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My son has few words, so I follow him

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I follow him.

My 5-year-old, Anderson, has a major speech delay. He has started doing this thing. He walks up to me or his dad and extends his hand.

He wants us to follow him.

The other day, my husband and I were deep in a conversation about the logistics of our upcoming move. Anderson ran over with urgency. I told him we would be with him in a second, but he kept extending his still chubby fingers towards me.

So, I followed him.

I was getting frustrated. I thought he was trying to show me something, tell me something I wasn’t understanding. But then, I realized, that wasn’t it at all. Whereas his siblings communicate to us throughout the day with words, Anderson communicates by simply being with us.

So, I follow him.

Sometimes we just need someone to bear witness to our lives. We need someone to laugh at the jokes we find funny on TV, we need someone to sit with us in our boredom, we need someone to watch us stretch our legs and laugh with our faces pointed towards the sun. I see this now.

So, as much as I am able, I follow him.

Because we were made to do this life together. We belong to each other. Sometimes we do this with words and sometimes, just our mere presence. So, I wrap my hand around his and step into the togetherness we both so desperately need.

Most of the time I lead this boy of mine. But lately, I follow him.

This post originally appeared on Jillian Benfield's Facebook and Instagram pages. Get her free e-book, The Five Spiritual Comforts for Special Needs Parents.

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