It’s hard to describe the subtle changes I notice in Violet from one day to the next, but I’ll try to explain them. Maybe the changes took place days or weeks ago, but today was the first day of summer vacation, and I got to spend more time with her than usual. Although her speech is still as basic as it gets – squeals, ahhhs and oooo’s with a few consonants thrown in now and then – she is no longer just using these sounds to communicate her needs. Each day, time spent with her, each of us making sounds at each other, feels more and more like a conversation. Now, she’ll wave her arms and howl in excitement not just in response to something I’ve done, but as an invitation to join her in something, anything fun. She is now in an almost constant state of motion, but there are moments when she’ll hold herself completely still and just stare – just after waking in the morning, riding in the car or in her swing, and at odd moments in the day when a noise, a movement, or an object catches her notice in just the right way. She loves sitting up with us near by, and to be tickled is one of her favorite things, but her ticklish spots change from day to day. Yesterday, a light touch of fingers on her cheek elicited laughs, but today it had to be done on the back of her knee.
It’s all something that, on a certain level, I knew Linda and I would go through, just as all parents do – this slow rise of the curtain on Violet’s personality. I just didn’t know how privileged I would feel. Every day we get to see one more sliver of the person she will be.