

I'm pretty sure right now Patrick doesn't know the world is different than he is but I do plan to ask him when he's older about what he remembers.

kyra said...

that is the dearest and also mysterious and dreamlike and unknowable. what do they remember? how do they remember it? any kids? sometimes i think fluffy knows he's different than other kids, especially in the not being able to recognize people. he now pulls me aside and asks who the person is in a whisper. all this is part of a new post bubbling under the surface--a sort of, 'to tell him or not to tell him' but that's for another day.

i wish i could read fluffy's mind too. a couple of times in the last few weeks he's started to say something to me, "Mommy?" and then thought better of it. "What, honey?" "Oh, never mind Mommy. I don't want to tell you." "Okay, honey. It's okay to have private thoughts but I want you to know, you can tell Mommy anything." I hoped my response would pry it out of him but he didn't say anymore and neither did I but I was thinking, WHAT WAS HE GOING TO SAY?? WHAT WHAT WHAT????