Time drags on forever when you’re waiting on something — that extra day before your magazine comes in the mail, 15 extra minutes that you stand there waiting for your ride to pick you up, an hour sitting on the plane waiting for your delayed takeoff. Well yesterday, I finally got something I’d been waiting six years, four months and 16 days for … a hug from Jack!
I had already given him a kiss goodnight and I was downstairs making a phone call for work. As I sat there waiting on hold (those 10 minutes seemed like forever, too!), Tiff called me upstairs because I needed to see something. At bedtime, one of us typically lays next to Jack in his bed for five or 10 minutes, scratching his back or arms as he relaxes before going to bed. Well, last night, he put his arm around her up by her neck to hug her and wouldn’t let go. She wanted me to rush upstairs to see that, because he’s NEVER done that.
I got up to his room, and she wanted him to give her another hug, but he didn’t. After about a minute, though, he spontaneously looked at her and said “mommy”! He doesn’t do that. Ever. Tiff got pretty excited, and about 15 seconds later he looked over in my direction and said “daddy”! And no, he doesn’t ever do that, either!
We were completely shocked, in a good way. We know there’s something going on in there, and when something comes out, it’s exciting. We still look forward to the day that he talks with us and tells us what he’s thinking and interacts with us, Ben and Ava.
He wasn’t really giving Tiff a hug again, but I believed it. He wasn’t really letting her get up, so she asked him what he wanted. When we prompt him with “what do you want?” we usually get a muffled answer that helps us know what he wants. He’ll say “drink”,”chip”,”cookie”,”push play” and a few other things like that in his cute, muffled voice.
But last night, in response to the question, he said “I want Daddy”! As you can probably guess, that was the first time that ever happened, too. He didn’t have to ask twice. I went over to give him a hug, but he beat me to the punch, giving me the same neck-lock he gave Tiff a few minutes earlier. And he wouldn’t let go. He was giving me kisses and pulling me tight enough to bend my glasses a little bit. All the while, I still had the phone on hold, prepared to hang up if I actually got to a live person at that time.
That was the first hug I’ve ever gotten from him. It’s pretty hard to explain what it’s like to have virtually no emotional interaction from your child towards you for six years, but I’ve become pretty numb to it all. We’ve known that there are plenty of thoughts going on inside his head, but it’s really encouraging to see things like this. We know better days are ahead, and with signs like this, we’re still optimistic that they’re not too far off.
After a few minutes, he let go to go to sleep and I went downstairs, still listening to the hold music on my phone call. After a few minutes, I finally spoke to someone and resolved my issue. For once, I wasn’t bothered while waiting a few extra minutes.