I’m going to make this blog post very short, and just a little sweet. I’m anticipating Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful for the five seconds that I’m about to describe.

First, a set-up. Almost every night, I put Dar to bed. (On the other nights, wifey puts him to bed.) I walk him upstairs and walk him right into his bed. I literally tuck him in. I kiss his head. Then I say “night.” Very rarely, he might try to answer that by repeating it. The “n” sound is hard for him. You know how “no” was one of your kid’s first words? It took us more than five years to get him to say anything like “no” and it’s actually “uh-nuh” and he still doesn’t use it correctly all the time…sometimes he says yes when he means no, and vice-versa.

I think Dar’s first sound was probably “buh.” B is relatively easy. The problem with B is that it stands for too many words. Anyhoo, when I put Dar to bed, after I say “night,” I say “Bye.” Cause I know he’ll say “Bye.” Or at least “buh.” And maybe mean it. And maybe that helps tell him with the idea that it’s time to shut down for the night.

The other night, I tucked, I kissed, I said my usual “Night” and then “Bye.” He said nothing. I walked to his door. I said “Bye” again. Still nothing. I said “BYE.” in a firm tone. And he said “buhhhh” in a sort of half-annoyed, yeah I get it already tone.

He has never, ever, used that tone. I know he’s been sick of us, but he’s never expressed it in that kind of normal vocal way. He’s expressed it through frustrated yelps. But this was a sound that you could actually imagine a teenager making. This was new. It was a breakthrough.

I basically skipped down the stairs.

Little things. In our house, we live on such tiny, tiny, little things. We’re in a famine, eating bread crumbs on the regular, and when a hard roll comes along, we jump for joy.