Listen With Your Eyes

I’m sitting here thinking about what to write as our first blog post. What’s something I feel strong and passionate about? Then it hits me...... let’s talk about talking!

You see, our daughter is 14 yrs. old and she doesn’t talk like most 14 year olds. Sometimes she talks verbally, but other times it’s with her hands, her iPad and sometimes with her moods and eyes. As our youngest daughter tells people, “She talks in a different language.” However, she still says the same things most of us do.

She lets us know when she’s sad, by crying. When she can’t find a toy, she’ll type it out on her iPad app. When she wants a hug or some attention, she comes up and reaches for us. Sometimes all I have to do is look her in the eyes and that’s when she says the most. She tells me she loves me, she’s glad I’m here and that she’s happy.

So many times as a special needs parent we want to hear our child’s voice. What will it sound like? What will they say? But after waiting so many years to hear our daughter’s voice, I realized this momma wanted more. I want to “hear” what she wants to tell me! I want to hear what color of popsicle she wants. I want to hear her tell me she wants to go somewhere and oh my goodness, I want to hear her say “I Love You!”.

Just when our daughter started to talk, around the age of 18 months, she stopped. It took years before we heard her beautiful voice again. I’ll never forget when she was about 5 yrs. old. I was woken up by that sweet little voice. She stood beside the bed, waking me up saying “Mom.” I thought I was dreaming. I woke up and tried to memorize it. Later that week as I was doing dishes she stood starring at the door and started saying, “Bye Daddy.” My husband had left for work and hours later our baby girl was telling him bye! I ran over to her, hands dripping with water, and together we stood there for nearly 15 minutes saying, “Bye Daddy.” A few days later, a Friday night, she woke up in the middle of night. I sat in her room with her on my lap. She looked up at me with big brown eyes, touched my cheek with her tiny hand and said, “Momma” over and over again. She knew how to melt my heart.

The next morning, she woke with a fever and her words were gone. That voice I so desperately wanted hear was now silent. I cried and we never stop working with her. But it was then that I realized, yes I want to hear that sweet voice, but I want to hear her thoughts and her heart more.

I guess the moral of the story is, even when our children aren’t using their voices to talk to us, if we “listen” hard enough our eyes will “hear” what they want to tell us. Never give up, keep trying, but most importantly keep “listening”. Don’t just listen with your ears, listen with your eyes and your heart.

Written by,

Tera Viola