I've been a little concerned recently about the amount that Henry talks- or, doesn't, actually. He has a solid 12-15 words that he says, but it seems most other 19 month olds that I hear about say far more and perhaps more clearly. I know that Henry understands us and I can tell that he's smart. But still, he doesn't talk much. So I asked his primary caregiver at daycare this week what she thought, if he's where he "should" be. Her answer surprised me, but not for the reasons I expected.
She told me that Henry is an observer. That he likes to sit and watch and that while he is social, he's also very independent. He is the kid that only talks when he has something to say. She said he's incredibly smart, he knows all of the sign language that they've taught him and that he can say words when you ask him. But he just likes to observe.
This actually radiated down to my soul. You see, that's exactly who I am. I'm an observer. I've had multiple people all throughout my life tell me that I'm quiet, that sometimes they don't know if I'm having fun because I just sit on the sidelines quietly. And the reason I do that is because I like observing people. I'm not overly chatty unless I really have something to say, and I tend to choose my words carefully.
Her description of Henry is like getting a clear understanding of who my son is. My son is me. He may look more and more like his Daddy every day (but those eyes are still me!), but in his mind, he's his Mommy. Whether or not he grows out of this is yet to be seen, but for now he's my quiet little soldier, the one who likes to curl up and just be. The one who will talk when it's necessary and observe when it's not. The one who may sit on the sidelines but will be happy to do so. And now when I watch him sitting so quietly and independently I just smile because I understand him now more than ever.