When Teen Queen was about 8, we had a mother-daughter bonding experience. She'd lost all words, spoken communication, shortly after turning 2. It took 4 years of extensive speech therapy to get back half of what she lost. But sometime around 1st grade, the floodgates opened, and she started talking in simple sentences.
One afternoon, I was working in the kitchen and she and Baby Queen were watching The Little Mermaid. I was suddenly aware of little eyes on me, and turned around to see TQ standing behind me staring at me. I asked her if she needed anything, no response. Was she hungry? Thirsty? Nothing.
Suddenly, she turned and ran into her bedroom, shutting the door. I went back to the dishes, listening to BQ giggle at the movie. Again, the feeling of eyes on me. I turn around and TQ took my hand and placed something in it. She took a deep breath, and said haltingly, "I love you, mom." Tears sprang to my eyes as I sank to my knees gathering her in for a rare hug. "I love you too, baby."
She pulled away and ran back to watch the movie. I stood up and looked in my hand to find Ariel's little red head staring lifelessly up at me. Yikes.