Yesterday I posted a couple of videos of my kids reading their current favorite bedtime stories. Sam was reading about sharks, and to my surprise, started ticking off all these different kinds of sharks–some I had no idea he knew the names of. He does this frequently these days, can roll off lists of dinosaurs, have lengthy conversations about animals of all kinds, not to mention the ins and outs of our friend Diego. I know that I always talk about how I marvel at the progress he has made over the last year and a half, but I don’t know how many people really see what TK and I have seen.
As I was making the movies last night I came across some older videos of Sam and, once again, was brought to tears. I can recall the first time I saw them, just after we made them in December of ’06, and could not believe how well he was doing. He had been in school for two months, and we thought the progress was astounding. In retrospect, I am amazed at how bad things were for my boy then, how hard it was for us to understand him, how frustrated he would get. Imagine knowing what you are trying to say, but being physically incapable of creating the right sounds. Heartbreaking, and even more so NOW, seeing it in perspective.
It has been one of the hardest things, as a parent, watching my child have to bear something so difficult. I remember days where I was so frustrated, Sam was so frustrated, and I would shout to the heavens, "I WANT TO TALK TO MY SON." And the work that this boy has done, the leaps and bounds he has, well, leapt and bounded, are incredible. We see our girl, at almost 2 and a half, speaking in full sentences. When Sam was her age, I was still waiting to hear "Mommy" from his lips.
Today, it is all knock-knock jokes, dinosaur information, and I swear he spends half his time correcting Jane’s pronunciation. Really. But I never will forget what it took for him to get to this place. This wonderful, talking, singing, joking, dinosaur-knowing, back-talking, sweet-nothing-whispering place.