It's not that Elijah hasn't said anything. He has. There have been times when I've walked in a room, Elijah has given me direct eye contact and he's said, "Mom."
"Yes!" I say, "that's ME! I'm Mom. Mmmmomm, that's right, Elijah, Mmmmooooommm."
Most of the time, Elijah doesn't refer to me at all, but once in awhile, I'll hear an "Ahm" and I know he's saying my name.
And then nothing. I won't hear it again for a long time. For the most part, Elijah communicates in crying, whining, screeching, laughing, growling, and "dolphin-boy" squealing. He does babble occasionally and if he's feeling really cooperative, he will even mimic some noises (that, however, is exceptionally rare).
And then something amazing will happen. These moments are few and far between. I don't really mention them because, well, it doesn't happen very often and I usually chalk them up to my imagination.
Flashback to this morning...Elijah has just woken up and Andy brings him into our bedroom. Elijah sees me and leans his body towards me, which indicates his desire to be held by me.
"I love you, Elijah," I say when he's nestled in my arms.
And then comes a distinct, "Ahh-vooo." from Elijah.
"I heard it," Andy says and we both smile. Our boy said, "I love you" and we know it.
This isn't the first time. In fact, the first time Elijah said his version of "I love you" he was less than a year old. Andy was saying love you - love you - love you -over and over to Elijah. And Elijah said, "laboo" a couple of times...and then nothing for a really long time.
A little over a week ago Elijah said a version of "I love you" to Andy at the dinner table... and now this morning and I'm starting to let myself believe that it's real. Elijah is trying to say, "I love you."
It's not like he's never heard it before. The poor kid is probably going to move out when he's a teenager...that's how much he's heard it. He probably won't let me touch him once he's three, I've used up my allotment of hugs and kisses (Nah, there's no such thing as too many hugs or kisses). Let's just say he gets a lot of lovin' (can you really blame us?).
If there is one thing I want Elijah to know, it's that we love him...no matter what. He may be a man of few words, but he certainly chose the right ones to say. Because, when I think about Elijah's speech, "I love you," is all I really want to hear and I don't doubt that he is trying to tell us. And let's be honest, he doesn't really need words to tell us how he feels. We know.