Late Night Conversations
There are days when the silence in Ashley Kate's life is so loud that it deafens me. I watch her play from across the room and will her to make a sound. Just once... say something...anything! I ache inside as I wonder what life would be like inside these walls if we did have a 6 year old who rattled on and on and on. Would we ever tire of hearing what she had to tell us? I think not.
I stood in the shower the other day praying and thinking and wondering what I would give back to her if the Lord allowed me to choose just one thing in her life. It didn't take me long to feel the smile creep across my face as I said aloud "her voice"! And then I laughed out loud when I realized how loud I had been talking to myself. Its not a secret how much we miss hearing all the things she could be telling us. There are moments of frustration for her and for us as we work on communicating and figuring out what she is saying.
Then as I lay next to her each night in her tiny bed and we talk about her day I realize that she is indeed speaking to me loud and clear. As I recount aloud to her all that her day held she giggles at some things, and her eyes sparkle at others, then her lips smile as I see recognition and attention in her face as she remembers all that I am talking to her about. Some days she recounts to me a story or two about the day in her own language. Its not so much the language of ASL, although the basis for it begins there. Its more Ash's language. Her own signs. Her own gestures that honestly only the 5 of us can understand. She's a funny girl. She has a great sense of humor and the things she chooses to "tell" me about make me laugh out loud. She commands the room each night with her requests and her story telling. She understands her world and she allows us to be a part of it. I'm so thankful for that. Truly I am. How painful it would be if she chose to reside there without us being there with her.
I treasure our late night conversations. The time of day where its just the two of us who remain awake. I look forward to listening to her. We sing songs some times. She makes her requests by signing star, or chickens, or farm, or whatever it is she wants me to sing about. I do my best to sneak in a line or two of Jesus Loves Me, but much to our dismay she has an issue with Jesus these days. I'm not sure what is going on with her and Him, but each night she pushes me off of her bed and waves bye when I begin to sing about Him. Its a little funny. At least when I shared with Dave what was going on we both laughed out loud. I'm sure its temporary. At least I'm hoping it is!
I guess I'm just missing her sweet voice these days as I visit with her. I know she has so much more to share with me if only her little hands could figure out how to say it. I've given up on so many of our dreams for Ash over this last year. Choosing instead to just enjoy her and to allow her to be happy rather than pushing her to do more and more and more. Its been a sweet year. Filled with lazy days of playing, cuddling, and giggling. I don't regret our choice to slow her life down a little bit. I really don't. Sure it would be nice to see her walk and run and jump, but its not my focus anymore. It would be great to have a back pack filled with books and pencils rather than IV pumps and tubing, but its not going to be that way for Ash. And...Its... ok... Really it is. Painful but ok. One thing we have decided to do though is work with her speech. Were going to try at least. As a family we all agree that if we could give her anything it would be a voice. So...as we venture out on this old but new again venture wish us luck. With a little of it we might just hear her say a little more some day. Maybe we won't, but maybe we will.
Until then I'll just keep listening to the silence and filling in the blanks for her until I get it right. Trust me when I tell you she lets me know if I'm choosing the right words or not for the blanks. And that makes me giggle. Out loud.