No she doesn’t.
She actually mutters, screams, sings words. But her words belong to a world of music and sounds, to a world where it’s not mandatory to be understood nor is it mandatory to talk in a certain way, nor is it mandatory to talk at all.
The freedom to be.
Many times, I’m asked : your daughter is more than 2 and she doesn’t speak yet?
And my answer is : no, she doesn’t.
And on the faces I can see the fear of them my daughter not being “normal”. Immediately this fear and the question that follows :
Is it normal? What time “should” they start?
Already, my daughter who is in a world of hers is confronted to this fear of people and the “normality”. This urge to speak to “fit”.
No my daughter doesn’t speak yet and I’m not worried. I’m not worried about her not communicating in the same way I do, because I’m not in a hurry for her to change or to grow or whatever they call it.
I contemplate her from the place where I am and where she is.
I don’t think : let me talk to her more, let me repeat the words in front of her, like : these are your SHOES or do you want to come with MOMMY. No, I can’t. I never say a word I don’t mean to anyone. Why would I start with my child ? Why would I act the life that is not real ? What is real for me is to talk to my child when there’s need to talk, when I have something to say. And when things can be said without words, I keep quiet.
I don’t want to stress a word so that she gets it, or repeat a question loud so she gets it, or say anything really so she gets anything really.
I don’t want her to “perform”, to repeat numbers or letters so I can say : yes, I made it!
I know that the letters and the numbers are already in her in a poetic form. They are the music, they are the sounds, they are all the possibilities.
I contemplate her from the place where I am which is also my ignorance.
I contemplate her silence, her singing and try not to project on her something I want for obscure reasons, like talking, like being someone she has to become.
She’s immersed in the now. Life is being what it is. In her silence or in her own words, she is saying : I AM.
Somehow, I shut up and listen. I’m learning to listen. It’s so hard to listen. To truly listen when a voice inside urges you to act according to your beliefs or your projections. It’s so hard to actually SEE people, SEE in them. SEE kids.
But they do teach you that. They teach you to LISTEN and consider another point of view.
Having my daughter not speaking to me forces me to observe. And I see in this miracle of being another way of being and I learn from her how to be open.
No, my daughter doesn’t speak yet. But she does a lot of other things. She climbs the stairs (and the trees roots), she draws abstract stuff on the walls, she swallows two bottle of chocolate milk in a row, she makes funny faces and plays hide and seek, she imitates the downward facing dog, the cat, the cobra. She repeats a word after me then forgets about it and its importance.
She smiles to strangers and sometimes even hug them too.
She smiles to strangers.
No, she doesn’t speak yet, her world is somewhere else, out of reach, her world is beyond words. In this world, I imagine, sounds and music and colors are filling her ears of meaning. She is still listening to us, not in a urge to answer or to prove anything to anyone.
For her, it’s not important to be right. It’s not important to be adequate. It’s not important to FIT.
She is still singing, she is still trying to figure out how she will communicate with the world and when she will be ready to talk and how she will do that.
I want to say to people who are afraid of “the difference” : only because she doesn’t speak yet doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand what you are saying. She does. She’s just not ready yet to leave the world of hers to completely enter the world of us.
She will on her own time. Like a flower blossoming gradually.
Like a flower.