Power of the Spoken Word

Any parent who hears their baby speak for the first time knows how exhilarating that sound is. There is a definite distinction between babbling and a real bono fide word. What will it be first, mama or dada or some variation of the caregiver’s name? We wait anxiously for that moment and congratulate the child with accolades, excitement, and even hugs and kisses. It’s a milestone for sure.

Once they have mastered a basic vocabulary of a two or three year old, it’s usually smooth sailing from that point on, even with various pronunciations. It’s amazing to hear a child develop a large vocabulary from simply listening to others speak.

It doesn’t take long for a young child to learn the power of words. After sorting through and perhaps using them indiscriminately, they discover the wonderful ability to communicate just about every need or want.

As an example, my soon to be four year old grandson eagerly explained to me that he wanted to go to the bike store near his preschool. I asked if he had ever been there before or if mommy or daddy took him there. He replied, “No they didn’t.” I asked how he knew about it and he answered, “Because I see it every day on my way to school and I’d like to see the bikes inside.”

I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t sure if I would honor his request. While strapping him into his car seat after picking him up at school, he provided me with the most convincing rationale for why I should stop there before we headed home.

“Grammy, trust me you’re going to love this bike store. It has really cool bikes that we could both look at and it won’t take too long. We can stop now because it is right here. We have time. Trust me, trust me you’re really going to love it!”

His speech sounded convincing enough and we did have enough time, so of course I stopped at the bike store and we both enjoyed our visit. He consulted the owner about a bike he liked and also asked if they did repairs. He asked if he could see how and where the owner fixes bikes. The owner was incredibly obliging and showed us his work station. He gave Troy a key chain and showed him all the various tools he uses.

Troy talked about the store on the ride back home, what he had learned, what he thought was interesting. He explained that he might want to go back there again even though he already has a bike, because eventually he would need a bigger one.

Thinking of his future, I can’t help but wonder if his command of the English language will take him very far in life. At the very least it will serve him well accomplishing his goals over the next few years. There will no doubt be more interesting places he’ll want to visit. As Troy would say, “Trust me!”