(Written September, 19, 2011.)
I need you to know that you are my hero. You’re only 3 ½ now, so you’d probably laugh if I told you this and tell me that you can’t fly or climb walls and that you don’t own a cape, even a dress up one. So I hope you don’t mind that I’m letting everyone else in on my little secret now, until you’re old enough to understand, with the promise that I’ll tell you when the time is right.
I will never forget that moment, three months ago, when you started to stutter. I remember stopping in my tracks and wondering, “What was that?!” I remember that heavy feeling of worry that descended over me. I remember crying a lot over the next several days, as I thought about how challenging your life would surely be. And I spent A LOT of time on the internet and on the phone and devouring everything I could about stuttering from everyone I could. Because that’s what your mommy does: I cry and I research.
And then one day, I looked up from my haze, and I saw you. I saw my snuggly, thumb-sucking, loud, jigsaw puzzle-solving, tower-building, Star Wars-loving, Bubba-shadowing, crazy, long-lashed, stretchy-faced, independent, stubborn, precious boy. This boy, so unlike me, so fascinating to me, the VERY SAME boy you were just a few long days ago.
Since then, I have watched with amazement the patience, persistence, and determination you have demonstrated on the bumpiest of days and the simple joy you express when you have a smooth day. And there is no doubt in my mind that, stutter or not, you will thrive. You will never let anything get you down or anyone tell you you can’t. You are a truly awesome little person, Froggy.
Some days, as my mouth is telling you that I don’t want you to grow up, something inside is screaming, “Hurry up and grow up because I’m so excited to see what an amazing adult you will be!” I’m so anxious to see what you will teach me next, about myself, about you, about the human spirit. You are uncommon, Froggy. You are a gift. And I love you to heaven and back a million times. I win. No, really, darling. I win.