My husband is a linguist and so I knew I he would be dorky about our first child's language acquisition. I knew that when our son stopped squawking and started babbling, my husband would take a great deal more interest in him. I expected that.
So when Scott started talking about the unusual phonemes our son was acquiring, I figured it was just lingo-babble and fatherly pride. I didn't really understand what was peculiar about Soren's aggregate of sounds and so I guess I thought Scott was just exaggerating. Kind of the scholarly equivalent of me propping Soren up against a table and then snapping pictures of him "standing" at 6 or 7 months. That Soren would be standing then seemed as unlikely to me as him aquiring difficult and non-native sounds before typical baby babble. I mean, it was just a bizarre hubris to think our baby would defy the bell curve, right? And average was more than good enough for me.
Then another linguist friend came to visit our family on Sunday. She and Scott huddled together around Soren and began talking in a language of linguistic scholarship, unintelligible to me. What I gathered out of the conversation was that they were talking about Soren and that it was generally agreed that he was making some unusual sounds. Scott was beaming.
Yesterday I had a thought. I thought that maybe Soren's unusual babble was a gift from our Father, a tender mercy. It's such a small, seemingly unimportant thing. But I believe God is involved in the minutia of our lives. If there was going to be a baby like Soren (and face it, statistics do say there should be at least one), then why would he not send the little tike to a father that would thoroughly appreciate it? Yes, his phonetic inventory is going to realign to normal before he starts talking. No, it's not an earth-shaking miracle or life-altering blessing. But it's a beautiful detail that brings more joy to our home right now. And I believe it's a tender mercy from a loving and involved Father in heaven.