Friday, December 12, 2008

He said his name

I was frustrated.
So frustrated.
I had bought a full-length mirror and mounted it in the nursery, hoping the image of himself would finally inspire Jonathan to say his name.
Instead, Jonathan stood before his reflection and said "Maaaatttt."
"No, no, no," I said, pointing to his brother. "That's Matt. You are Jon."
After a few rounds, Jonathan changed his response. Instead of calling himself "Matt," he actually pointed to his brother and then said Matthew's name. Further pressure only made Jonathan clam up.
Well, that was progress.
I sighed.
Jonathan knew who he was. He'd always responded to his name, but he just couldn't bring himself to verbalize it. Maybe the letter J was just too hard. But I knew in my heart that wasn't the issue. Jonathan wanted Matt's name, just like he wanted Matt's yellow bear, Matt's crib and Matt's shoes.
He had never said his name and he wasn't going to.
So I gave up.
I started to walk away.
Then I stopped.
I stopped because as I glanced back at Jonathan, I saw a familiar grin. It was that mischievous grin, the grin that tells me something big is about to happen.
"Maaaattt," he said, signaling toward his brother.
I approached him with caution.
"Yes. That's Matt, but who is this?" I asked, pointing at Jonathan's image. "Who is in the mirror?"
That grin grew. It grew bigger than I'd ever seen it before. Then suddenly it burst into a bright, startled face full of excitement, a look of comprehension and recognition that used every muscle in Jonathan's face.
"Jaaaah," he said. "Jaaaah."
Close enough.
I grabbed him and hugged him tight.
"Yes, yes," I said. "You are Jon."

5 comments:

Deirdre said...

Wow what a great story. I had no idea you enjoyed writing in high school. I knew from an early age I'd be a professor of English. I just LOVED language and reading and writing. I still have my journals, filled with longing for boys and really bad poetry. LOL.

There's Only One In There, Right? said...

How sweet is that?! Wonderful memories in the making.

jay_say said...

Wow... the scary thought for me is that I don't even remember when my boys learned their own name.

jay_say said...

Wow... the scary thought for me is that I don't even remember when my boys learned their own name.

Anonymous said...

Well, our Jonathan didn't say his name until he was 2 1/2. He also knew his name, but did not want to say it.