Later that night, my recollections of the give-and-take, the detailed words, and the easy understanding, caused tears to run down my cheeks. It made me keenly aware of what I'm missing in my relationship with Ethan.
I've grown accustomed to how Ethan communicates. I consider myself the expert at understanding him (though perhaps rivaled by his siblings!), and I don't think twice about my methods of asking follow-up questions, watching his signs carefully, and using context. We generally get along fine, though there are frustrating moments. Speech therapy is helping, and I notice continual growth.
But every time I hear a child with normal speech development interact with his parent, I catch my breath, realizing again how different Ethan is. And I wonder ... what thoughts of his am I missing? What observations is he making that he can not explain to us? What intelligence is lurking in him that we are not privy to?
God, grant me patience and determination, as I hope and long for the day when I can talk with my son about anything, no matter how abstract. Wipe my tears, as I miss these moments now, and Lord, please, please help him speak.