I Forgot. - My Ian. When I say he’s a “good” kid, I don’t mean he says “Please” and “Thank you,” or that he gets good grades. I mean, he does all of those things, but ...
Friday, July 6, 2012
She was sitting in her highchair snacking on pretzels when I left the kitchen and slipped around the corner into my office. I was not yet settled in front of the computer when I heard it. The word burst out of her as if it were chasing me, “Mu... MA!” And because I had never heard it before from her, my mind dismissed it as just a screech from my little girl who was worried that the pretzel supply had walked out. It came again, louder, desperate, and demanding, “Mu....MAH!” As it dawned on me that Kimani was calling for me, calling me mama, I started to shake. A little thrill lifted the hairs on my skin. I jumped out of my seat and ran to her. “Did you call me? Did you say mama?” I asked her, my face down close to hers. She peeked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes me as if nothing spectacular had just happened and signed/said pretzel. The stream of new words started the last week in June with “cupcake” and continued on with cake, yogurt, pop, pasta, drink, mint, berry, out, and my favorite “mama”. The words are not clear as a bell, in fact some of them are more like word approximations but I can understand her. They don’t come easy. Each time she wants to say a word she stiffens a little and looks off to the side while she subtly moves her mouth into what seems like a practice position... Then she brings her hand to her face and places her fingers into the sound prompt spots around her mouth, nose, or under her chin. She wriggles her feet and stalls for a few more agonizing seconds, eyes flitting here and there. Finally it comes, flung from her whole body, the word... often followed by a smile. And she ought to smile about it. Those half-pint words rock my world.