Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Sweetest Thing Ever

Other children learn to talk almost as a reflex. Words come tumbling our of their mouths like little building blocks that they stack in taller and taller towers as the days go by.

You've always preferred to knock towers over.

You babble just as much as the next kid, but the sounds aren't blocks that build ideas- they're marbles that roll out of your mouth and around the room. Lots of the tones and inflection that language uses, but none of the meaning.

Until lately. Now that you're two, you're starting to get the hang of talking. You've discovered that if you can make the right sound, the grownups will do what you want. It is so fun to hear you talk. Other children say things with an immediacy that implies their thought has just been made audible. You have to put effort into it, and the effect is that it seems you've cast a spell. You don't yell "No!"- you start to cry, then realize you should try the magic word. You stop crying, look up, form your mouth just so and say "Nnnoooo" in a quiet, slow, hopeful way. You've said the incantation and only have to wait for it to work.

The sweetest thing you say right now is "Hello". It is the spell that makes people light up with joy and laughter. Every time you say it there are cheers and "Yay"s, and people say "Hello!" right back. It makes me so glad that you share a room with us, because when I'm thinking I wish I wasn't awake I'll hear your "Hello" and smile.

It's such a relief to hear your lovely voice saying words,