Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Heard It

I daydream in words.  I hope in words.  Not so much in pictures - I don't envision my children's graduations or weddings or Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in shapes and colors and facial expressions.  Rather, I hear certain mundane phrases in my mind, phrases I hope will be casually batted about in relation to their lives - things of little note when heard, really.  When my daughters were babies, before they could get around on their own, the phase "honey, come back here" would worm around in my head. I could not wait to see them waddling away from me, I wanted to have to call them back.   When I finally said it, it was momentous to me.  As my older daughter reached preschool age the MP3 player in my nut played and replayed the sing-song sound of a genuinely happy-to-see-her teacher's voice greeting my girl with "Good morning, Catriona."  Mrs. Bartell said exactly that eventually.

I heard one for Addie today. Addison is my kindergartner.  Among the many things that make her an original are the fact that she is functionally non-verbal and intellectually diverse.  For Cate (aka, Catriona) these words were just an assumption, not a milestone and bag of meaning they are for Addie. Oh, I know I heard it for Cate, but it barely registered as more than the 3 word utterance it is.

Today Addie and I meandered past the parked and waiting cars along the block of her school. I park a bit farther away so that she can get used to walking a bit, paying attention to the crossing guard's directions, and practice navigating with her backpack on. As we approached the halfway mark, a car door slammed behind us. Normally, Addie feels a need to stop and turn in the direction of every sound we hear - cars passing, kids yelling, horns honking.  This walk eats a chunk of time.  But instead of her being the one to snap to the slam today, I was attuned to it for some reason. My ears perked in that direction just in time.

"Addie! Addie!" A frantic and excited voice emitted from the direction of the slam. Neither Addie nor I had time to turn around before the daydream phrase rose clear and pure above the accompanying sound of friendly running feet and a backpack bouncing up and down in rhythm with each step closer.

"Addie, wait up!"