Somehow we ended up going different directions so I kept meeting her on every aisle of the grocery store. Her young son had not stopped talking as far as I could tell. He was sitting facing her in the seat of the buggy, and she was gathering boxes and cans of food without much response to him at all.
I thought of our son when he was about that age. He narrated everything he did. “I am playing with my cars, see? I am rolling them across the floor. Now I am zooming up the hill and around the curve. I am getting up and going across the room. Ooops I fell down, whoops! I am OK, I am not hurt. I can get up and keep going. Vrroomm, vrroomm! Round and round, up and down. See me mommy? Here I go.”
That voice echoed in my mind as I thought of how lucky we were these days to get a grunt or a one syllable word from our high school aged son. How I longed for him to once again share the minute details of his life. Maybe he would start talking to us again one day…
Another aisle, another pass, more talking from the little boy. On the next aisle I couldn’t help myself. “Your son is precious! He loves to talk, doesn’t he?” She looked at me dumbfounded. Whether she couldn’t believe I found this cute or she couldn’t believe there was someone else trying to talk to her, I am not sure. But I went on. “I know you don’t believe this, but one day you will miss all this chatter! Our son was just like this when he was young, but now he is a typical teenager who doesn’t want you to know his business, even though it is usually all good things. He just keeps to himself. You’ll miss this one day.”
I don’t remember her saying one word to me in response, but maybe she thought about it later when she had the energy to play it back through her mind. It still makes me smile to think about that little boy’s verbal energy. And it makes me look forward to the days when our son finds his voice again.