This is going to be difficult for me to say. So I will try the best way I can, and I ask for grace when you read this, please.
Please understand that what I am about to say comes from a hurt I carry with me every day, and that some days, it becomes so heavy I lose my breath trying to accept it.
You see, my son will be six. And for some reason no one can explain to me, this precious little boy never developed the gift of speech—something so many of us were given without effort. And because my son struggles with communication, his world is small and difficult, it is judgmental and sad, and at times, unbearable.
So, here it is, my humble plea.
Parents, please never ask your children to stop speaking.
Because for every word they release from their precious mouths, I would give anything to hear from mine.
Because every time you’ve wished your children would be quiet, there is a mother who cries in agony to hear hers.
Because every moment you spend conversing with your child, there is a mother who hurts quietly that her child cannot say her name.
Because every time your children bother you for something at the store and explain to you why they need just one more to add to their collection, there is a mother who wishes her child would ask for anything.
Because every time your child tells you about wanting to see their friend, there is a mother who wishes her child understood how to communicate with his peers.
Because every time you become upset that your child wants to argue with you, there is a mother who wishes her child could tell her why their child is hurting.
Parents, I know how difficult this time has been with your children at home. There has been nowhere for them to go and you’ve had to bear the long days and nights of trying to find a new normal. Your children also have tried their best to adapt and understand the world that changed on them without warning, and had to try to understand why so many of their life parts were taken away. So let them speak.
Let them tell you about the latest episode of Peppa Pig, one more time.
Let them tell you about that time at the lake they climbed the tree with grandpa, one more time.
Let them tell you about the chalk illustration that is supposed to be you but looks more like a six-foot chicken, one more time.
Let them tell you about why they have magical powers and can walk on pavement without shoes, one more time.
Let them tell you about why they like that shirt more, why they can’t eat another bite off their plate, why the water is too hot or cold, or why it’s not time to go to bed just yet, ONE MORE TIME.
Because these are all the things I wish I could share with my child. Golden moments like these, couldn’t come quick enough for me.
One day, these moments will be over. I promise you the house will become quiet because they will grow up to be too cool to speak to you. I know this because I teach high school. And trust me, it takes moving mountains to get them to speak again so freely without the fear of judgment or ridicule. They will turn to their friends and their phones before they ask you for something. It’s just what happens. They grow, and they change.
So let them speak.
I’m still praying and keeping hope alive that mine will someday.