My sweet Brenton has a speech delay also known as expressive language disorder. Now at almost 3 he is really blossoming. He can not only say a word or two, he can express his emotions. It is a new world of lower levels of frustration for all of us.
A few months back we were in the car and of course he was in the back seat and said, "Brenton happy." It makes my heart melt when he tells me anything. Even when he says poop or something that perhaps parents of more verbal children would be embarrassed by, because he has come so far I am proud of him. To hear him articulate that he is happy is enough to bring me to tears of joy!
Instead of weeping and causing any confusion, I smiled and asked so you are happy and he said yes. Then something magical happened. He asked me. He said in a questioning tone, "Mama happy?"
I was so ecstatic at the prospect that he can understand what it really means to be happy, I did a little dance in my heart. It has always been my hope that we would raise empathetic children who are self aware and emotionally intelligent. The world can be a tough place but it can also be filled with warmth and kindness.
Now he is concerned with the happiness of those around him. He asks if Gigi and Papa are happy after he asks me where they are. He talks about his brother and when he smiles he points and says happy. He does what he can to get that smile from his brother. He talks about his friends. When he sees them for playdates now, he says he is happy.
I hope he surrounds himself with happy people as he grows up. I hope he finds joy in many things. Right now he loves the movie Frozen, the TV show Zou and lollipops. Visits with Gigi to see his Nana where they play in the garden, playdates with friends and even simple trips in the car can bring exultations. He smiles great big smiles about playdough, wearing the Superman costume, swimming in the pool, big hugs and eating apples and cheese. Juice on a hot day has also made him very happy or so he told me. The happiness of others also makes him happy.
As he gets older the prospects for happiness will increase and I can only hope he embraces them. What I want most is for him to be happy. Now I can ask if he is happy and he can tell me and that makes me really happy!