At 9 months, M’s unable to communicate his needs and his wants. He looks to me to understand, to innately know what it is that he’s asking or saying to the world. This is both awesome and daunting and I repeatedly fear that I fail. I try, I try ever so hard to listen to his words because though it sounds like babble to me, to him it has meaning. I try to practise signing with him in activities every day and watch his hands all the time just in case. We read both kids books and the ones which can challenge me too. The radio plays music, and debate and religion; the TV shows kids toys and wildlife. We don’t know how M will choose to speak, even which language he’ll pick; but what we do know is our job isn’t to push him, it’s to supply the tools to allow him to get there himself.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Allah’s (swt)way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If Allah allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never “fly”!
The thing about time is, though we have little patience to wait for its own speed, we bemoan the passing of its days. I cant wait until M can just tell me what he needs or he wants, I long to hold onto these still baby days. Already it seems so long since he started to crawl; too soon he’ll be walking alone. Yes, much as I’m lacking in patience, I’d like time to slow. Yesterday M sat on my lap and the face looking up at me was a little boys face; the baby is fading the boy’s coming in – but I refuse to say toddler just yet!
My darling baby boy,
Patience isn’t always my strong point. You may sometimes feel that I’m rushing you, offering different things before you’ve said what you want; not too often I hope. I try to be patient, allow you to persevere in explaining, in requesting, in talking to me. On some days I fail, I hope other days I pass.
You vocalisation journey seems so fast, little man. Each day you have a new sound, a new tone, an altered pitch you are trying out now — even your laugh switches at your command from a giggle to a belly-laugh! You still love to read, have clear favourite books now, but whereas before you would only choose English, now we read Turkish books too and you’re only interested in those which you choose. At 9 1/2months old, MKM, you do know your own mind. I wonder how language sounds inside that overworking brain of yours..does Baba sound strange speaking English? Does Mummy still sound odd when in Turkish? I don’t think so – you react the same to both languages and seem to understands clearly in both; I wonder which one you prefer. Which one you will choose. What your first words will be? On Friday, you said Baba in context, to call him, for the very first time. I guess that was your first word…what language do you think that is?
I’m intrigued, babyone, and this intrigue grows each day. I can’t wait to converse with you – but no rush, mind. We’re fine plodding on for a while 😉