For nearly two years, my son didn’t talk. Not much, anyway. He said a few words: Mama. Dada. Ball. No. ... If you’ve become a parent in the last decade, you know what doctors and websites and parenting magazines say about a baby who doesn’t speak. It was my mother who finally calmed me down. A speech pathologist, she had listened to me during my regular calls to her at her home... ...it wasn’t until we sat together watching my son play in a hotel room the summer before he turned 2 that she finally succeeded in allaying my fears. “Your generation of parents — even this new generation of doctors — has forgotten that communication isn’t just about words. It’s about nonverbal communication, too: smiles and hugs and kisses and points of the fingers and waves of the hands... This past school year, we were thrilled when he was paired with a lovely first-grade teacher who saw the deep thinker within. “He thinks before he speaks,” she told me at parent/teacher conferences, raving about what she called his “thoughtful insights,”... At the end of the school year, the moms were preparing a wedding shower for that teacher...I placed a piece of paper and markers on the table beside my son’s bowl of cereal and asked him to write a nice note to his teacher about love or marriage.. He picked up the markers and in the three minutes that I spent in the bathroom, wrote these words, unassisted: “Love is invisible. It is hard to catch, but easy to find. For a happy marriage, remember to stay calm, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.” ...I wept as I showed my husband, not sure if we were raising a 7-year-old boy or a wise poet. ...I received calls and emails from other mothers who had seen the note, as it was being mounted in a book for the teacher. “You should be so proud of all that you taught him,” they told me again and again. “No,” I said, shaking my head. “I can’t take credit for teaching him. If anything, he’s the one who’s taught me.”
It takes a village!
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