Lisa Leonard Designs

i love you, too.

July 18th | david, finding love

This morning I heard David awake up in his bed. I set down my coffee and went to get him. I lifted his sweet, warm, sleepy body out of the covers and placed him on my hip. As we descended the stairs I pulled him close to me and he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck and snuggled his head into my neck.

My thoughts wandered back to those first days and weeks when the doctors told us our newborn baby would have serious developmental delays that included not being able to walk, talk or eat by mouth. My heart broke hearing those words and imaging the difficulties that lay ahead for us. But more specifically, I remember thinking, “he’ll never say ‘I love you'”. I hadn’t realized it was important, but thinking I would never hear those words felt like a crushing blow. Was I even truly a mother if my child couldn’t express his affection for me?

Fast forward a few years, and here we are, his body close to mine, his arms wrapped tightly around my neck and my voice whispering in his ear, “I love you, too”. He may not tell me he loves me with words, but he expresses his love so clearly–in ways even stronger than words.

42 Responses

  1. Ashley says:

    You make me all teary-eyed and stuff…

  2. what a beautiful post. thanks for sharing your sweet life with us.

  3. Kristin S says:

    Sweet, sweet perspective.

  4. sheri says:

    so so so sweet – perfectly said as usual for you. love it!

  5. SO precious Lisa! anyone can say I love you in a million different ways…but sometimes it’s the little things they DO that mean the most 😉

  6. Mary Ann says:

    thank you for your words and heart full of warmness.

  7. Lisa says:

    This is so tender and sweet and I love it!

  8. tiffany day says:

    so awesome!

    it is so true how actions do speak louder than words!

    so love and appreciate your heart Lisa!!

  9. Mel says:

    I love what you said! Beautiful. I have a 22 year old son who has autism and does not speak. They speak to us in so many other ways!

  10. Barbara says:

    Lisa,
    I have a daughter with autism and, while she is verbal (limited) she never says “I love you” spontaneously. She will say it after I say it to her, but never on her own. But, as you have discovered, there are MANY ways to “hear” I love you, and sometimes, those mean more than the words! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa Leonard says:

      I love the way you said that, “there are many ways to hear ‘i love you'”. beautiful. thanks for sharing a bit of your journey. xx

  11. Lauren says:

    It’s amazing how the Lord finds such beautiful ways to show us his love.

  12. Isn’t God good Lisa? Doctors may diagnose but God is higher than any other and his blessings are abundant.
    He gave David to you because you were worthy to raise him in a way no other momma could. You are just as precious as that sweet little boy is!

  13. melody says:

    with every word, every picture and every single post…I find myself being more and more in awe of you and your sweet beautiful family.

  14. Inge says:

    It’s the little things in life that mean the world. And love expresses itself in many ways… sometimes it’s the little things that feel much better than a simple word or sentence. I’m glad you shared this, it made me emotional and teary eyed…
    A warm hug to you and your sweet little boy David! Inge x

  15. jamie says:

    amazing love…

  16. Marci says:

    How inspiring, Lisa. Thank you

  17. You make me want to cry. Sometimes it isn’t said with words. The best I love you’s are those that come in an embrace and we just know. xoxo

  18. Kelli says:

    What a sweetie. I am so glad you are his mama! It looks like he is, too :).

  19. Colleen says:

    You make him feel so loved, I can see that and he can feel it.

  20. Erin Lindsey says:

    I’m a huge fan of the blog in general, but definitely of David posts. It always makes me tear up a little seeing the love between you both. :) <3

  21. As I have told you before,you continue to inspire me…my 12 year old son has autism and is non-verbal too…..I think of things this way,it’s easy for someone to just say “I love you,” but our boys show us that they love us…how lucky are we?

  22. Paige says:

    Love this. Sweet David!

  23. Jo says:

    It’s so rare and wonderful when you can recognize love in unconventional ways. Lucky you!

  24. Monica says:

    I have a 2 year old autistic son. I’m afraid I may never hear ‘mama’. However,I know my son knows I’m Mama and I get lots of hugs and kisses! Nothing sweeter! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Heather Mize says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and cannot tell you how inspirational it has been to me. My daughter, Olivia, has cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound and can’t talk or really do anything for herself. All I want in this life is to hear her say “Mama”, but in my heart I know she loves me most of all! Thanks for speaking unabashedly about raising a special-needs child! I love seeing your lovely family pics :)

  26. Amy Lynne says:

    Mamas just know! Love it!

  27. Southern Gal says:

    That makes my heart happy.

  28. sandra says:

    Heart melter Lisa.
    Beautiful.
    Love is about so much more than the word.
    Sigh…

  29. Sarah says:

    Life has been very tough for me the past few years. Your beautiful story and family helps to inspire me, and always reminds me to count my blessings.

  30. Sarah says:

    This is a beautiful post. I just wanted to share though that even if our children aren’t born with developmental displays some children have difficulty saying those three words. My oldest is very sensitive, sensitive to touch, words, emotions – everything. So, over the years I’ve come to love those moments. Moments like you share here where you know it’s there without any need to hear the words. I love those moments. Thank you for sharing your sweet one with all of us.

  31. Whitney says:

    I’ve never commented before but this was so beautiful I just had to. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Angie says:

    Just beautiful!

  33. Callie says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m at a point in my life where everyone asks me when I’m having babies. There are a lot of reasons why I’m not ready, and to be totally honest, I just don’t know if I could handle it. Your stories and thoughts about motherhood make me feel better–you inspire me. I love to read posts about your children and how blessed you are to be their mother. This one especially brought me to tears. Thank you for your blog!

  34. connie says:

    Oh, grab a tissue…
    so simply written, so deeply true…just your way, Lisa
    thank you for sharing

  35. Lisa McGriff says:

    Lisa, I just wanted to share that a friend’s baby was just diagnosed with cdls, as you can imagine they are going through a rollercoaster of emotions. I suggested your blog as a place for her to go for inspiration about raising a child with a disability. At that time I did not know that cdls was what David was diagnosed with. The first day that this sweet mom reads your blog was today’s post… God is so awesome in his timing. Your post today touched one mama’s heart in a VERY BIG way. Thank you for sharing your life and your sweet boy with us all!

  36. Sue M says:

    You are the best mom!!!

  37. Renae says:

    Making me cry at work isn’t cool…but then again, who reads blogs at work? :) This was an absolutely beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing. And I know David loves you so much and appreciates you understanding his language. Touches are special…we are lucky to be moms.

  38. Legih says:

    Lisa, I had no idea it was that severe with David. I do remember having to wait until Noah was a lot older to say I love you due to his severe speech disorder. Now I never take it for granted.
    Hugs to you today!
    xo Leigh

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