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Piece By Piece: A Spontaneous Message of Love

I didn’t make it to my cell on time so I looked to see who had left a message. It said “home,” but I was home. When I hit play I heard Peter’s voice. He said, “Hi Mom, I LOVE you. Bye.”

How can six tiny words bring tears to a Mom’s eyes? Well, when you have a son who you were never sure would speak and a son who is not good at expressing  himself, this totally random, unsolicited message was one of those moments I was never sure I would have.

Peter had delayed speech. He did not speak in sentences until he was 4 ½ and those sentences were very basic. It took years before he really spoke about himself and what speech therapists would call “spontaneously.”

Often in the past, when he gave a message of caring it was in a direct response to something a person said, feeling rote except for that flash of his dimple. This message was not rote, he even had expression as he said “love” and paused before he added the “bye.”

Peter has recently become fascinated by the radio. He likes to listen to music. Whenever a slow song comes on, he calls it “romantic” and suggests that Bill and I should dance.

His sister Kit said he could dance to music like that too with a partner and volunteered. The next thing I knew, they were dancing across the living room. Peter didn’t want to do it for long because that was something he should do “when he was married” he said shyly, with the smile he gives when he is trying to figure things out. Kit told him it is always good to practice dancing. Peter was not so sure and asked to wait until the music sped up again.

I have a feeling there will be more exploring of feelings while the radio plays in the coming days. Just in case there are no more phone messages, I am saving the one I have. After all, I waited quite a while for it.

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