It is an interesting phenomenon. A mother can communicate with her children, far before they have learned how to speak. It is in the eyes, the gestures, the smiles, the tears. I am quite fascinated by this wordless communication.
My children are now 5.5 and 2.5 years of age. Scout, our oldest, learned to talk quite young. Her vocabulary has always been much bigger than she is. And, she never stops talking. One of the greatest gifts is hearing her tell stories, or say words that mimic the people in her life. "That is so awesome! Wow, cool dude" Are just a few of the sentences that pop out. I don't remember the day or time when Scout started putting sentences together. As I look back, I feel as though she has been talking since she came out of the womb. But I know we had wordless communications. I know there were many a night that I stared at her while she slept and burst with joy when she smiled. Now, I threaten her with duct tape on occasion.
Sawyer, our youngest, has been slower to talk. Though you never have to guess what he is thinking, ever. He has puppy dog eyes and dimples, coupled with a huge laugh and mouth. Runs in the family (the big mouth). He is an amazing little athlete and can dribble a basketball better than most 5 years olds. Not bragging, its just cool. Some words starting forming about 1 year ago and he has been adding new ones to his vocabulary. This last weekend, we had a long Holiday. We spent a good amount of time with the kids. It has been really rewarding to see them mature into little people - and yes, it does happen overnight.
Something really neat happened last weekend and I am glad I was present to record it in my memory and my heart. Sawyer went from one-words to entire sentences in two days. It was quite remarkable. It was as if someone turned on a switch... and out came viable, smart sentences. It struck me. I was *right there* when he spoke his first actual sentence. He said "Watch Calliou first." And all of the sudden a whole new world has opened up with our son, just as it did with our daughter when she began speaking in full. I think one of Scout's first words, in the thick of the 2008 election, was "Obama." *grin*
Kids are so impressionable. They mimic and mime so much of what they see. They soak it all in. I'd like to try that. I think, as we grow older, we learn to tune things out, avoid, take detours. I'd like to be the sponge again, I'd like everything to be new and amazing. I strive for this each day (well, at least, most days). I don't want to tune things out anymore.
Non-verbal communication with my children taught me to listen. Verbal communication with my children has inspired me to be more like them, perhaps, less hardened and cynical.
What a gift.