I am the mother of a sixteen month old little girl. She is the love of my life, my heart’s greatest treasure, my life’s greatest work.
Like most sixteen month olds, Caroline is growing, changing, and developing every single day. As her mommy, I am astounded by her daily accomplishments and how quickly she’s mastering new skills. She is my constant reminder that the human mind is a remarkable thing and that we are only scratching the surface of understanding its capabilities.
Currently, Caroline’s vocabulary is rather limited (not developmentally delayed, just limited as most little one’s are). Her repertoire includes: “Hi! Bye! Ball. Hat. MaMa and Dada.” These six words while adorable and sweet, leave a little to be desired when it comes to Caroline expressing her deepest wants, needs, emotions, and thoughts about the universe.
Just the other day she was rambling on and on in her own little babble and I found myself longing for the day that I’d be able to understand her. Then, I stopped….I am not one to “long for the day.” If the last sixteen months have taught me anything, it is that all of this happens way too fast. It zips past me in the blink of an eye, and leaves me longing for just one more day with my baby as she is. So, I stopped myself from longing and thought, “This time is special. This time will never be quite like this again.” Caroline and I “talk” all day long. We communicate constantly and for the most part, I know exactly what she is saying. Part of the joy of being a mommy is that I can speak directly to her heart as she speaks directly to mine. With no (or very limited words) we understand each other completely. It’s the language of our hearts shared only by a mother and her child.
Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting a truly remarkable mom. As many of you know, my friend suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in July. She is recovering in the hospital and her language is not what it used to be just yet. Her words are limited and sometimes jumbled, but there, at her bedside, stood her mommy. With a love more powerful than any other on this Earth, she listened to her baby. With their eyes, their smiles, and their touch, they spoke straight to each other’s hearts as only mother and child can do.
I left our visit filled with hope and prayers for my friend, and I left thinking about my own mother. Long after I learned to speak, she has shown time and time again that without words, she can hear the deepest parts of me. How many times in my life has she taken one look at me and said, “What happened? Who hurt you?” or “Don’t even think about it. I told you, no!” or “It’s going to be OK. You’re a beautiful bridesmaid. You’ll find your prince one day soon.” She has held me and said nothing at all, and I’ve known exactly what she meant.
I thought about my friend and all she has been through since July. When I am scared, stressed, sick, and confused, I want my mommy. Jana didn’t have to say a word, and Ruth was right there. At the edge of her bed….listening. What a comfort it must be for my sweet friend to look over and see the one person that we all long for when the world just isn’t right, to hear her mother’s voice, and to know that without saying a word, she is heard.