Every night I rock Alyssa a little as a part of her bed time routine. She cuddles up in my arms as I rock. I hold her tight as this is our special few minutes together. Guaranteed no interruptions by her big sister who requires so much of my time most days. I hold her so tight in hopes that she knows just how much I love her. I put her in her bed and then rub her back for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, I tuck her in, say, “good night, I love you,” and blow her kisses as I walk out the door. She blows kisses right back. The past few nights she now says I love you back. She has said it many times before but the past few nights it has just rolled off her tongue and has become a part of our routine.
Every mom loves hearing those 3 words from their child. But there are mom’s out there who say those 3 words to their children every day and never hear it back. I’ve never heard the return “I love you” from Courtney. I know, I know, she tells me she loves me in so many other ways. My favorite line as an autism mom is, “Love Needs No Words”. Courtney tells me I love you at night when I’m cuddling next to her and she scoots a little closer to me. She tells me I love you in her smiles, in her laughter and even in her tears. As true as the statement “love needs no words” is, it still means so much to hear those 3 words back from your child. It’s a little confirmation that amongst all the chaos of a day, amongst those moments where you may have been short fused with your child that they still trust and love you.
Through these last two months of reoccurring UTI’s for my sweet Courtney, I feel doctors have questioned how I truly know it’s a UTI when she’s not telling me it burns to pee. Parents of children who can’t talk have to learn to rely so much on this non-verbal cues. We learn to tune in to those cues. Trust me doctor, I know what she is telling me. Mothers truly know best.
These past two months I’ve wondered if I’m doing everything I possibly can to help her, I’ve worried about the attention it has taken from Alyssa, and more so than ever, I’ve yearned for Courtney to verbally talk to me. I wish she could tell me how she feels and what is hurting. So at night, when Alyssa says “I love you”, I give a sigh of relief. I must be doing something right.
I love you to the moon and back, Courtney and Alyssa!