The Pause

For the last three and a half years I’ve told you I loved you every night before bed.

As a baby I would hold you close in your snuggly swaddle. You eyes would get heavy and your small body would melt into mine. It would feel like an eternity since you hated to sleep. Fear of missing out people would joke.

As your beautiful baby blues would eventually close you face would be so peaceful. I would ever so carefully place you in your crib with promises to see you in the morning. I would whisper I love you so much before leaving your room. 

As you have grown into a toddler we still followed the same routine. I hold your growing body across my own and rock you until you have settled. My back is usually protesting by the time I lay you down since you’ve grown so much. You are no longer asleep when I lay you in your crib but your always-busy body has calmed enough to rest.

I tell you to have sweet dreams, that tomorrow we will play and read books. I tell you I love you so much as I approach your bedroom door. Then it happens. The pause. Silence. 

The words still haven’t come. I’m not sure if they ever will. So many people promise that eventually it will happen. They encourage me to always have hope. To never give up. To just keep trying. 

Some nights that pause kicks me in the gut. The silence that meets me too eagerly is sometimes a little too much to handle.

Some nights after I close your door I linger a little longer secretly imagining what it would be like to hear your voice. Your voice comes to me in my dreams and it’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. It used to bring me to tears, but I guess over time I’ve just found some peace or maybe just acceptance in what nonverbal might mean for us. 

There is a saying I see all the time ‘Love needs no words’ or something of the like. I can attest to that. It still doesn’t lessen the sting of the pause. Your smile, your giggles, your big hugs. It screams happiness.

You turn away from food you have no interest in, you slightly push against my hand when I try to brush your teeth if you’re not quite ready, you threw the stack of cards on the floor your therapist had put away after you spent 30 minutes matching them. You know what you want and you’re making it known. 

So at the end of the day, once you are snuggled into your jammies and my back is screaming from holding a 45lb toddler a little bit longer than it would like…I will lay you in bed. I will cover you with your blanket.

I will promise a fun day tomorrow after a good nights sleep. I will tell you I love you so much. And I will pause. I will wait. And I will keep hoping that one night that pause will bring a different kind of tears to my eyes.

Until then, my sweet boy. 

Written by, Monique Humphries

I’m a south Georgia mama to two beautiful babies. My husband and I have been on a wild ride with our little guy, but we’re figuring it out day by day. Our little girl loves her ‘bubba’ so much, and so do we.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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