It’s rare it comes in singular.

“MamaMama!” “MamaMamaMama!”

Directly at me. Never to anyone else.

People have names now. I have a name now. This isn’t simple repetition, or scripting taken for conversation, this is purposeful use of words. This is cheerful and always wonderful use of words.

“Mama, happy?” he asks as we sit waiting for his speech therapy appointment.

There was no one else in the waiting room. We were just sitting around and had only just gotten there. Sometimes, he’ll ask something because he heard someone else ask it, or I had just asked it of him. This one he asked all on his own and he waited eagerly for my answer.

“Yes baby, I’m happy,” I said.

“Okay!” and he went back to running back and forth from the door to my chair as he tends to do whenever we arrive.

He and I have been fighting rotten colds and allergies the past week or so. If I cough too much I hear a very loud “You okay?!”….

I imagine he’s retaliating for the millions of times I have asked him the same question. Incidentally, whenever I ask him, I expect him to say “no”. All that is required is an answer for me to know he’s actually okay. If there’s not a peep in response, I know to something might be up.

I do not find myself getting too sad when I see other children about his age speaking in a more expected manner. It’s becoming so much easier to see J’s path, and to see his tremendous progress even in just the past 6 months. The thought of “never” has slipped from belief in terms of J’s future and all possibilities remain open. Are there challenges? Will things be unconventional? Absolutely.

Since when is the road less travelled necessarily a bad road?

He finds his way, and as his Mama Mama, I could not be more proud.