Voice - 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

For the last year I've been so fixated on Charlotte learning how to talk that I sometimes forget the bigger picture. It seems that every other week or so I ask the speech therapist a variation of the same question: Will Charlotte talk one day? Their answer is a most resounding yes. But it's taking time. It's taking work and patience and repetition.

Yes, I want Charlotte to talk. I want to hear more of her stories and imagination. I want to know her dreams and hopes. I want to not have to translate for her to others. But I also want much more for her than just simply talking.

I want her to have a voice and know it matters.

I want her to know the power in speaking up and raising her voice for others. I want her to know that what she has to offer is powerful. I want her to know that her voice is needed. I pray that she'll know God's work in her life and that she'll believe in herself to bring peace and justice into this world.

I want her to know the power of her voice.

This afternoon we drove to speech therapy like we do every Tuesday. Charlotte can now say "speech" and will say it repeatedly as we're making our way. As we near the office she points in the direction I should turn. "Turn Mama!" We unbuckle everyone from the carseats and walk to the waiting room. Charlotte runs ahead of us and opens the door. She smiles as she enters and makes herself at home with the toys. Everyone greets her and says hello. She's known here. She loves coming to speech. Throughout the session she's laughing and smiling. She receives high fives from the therapist. She's told over and over again good job. And if she doesn't say the sound correctly she's told to keep trying.

This building and these people we see week after week are shaping Charlotte. They're helping her to talk and speak correctly, but they're doing so much more. They're seeing her for who she is - a beloved child.

They're seeing her as someone with a voice that needs to be shared with the world.

**All month I'll be participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Each day I'll take some time (sometimes 5 minutes and sometimes a little more) to sit down and write. It's about the discipline of writing each day. It's about listening to the words from within. It's about letting creativity work in me. I'll share my writing at some point during the day on my blog. Thanks for reading.