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.