Son, I hear you. I hear the longing to communicate when you point, grunt, babble, and try to tell me something. I just can’t understand you. Yet.

Son, I hear you. I hear your frustration when you stomp your feet after I make too many wrong guesses at what you need. We’ll figure it out. Soon.

Son, I hear you. I hear your excitement when you just drew a masterpiece or built a castle with your blocks. Others might hear gibberish, but I hear your joy. I do.

Son, I hear you. I hear “I love you” when you wrap your arms around my neck and kiss me goodnight. There are no words, but I feel it. I love you too. So much.

Son, I hear you. I hear you ask Daddy to stay home each morning, when you follow him to the door and point as he waves goodbye for work. He hears you too.

Son, I hear you. I hear your need for space when we push a bit too much.

Son, I hear you. I hear your need for patience when we sometimes want to lose ours.

Son, I hear you. I hear your need for our words to keep planting seeds for your own.

Son, I hear you. I hear your need for praise when you try and encouragement when you don’t say what you mean to.

Son, I hear you. I hear you need for help. Sometimes, mommies and daddies need help too. We do.

This morning, we started the journey of early speech intervention for our son. I became a mother nearly two years ago and I have never heard my son say “Mama.” Even though we have videos of my son babbling at ten weeks old, mimicking words at five months, and comprehending much of what is said to him, he doesn’t speak. He has a few words, but far fewer than he should. And even then, they are usually only spoken with a lot of prompting. And as much as not hearing my son call me mommy hurts, I was more hurt knowing I lack the tools to help my son.

So I called Early Intervention.

They heard me.

They heard me detail the lack of progress in the last year.

They heard me voice my frustration over not being able to communicate with my son.

They heard me wonder how a child who loves songs and books more than anything else not talk

They heard me acknowledge the thief I allowed to come in and steal my joy when I compared other children’s abilities to my son’s.

They heard the tears in my voice as I asked for help and said I didn’t know what else to do.

They heard me. They’ll hear you too.

This morning, I watched two women come and work with my son. He cooperated. He was interested and engaged. They gave me small nuggets of ways I can help. I am hopeful and my patience has been renewed. I know this will be a long journey. I know there will be days of resistance and regression. But we have a team who is rooting for your success and our joy.

Son, I hear you. Your words are coming soon.

Tiffany Reiger

T.S. Reiger is a former teacher with a PhD who is now a stay at home mom to her children and German Shepherd.