What was her first word?

I’m ridden with guilt.

I feel like I’m trying to hold sand in my hands and those grains are slipping through my fingers. I’m trying to capture each moment that passes, but I’m not quick enough. By the time I think about capturing one thing the moment has passed into history.

I think I’ve missed a pretty big one. Her first word.

Sand falling through hands

The word

When you ask your mum what your first words were, chances are they’ll have a fairly quick answer. It’s a black and white response. No umming and arring, they know it.

I think hers was Mumumumum… but was that just a noise? Then again she’s recently started to say Dada, and what I believe is ‘wha-sat’ as in ‘what’s that?’ and ‘dat’ for ‘that’ including pointing. But what was her actual first word? What will I tell her when she’s older? Will I tell her that it was mum as we ‘think’ that’s what it was?

Will she think less of me, or think that I wasn’t paying attention to her because I can’t remember exactly what it was? Will she understand that I tore myself up with guilt over not being able to document the exact millisecond that it happened?

It’s so confusing trying to recall what was a ‘real’ word and what was just a mistaken babble.

I feel like I’m expected to know when it happens. That it makes me a bad mum for not having some life-defining moment of clarity over it.

First words are a big step and I fear I’ve missed being able to capture it. Not because I wasn’t watching, but because so many different things happened at once, that a few grains inevitably slipped through the gaps.

Memories seemingly aren’t black and white, they’re a thousand shades of grey (oh my…).

I suppose over time the strongest memories will remain – the lumps of sand that can’t pass through my hands. The moments that are too big to forget. The moments that my mind won’t ever forget.

Winging it

Unless I have some defining moment of clarity over her first word and that huge guilt cloud floats away, I think I’m going to have to wing it.

If she asks me when she’s older, my answer will be clear:

“Your first word was Mum.”

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