You are capable. I am sorry it has taken me so long to fully understand this. You are smart and able to learn and know so much more than I ever knew. You understand that sea turtles lay their eggs beneath the sand and then, once hatched, the baby turtles must make the treacherous trek toward the ocean. An ocean many will never reach. You understand this. You understand that turtles live in and out of water. We did not categorize them yet as reptiles, but we will get to that, possibly tomorrow.
You know Christopher Columbus is said to have reached America in 1492 and that there were people already living here. You pointed to an illustration of an American Indian and typed that this person was called a Native American. You showed me where we live on a globe and then suggested we take a boat to England over the Atlantic Ocean so that you might visit an old therapist you still remember and speak of with great fondness. You became particularly excited by the thought that we would have to stay in a hotel and inquired whether that hotel would have a swimming pool. I know. A hotel is not a good hotel without a pool.
You told me an insect has six legs and that a spider has eight legs and even though it kind of seems like a spider should be called an insect, it is not and in fact eats insects which is why all those insects in the Miss Spider book you love so much are scared of Miss Spider and that makes her cry. You demonstrated your innate acting talents by pretending to cry about Miss Spider’s predicament. It turns out Miss Spider is a vegetarian and happily eats the flowers offered to her much to the relief of all the fearful insects. That made you laugh. Then you remembered how “Bertie kitty” was admonished for getting on the dining room table and eating the flowers and said so, again in a very convincing and stern voice. You are so talented. I believed both your pretend tears and your pretend/scolding voice. Thank you for telling me you were pretending because you were very convincing.
You are so, so capable and for so many years I’ve been blind to just how capable you really are. But maybe, just maybe now I have the tools I need to hear you. Those tools I thought I was learning to use for you, it turns out are tools I needed for me. I need them so that I can hear all the things you’ve tried to tell me for so long.
I promise. I promise to keep listening.