No matter how often I hear my children’s voices–and I hear them often since I gave birth to two chatterboxes–I’m never deaf to how sweet they are. Not the words necessarily, but the actual sound; the unique pitch and tone that make them easily identifiable in a crowd. Didn’t I read something about that and penguins? Oh nature, you rock my world.
As we sorted through Christmas ornaments last week the kids sang carols, in the way kids do–loud and out of tune.
My son sang in a prepubescent high pitched trill that only dogs can hear. While my daughter hummed in tone than can only be described as the lowest on the register. Granted the girl has a cold, but wow. Coupled with her inability to carry a tune we jokingly referred to her as “The Monotone Baritone.”
Out of tune and off pitch, it was still music to my ears. Listening to them talk to each other, uttering phrases they’ve clearly heard from me, like mocking birds, makes me smile and reminds me that little ears hear all. *mental note: quit cursing*
As I walked my girl through the school parking lot she chattered away, repeating herself, stuck in a “loop.” This happens more often when she’s tired or excited. I patiently (most days) listen and let her get her point across, which she eventually always does. We passed a group of boys who looked to be about ten or eleven. “Listen to that girl,” one of them said to his friends, snickering. “Listen to her voice.”
What? What do you mean listen to her voice? Her voice is the sweetest thing ever. How could they tease? She is loud, yes. She repeats herself, true. And her cold makes her voice raspy and low. But does her voice warrant such attention?
I shot him a warning look and the boy turned sheepishly away.
Maybe he wasn’t teasing. I tend to jump into defensive mode a little too quickly these days. But it’s more likely he tuned in to her immature speech pattern, and “different” to kids that age is something to notice and discuss.
I never truly forget that my child is different, but most days I don’t really think about it. We simply see her, for her. It’s when she stands out in a crowd and when somebody in that crowd draws attention to her, that I see and hear the difference. It still takes me by surprise and sometimes I get angry or upset. But then my girl will laugh or tell me something in her sweet, sweet voice and suddenly it doesn’t matter at all.