(Guest post by Monica McDivitt – Monica blogs at Like a Butterfly)
Sam grabs my hand and walks me to the door that leads to our garage. This means she wants to go for a ride in the car. She usually grabs my purse, slings it over her shoulder, or cross body, and walks over to me. Today she communicated differently but I got the message.
After the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, visiting family, having family visit and being totally out of her structure, element and routine I believe Sam deserved to have some normalcy. She didn’t feel well on Christmas night and she is feeling the same today. She is congested and has what John and I usually call a “smoker’s cough” so I placed her in her car seat and we went for a drive… to nowhere. Actually we drove around the quieter streets of our Katy community, where it is calm and the trees are big and pretty. Sam didn’t mind.
As I drove, I had the car stereo on and it was probably louder than it needed to be but I love listening to music and Sam could feel the vibration of the bass from the speakers. I take a glimpse in the rearview mirror and see her beauty instantly. She is wearing a pink, holiday shirt with a peace sign on it, which she received as a gift for Christmas. Her hair is all pulled back into a ponytail with a big, pink bow and a curly lock of hair hangs on the right side of her forehead. She has an enormous grin on her face and she is kicking her right foot with much delight. I thought to myself, “She sure is pretty in pink and very happy.” I couldn’t help but smile.
Sam has never called my name or said Mommy and I am not always sure she understands what I say or do but I keep holding her and talking, reading, signing and singing to her and I encourage others to do the same. That’s all that matters. Sam smiles, giggles and cries. She thinks and observes and is a pretty amazing problem solver. When she takes my hand and walks me to the door that leads to garage, or walks me to the kitchen, bathroom, or even hands me a book or a toy, I know what she is saying. This month she has been giving big hugs and making more eye contact. Sam is communicating without speech.
Do I wish she could speak? Would I love to hear her beautiful voice? You bet! For now, I get giggles, babbles, cries and gestures and if this is all I ever receive as far as communication, I can be happy. It is more than many doctors ever expected. This is Sam’s language and I am always listening with my eyes and ears.