SJ said her first word just barely over two years ago, when she was three years old. She said “up” and pointed to go upstairs. I freaked out. Just a little bit.

From then on I started documenting everything. Okay, maybe not every word she said, but I have notes on my phone that I use to keep track. The name of the list on my phone from that time was “Words SJ Said Without Prompting”

What that means is that she said them spontaneously without anyone coaxing her and cuing her to say a specific word. She was able to parrot a lot of words, but she didn’t necessarily know them. Things really took off in the fall of that year.

The next year, in 2014 she started putting words together

This time last year she said “Mom. I hear phone!” and it was a huge breakthrough.

The words just kept rolling in and she was beginning to really communicate her needs.

Over the summer she was saying sentences and I started a new list called to “Sentences SJ Said”

or “Stuff SJ said at Christmas time”

So she progressed from sounds, to words, to spontaneous language, to multiple words, then sentences and lastly conversations.

That is where we are now. Good grief, I am crying just typing this out. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t getting anywhere, but as I look back I can see how far she’s come.

I used to get really excited when I noticed her say a new word. Now she has so many words I can’t keep track. Instead I find it cute when she doesn’t know a word and I get to teach her one. Like recently when she asked the word for feather or honey. Or yesterday when she called the refrigerator a closet.

It’s so hard to get video of anything. She’ll be chatting up a storm, but the times I actually sit down to record something she is a vault. I do have some snippets of a 15 minute conversation I had with her while she was preparing a snack. Please excuse her wild end of the day hair and the disaster in the background. I don’t call this space messy mom for nothing.

She has a LONG way to go before she is caught up. I’m proud of how far she has come though and I have to focus on that and remember my favorite Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 to keep things in perspective.

I am going to paraphrase a little here, but you’ll understand why.

For I know the plans I have for SJ declares the Lord, plans to prosper her and not harm her, plans to give her hope and a future.