My son developed on schedule right up until he was 18 months. Shortly thereafter, my son began to lose skills, including his ability to talk. He stopped saying, “Mama.” I waited two years to hear that word again, but as happy as I was to hear it, it wasn’t the same. He would only say it when asked, “who is that?” I cherished hearing his voice, but I longed for what I had…. I wanted him to ask for me, to say Mommy without any kind of prompting.
In the very early hours of the morning today, my son had a nightmare. It is not uncommon for him. It is horrible. Try explaining to a child that can’t communicate with you and doesn’t understand the idea of make believe what a nightmare is. They terrify him long after it is over. He shakes and cries and looks around in panic. The lights must go on and every corner must be checked to be sure whatever monster was conjured up is gone. There is no sleep for anyone for hours after. I just have to try to reassure him, hold him, and eventually just try to get his mind on something else. When I hear the cries in the night, it is not something that normally brings about any good feelings…. Except this time. No, I didn’t finally lose my mind (well, maybe but that is not what made me happy). This time I was jerked out of bed by what I was longing to hear, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!!!”
I couldn’t help but smile even though I knew I was going to be sleepwalking through my day and I knew I had a frightened little boy to comfort. I was smiling because he was calling for me… verbally… by name. My son was asking for me.
All over the world, there were lots of kids who had nightmares last night and all over the world, there were lots of cries for Mommy to come to the rescue. All over the world, mommies jumped into action. A little thing to most…. But not to this mommy. This mommy stopped to say a thankful prayer that her child could ask for her…. a thankful prayer for a beautiful word… “Mommy.”