I don’t feel like I have adequate words to express what I want to say, which considering what it is seems strangely appropriate.

I did a lot of preparation for motherhood. I built on my natural mothering instincts, which were strong, with classes and books and an insatiable interest in what motherhood would bring. Our son’s cerebral palsy diagnosis put a different spin on these preparations and I’m not sure I was able to fully come to grips with what this new life would be like before he came home. But I soldiered on, and we all fell in love, and we’ve dug in and worked hard and been so rewarded. This has been a sweet year, beyond my imaginings in many ways.

But almost one year later, it’s beginning to be obvious which delays will be short-lived and which are probably around for the long-haul. And realizing this makes me catch my breath sometimes. And feel tired. Then I feel bad for being tired because I love my son so intensely and fiercely and it feels like a failure to admit this is so hard.

But the truth is, it’s so hard. It’s hard for all of us.

I long to have a conversation with him. A real conversation. He is a bright boy, and that’s not just coming from my say-so. His doctors and therapists marvel at him, estimating his development in almost all areas to be months to years above average. Having all those big boy thoughts and all those important memories trapped in a mind that is making it difficult to speak must be so frustrating. I know as the Mom I just wish I could fix it. I wish I knew what it was and could tackle the problem and make it go away. I’d get violent if I had to. For him, for me, for our family.

Until we can break through, we will make do with our dozens of signs and gestures and pointing and guessing. I will turn and look at him hundreds of times a day, making eye contact, suggesting words and ideas to see if that’s what he meant to tell me. I will repeat back the word for every sign so he can be sure I really understood. We will celebrate each new sound that makes it past those lips. And we will pray that God will open the channels from his mind to his voice so we can learn even more about this remarkable boy we call Son.

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