Ethan's on the slide in the backyard. The air is raw; we're going to attempt getting our tree later. Once he reaches the top of the slide, I stand below him and practice once again.
"Okay Ethan. Here we go. Ready...set...." I wait for him. Nothing for a moment. "G-" I prompt.
"Gee!" he yells. Almost. He practically tumbles down the slide in his new winter jacket, a size too big. Again, he runs to climb up the ladder.
"Yea!" I cheer him on. "Let's do it again. Ready, set...." I wait. And wait. I know he can do it. I've told his speech therapist he can do it, because I've heard it, even if no one else has yet.
Eyes shining, smiling, he says it. "GO!"
December has not quite felt like December yet. The sun is out and we're grasping another moment of fresh air before the inevitable storms hit, at some point.
"Let's go down the slide!" I call to Ethan.
"Mommy go up ladder?" he asks.
"Sure, I'll go the ladder."
"Ethan up wall."
"Okay, I'll race you!" I scramble to the top.
"Ethan turn!" he shouts and positions himself at the top, then pushes himself down. He stands at the bottom, watching me. "Mommy down slide, too," he says.
"I'm coming, I'm coming," I answer, and squeeze my big body down the little slide.
"Now mommy up wall," he tells me, and of course I oblige, hoping I make it up the rickety slope.
"Yea! Mommy's coming!" Ethan calls, laughing as he climbs the ladder.
"Will he ever talk?" I had half-wailed to Jessica, at the beginning. Inside I knew the answer, I knew that he would, but I wanted someone to answer definitively, absolutely, positively. Of course, she couldn't do that.
Sometimes we have no choice. Sometimes we just have to trust. Hope. And wait.