When “I Love You” Is Hard to Say

With the help of small rituals, sometimes it doesn’t have to be said at all.

Kat Moody
P.S. I Love You
Published in
5 min readAug 26, 2020

--

We have a ritual, Logan and I.

Every evening (and some mornings too) when I give him his medication, I also give him his chocolate chip bribe. The meds are to keep his seizures at bay while the bribe is to convince to take them.

One night several years ago, I started singing a silly, made-up song. I still sing it every time I give him his meds.

Chocolate, chocolate, I love you.
I love you.
Yes, I do.
Chocolate, chocolate, I love you,
I love you.
Yes, I do.

Nothing remarkable. Nothing fancy. It’s a pretty silly little song, really. Except I got a kick out of the way he relaxed as I sang it. The child who never relaxes or stays still for a minute would lean against his pillow as his tense muscles relaxed for the first time that day. He’d clutch his blanket; quiet and watchful as our ritual progressed.

Over time, his eyes would drift to mine as I got close to the end. Until I started this little ritual, Logan rarely looked me in the eyes. I‘m not invited into his world often. Somehow during the comfort of a silly song, our special routine, he began letting his guard down.

And somehow, over even more time, he’d decide, sometimes, to lean forward until his forehead pressed against mine and relax.

In those moments, it felt like he was silently joining in the song and ritual.

And sometimes his eyes met mine, his eyes crinkled at the corners, and the smile lit up his whole face as I sang the last few words of the song.

I love you.
I love you.
Yes, I do.

The Connection Between Parent & Child

Over the years, I’ve made and discarded all kinds of bedtime rituals for my guys. What worked for one didn’t work for another. With Logan, though, it was more challenging.

Logan is nonverbal.

He’s autistic and has apraxia of speech, which is a kind of disconnect between what he understands and what he can say. His cerebral palsy also creates fine motor control issues. The combination makes speech…

--

--

Kat Moody
P.S. I Love You

Wife. Mom. Writer. Advocate. Imperfect Christian. In our home: Autism, Epilepsy, Rare Disease & Awesomeness. Addicted to coffee. >> https://KatMoody.me