Once upon a time, there was a grandfather. He had one granddaughter that smiled so big that she took his breath away. Her name was Emma. And she smiled.
On his one day off, he kept her as an infant and changed her diapers and clothes and fixed her hair and took her to the park. Very quickly they went from him carrying her in his arms down their front steps to her holding his hand and going down the same steps and then before he knew it, she grew strong and walked on her own down those steps and didn’t need his help anymore. He cherished every single moment that he spent with her.
Then one day, she had a little sister. This little sister has the same beauty as her older sister but in a very different way, as it should be. Her hair was lighter than her older sister’s. Her lips and nose were shaped differently. Her progress and movements were much the same and at 4 months, she watched and smiled at her 4-year-old smiling sister’s various smiling shenanigans.
One thing different it seems was her vocalizations. She tried so hard to talk but at 4 months it was like a newborn deer trying to stand for the first time. She put a lot of effort in those talking attempts with her mouth, shaping and emulating what she was hearing and seeing. Soon she began making a few sounds and those sounds, like her older sister’s smile, entranced her aging grandfather.
Her name was Lily, and she coo’d.
When she wakes and is in a fresh mood, she’d try to stand and ball her little fists up and form the widest array of shapes with her mouth as she stands and tried very hard to talk. She’d coo at her grandfather and he said silly things such as ‘what are you trying to tell me Lily? Cheeseburger? Yes? You want a cheeseburger you say? Well, that’s a good choice because I would like one as well!’.
Or he might ask her ‘what’s that? You want to hear the story about how the mouse got into the closet and stole a shoe to make a boat out of? Ok, well, let’s tell that one again before I forget it’.
Her coo’s ranged in tones and sounds that showed a great potential that she would one day be a good talker. Her coos would soon give way to a keen voice that would recite her ABCs, and she’d argue with her older sister over who’s the better at whatever they were doing. Thereafter her life will play out and she will hug and tell her mama and daddy and those that grow to be important in her life, that she loves them.
And many years later, on a hot summer day when she was a grandmother and swinging her sweet and perfect granddaughter, the child coo’d at her grandmother. And Lily said to her ‘What’s that? You want to hear the silly story about my bald grandfather again? About how he would hold me up off the floor and tightly to his chest as a child and we would slowly dance in circles and he sang ‘My Girl’ to me? You want to hear that one again?
Why yes, I can tell you that story again, Lily said.
Because I’m sure that my grandfather would know exactly what your coos mean.
That’s the best that I can tell about it.