He's not pointing. Or saying words.
Like other kids.
And you say it doesn't affect you. That all children learn and grow at their own pace. But somewhere deep inside: you wonder: why not? And just like that, with those two words, the small pebbles of worry seep into your skin like fine grains of sand rubbing your insides raw.
Then, today. When you get a phone call- the kind of call that makes you sink to the floor. That makes you forget where you are, or what you are, all labels teacher, lawyer, writer, stripped away until you stare at the bare bones of what a person is, a mother, a wife, a child. You are always your parent's child.
And you hear the soft padded footsteps of chubby feet and look up to see your son walking towards you. He pauses a brief moment. Examines your tear-soaked face with a concern he cannot articulate but is expressed on his small chubby face. And you feel him wrap his baby arms around you before pulling back to wipe away each tear as it trails down your face.
And in that moment you forget the pointing. And the words not yet spoken, because all you see is love; pure unadulterated love that words can never properly express. And you want nothing more than for this little being with the toothless smile to never ever receive a phone call that speaks of anything but sunshine, daffodils and daisies while knowing that's just not possible.
A parent's love is unlike any other love, my father said to me years ago. As I watched my son's sleeping figure tonight, I thought of my own parents decades ago watching over me. Love takes many different forms but a parent's love occupies an island all its own.
If your eyes read across these words, if you are the praying sort, please keep my family in your prayers. All is well. Please God, let it remain so.