The four words I needed to hear

Just an hour ago, I was crying on my son’s bedroom floor.

What caused the breakdown? Embarrassing as it is, just four little words. In fact, I’ve done a lot of crying over words lately… or really, the lack thereof.

See, my youngest son hasn’t done much talking.

At first, I wasn’t worried. His brother does a lot of the talking for him. And besides, his dad doesn’t say much either. But by the time his 18-month birthday started to approach, my son’s pediatrician said we needed to take action. And so, a hearing test was scheduled.

With each test, I prayed he’d say just one word.

But four failed tests later, he remained silent. So, my sweet baby was scheduled to get eardrum tubes.

As usual, I was a nervous mess.

Because no matter how simple the procedure, I couldn’t help but worry… What if it doesn’t work? What if he just doesn’t want to talk? What if something goes wrong?

It will all be worth it, I reasoned, if he just says one word.

As promised, the procedure was quick and recovery was easy. By the end of the night he was back to his goofy self. With one key difference… he was pointing at everything. He wanted me to tell him the names. He wanted to hear the words, clearly and loudly.

That alone was enough emotional currency to make the procedure feel worth it. But of course, I still wanted to hear him talk.

Just one word, little guy.

So back to that moment – an hour ago, on his bedroom floor.

I’d just changed him into his pajamas, squirted drops into those newly-fixed ears, and dramatically recited The Pout Pout Fish (incidentally, from memory).

As I prepared to say my nightly “love you, see you in the morning” and tuck my sons into bed, my sweet little boy finally spoke up.

And instead of just one word, he gave me four.

With his big smile, dimples, and curly head, he turned to me and said, plain as day:

“I love you, mama.”

It turns out all the stress, tears, and worry were worth it. Here’s to many more words, little guy.

Oh, and I love you, too.

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