My son asked, "What were my first words?" and my heart broke for a moment. I was unable to instantly recall those years. I closed my eyes and thought and thought. I could recall his baby soft skin. His dimpled smile. The way he'd toddle across the floor and bend to pick up a toy. I could remember the lovely melody of his laugh, but specific words eluded me.
I went to his baby book. I decided when my first was born that the canned, fill-in-the-blanks books were not for me. From their padded covers to the personalized family trees inside, I once spent hours crafting these books by hand and customizing the pages to suit my own desires. But my son's (child #3) page for "first words" was not yet in place. Good intentions... Life got so full... so busy...
As I chastised myself for not being the meticulous keeper of details that I hoped I would always be, I went to my second source for family stories and lore. I once kept paper journals for each child, note taking for the bigger books, perhaps, or thoughts and details I wanted to capture for later.
Though fewer than a quarter of the pages in his book were full, I found the list:
no (he has two sisters)
mow (pronounced like wow, for cat)
And my ears began to remember the sound of that little voice , speaking his first words.