How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Daughter

For the first time ever, I sat with my daughter to have a conversation, as she is the first human I know of who can actually communicate the complexity and fear in me without a filter.

This is an incredible experience. It’s a very good day for me, and my daughter. I’ve been sitting there thinking about a million things, and nothing comes up. I’m not even mad at her; it’s just that nothing comes up . . . . And then something in her words . . . . There’s just something about them for me, and it seems like there’s so much more and I’m overwhelmed . . . And then I feel a little sad – that I just wanted to hear how she was doing. I’m exhausted, but I just need to stay here with her.

I’m not sure if this is normal, but I find this to be extremely reassuring. She is very much aware of everything around her and she uses that awareness to help me to understand her. She speaks her thoughts through us, which I love – that I have to talk to her like she’s talking to me.

Now, here is a very important part to understand about this whole experience with speech, and that is that my child has not learned anything about speech from me or her biological parents. She was never taught how to talk. She just knows how to talk because I speak to her with so many words that it sounds like she’s saying words she hasn’t learned. I speak so much, but she doesn’t speak much, and so she doesn’t have much vocabulary to use to talk to me. She uses the words I pick out. This part of the conversation is really important.

The most important part of the conversation is where I begin to say I’m not angry, I’m not angry, I’m not angry . . . (and this is true). As I start to talk, I’m able to say those words and they get out. I then ask, I say, I don’t want to hurt you, (but why would I, right?). I explain how I feel and she knows how to talk with me as I’m telling her how I feel. I talk to her – how I want her to talk to me and not how she thinks I want her to talk at first. I talk to her – I start talking to her words and the words roll out. At first, I think this is confusing for her and I try to explain how it is for me and how it’s not that confusing for me.

Then I go back to just talking to her, asking her questions, and really listening. Then I can tell that she’s learning that words can come out. She can learn that words come from my experience. Words that come out are not ones I would normally use, but just words just coming out of my mouth. This part has given me the greatest, most humbling, and most profound feeling of joy and confidence I’ve ever known. I feel like this child is learning something of value from me. She is learning how to talk, and my mother tongue. This is amazing.

Then I get to her part, and I get to hear the words come out and we really talk. It is amazing. The sound of my daughter’s words as she speaks them to me is amazing. I start to talk too and I try to understand what she is saying. Then she stops me and she says she doesn’t understand but she hopes that I will teach her, she says, I hope that you’ll talk to me like I know how. And then she begins to speak with me. She talks to me and I talk to her – I have never been so happy that I’ve ever been. And she’s never once doubted me. I mean, she’s very confused – she really doesn’t understand, but the sound of my voice and her words has really helped her to understand. It truly is inspiring. It is such a relief.