There were so many unforgettable moments on our vacation, so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I will treasure forever. This particular moment, while we were waiting in line to finally ride Mary Blair’s It’s a Small World, captured the absolute joy I felt throughout so much of our trip.
“You know what life is? Joy and grief hand in hand. You can’t know real happiness until you’ve had true sorrow to contrast it with.” Susan Moncur as Fabienne Elmont on ER
Moose has really been trying to talk a lot more lately. Not just single words, not just repeating words we tell him to say, but spontaneously stringing together a few words at a time. I don’t understand what he’s saying half the time, but still! That in and of itself is a great joy. But I’ve discovered that I’ve found joy in something else I wasn’t really expecting.
I’m finally getting an idea of what his voice sounds like! I know to most people, this wouldn’t be a big deal, and for most parents of almost-four-year-olds, it probably wouldn’t even make sense. How can you not know, after all that time, what your own child’s voice sounds like?
But, when all you get is one word at a time, and not on any kind of regular basis, and when even that word is a struggle to get out, you don’t know. You wonder what a normal speaking voice sounds like for your child. Sure, I’m well acquainted with his shrieks, because that’s been his only really way to express negative emotions outside of crying, and I know (kind of) what his babbling voice sounds like. But now I’m learning what his speaking voice sounds like. And I’m even learning that he often purses his lips in a very certain way when he’s really trying to talk. And I’ve found a great deal of joy in these discoveries. As much as I feel like autism has taken from him (and us), I also know I never would have found this kind of elation in something so simple if autism wasn’t a part of our lives.
I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and let me tell you, it is a beautiful sound!