Yesterday was the first day that Oli ever called me mom.
Today when she said it again someone else was here to validate for me that she actually said it. My husband heard her.
She is 6.
She called me mom.
Not mom-mom or ma-ma-ma. Not ommm or mmmmm or ahhhh or any of the other things that she has called me in the past.
I knew she could. I hoped she would.
I just didn’t know when?
As we were sitting on the chair this morning after breakfast she quieted her head shaking, tipped her head towards mine and said “Mom”. Then she smiled and leaned forward to give me a hug and pat me on the back. She hugged me tightly like “I know mommy. I know you’ve been waiting to hear that from me for a very long time. There you go. I said it.”
I was so shocked that I don’t even think I registered the fact that it was SUCH a big deal until after she left for school. Until after I came back upstairs and sat down with my coffee.
And then it hit me.
I finally heard the word that I have been waiting to hear since she was born. The word that I have dreamt of all of my children saying since the moment that I knew that I wanted to become a mother.
After 6 long years…I finally heard it from Oli.
If she has taught me anything it’s patience. If she has shown me anything it’s that we have to celebrate the tiniest accomplishments because for a child like her, the smallest things become the most memorable.
I remember each of her little moments like it happened yesterday. The pictures of those things are etched in my brain like a tiny portrait of the perfect day. I remember where we were sitting, what we were saying, who was in the room, and the big smile on her face once she realizes what she has done.
I’ll give you an example…
The second time she put two words together (the first time was at 2 years old before she stopped speaking) happened a few months ago. Kekoa, Ginger and I were playing a Lego board game. Kekoa was working on building a car out of red Legos with grey doors and black rubber wheels. Ginger was sitting to my left pulling out all of the tiny grey pieces, trying to annoy her brother. Oli was sitting with my mom eating applesauce. My mom asked her if she was all done eating. Oli tipped her head to the side and quietly said with the confidence of a super star “All done.”
Cue the big smile that graced her perfect lips and the huge yells of celebration and congratulations from the rest of us.
The itty bitty moments, in a regular house, on a regular day, mark the events of my lifetime.
THESE are the moments that I will remember when I grow older and reflect on the good times in my life.
I won’t remember when I bought my first car, when I moved into my first house, or what I wore on my first date.
I WILL remember when my Oli girl said mom for the first time.
I will remember when all of my kids did, but she works so much harder for these milestones. Months and months turn into years and years of therapy to achieve the things that other children seem to do so without effort.
And yet…that is almost exactly what she did today.
Somehow, working on it for all of these years instantly turned into a distant memory.
She said it so clearly, smoothly, and confidently that it just rolled off of her tongue like it had always been there.
Like she had been saying it all along.
I have many people joke with me and say things like “Just wait! Wait until she starts talking all of the time and then you’ll wish for the days that she didn’t.”
I laugh and say “Yeah” like I have some comprehension of what they’re talking about.
I can’t imagine a day that I wouldn’t want her to speak. She could speak to me all day, every day for the rest of her life and I honestly don’t think that I would ever get tired of hearing her sweet voice.
Can you imagine the day that she could have a conversation with me? Can you imagine a time when she could tell me what she wanted for dinner?
It gives me butterflies.
I will never ever wish for these days when she can’t.
But, I know that she will be able to someday because she surprises me all of the time with her accomplishments.
It may have taken her 6 years to call me mom, but she said it!
She said it.
That’s all that matters.