"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place." (--George Bernard Shaw)
It's good to be back in North Carolina, after a snowy drive home from Georgia. What a winter wonderland out there! Christmas with family was all too brief, but we talked, ate good food, saw movies, played games, took walks, partied with neighbors, and in general enjoyed each other's company.
I talked to my other siblings and my son on the phone, since I didn't get the chance to see them all.
The other day, I was watching a mother and small child, and it reminded me of my own son to hear this child talk: this little boy was at that age where--when he spoke, only his mom could really understand what he was saying, but he was definitely communicating! He was very sweet.
Eric used to talk up a storm as a wee one: he'd always want me to repeat whatever it was he was trying to say, so that he knew I'd understood his meaning. I can remember him toddling around the house, and I would hear him say this same thing, over and over: "Oooooooh-Day-Ahhhhhh...." I used to wonder what the heck he was trying to say, because he'd repeat it quite often. One day, when I was tearing around, flustered that I'd lost my keys yet again, I finally found them, and exclaimed, "Here they are!" Eric immediately looked happily at me and repeated, in much the same tone, "Ooooooooh-Day-Ahhhhhhh!"
(Evidently I lost things quite often.)
Another day, he kept saying the same phrase over and over again. It was: "Bah Dinny, ma!" I had no idea what he was trying to tell me, and he was becoming quite agitated, because he knew I wasn't repeating it, and so he knew I wasn't understanding him. I tried saying it myself, out loud, to see if I could figure out what he meant. "Bah Dinny, Bah Dinny." He stood there with those famous little tear drops squeezing out of his eyes onto his little cheeks, making me feel awful that I had no idea what he was saying. I told him "I'm sorry, Eric, I just don't know what 'Bah Dinny' is." He kept at it: "Bah Dinny, Bah Dinny, ma!!" I was exasperated myself, but suddenly, my turntable (yes, this was years ago) stopped, and the record was over, and it occurred to me that it was a Bob Dylan album I'd been playing.
Eric's teary little face quickly turned to sunshine and he danced around in front of me, happy as a clam, hugging my legs, and saying "Bah Dinny, Bah Dinny!" He was happy to know I was with the program again.
Must've been hard having me for a mother. I was a little slow on the uptake...