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IMG_0616Having a nine year old and a six year old who are non-verbal makes life a constant challenge.  Hope, especially, is as quiet as a field of dreaming flowers, but that wasn’t always the case.  At some point, she made the connection that people gawk at her when she makes her noises….and so she stopped.  No one wants to be the center of a bunch of glares and stares.  Charlie, for the moment, remains clueless to the ways of society around him. My happy little noise maker quacks like Donald Duck one minute while barking like a seal the next; and he could give the Brahma Bull a run for his money.  You’ve never heard a snort until you’ve heard Charlie.  But not Hopey.  Most of the time, she is simply silent.

Here is the problem, and it is a BIGGY.  Because Hopey is so quiet, she is often invisible.  You know the old saying:  “The squeaky wheel always gets the grease”?  There is so much truth to it, because I see it played out in my life everyday when she goes un-noticed. So, quite accidentally, I found something that helps!

As a precursor, I’ll remind you that I was born and raised below the Mason Dixon Line, and as you all know, monograms and southern girls go together like pinto beans and cornbread.  We’re a perfectly yummy match.  And those cute creative fonts we get to choose from….oh my word….is like plopping chow chow on top of it all!  (PLEASE tell me you northern friends know what chow chow is.  I am not a hoarder by nature, but I may “collect” chow chow now and again.)  Anyway, I can’t resist a good monogram any more than I can resist pintos, cornbread, and chow chow.  They are the magnet and I am the steel.  God help me.

OK, back to the point:  Have you ever been in the car with someone who reads every single billboard sign as you drive down the interstate?  “See Rock City”….”Eat More Chicken”….”Have a Coke and a smile”….Why do they do it?  You’re eight hours away from Florida, which equals about a million billboard signs, and no matter how much you crank up the music, they continue to read the signs….only louder.  (If you are one of those, please, for the love of we can all read and you are soooo annoying…STOP IT!)  Well, what I noticed, is when Hope is wearing a monogram, people feel compelled to read it.  Out loud.  It’s an amazing phenomenon that woke the field of dreaming flowers, making my invisible angel “magically” re-appear!  Every time someone reads the name “Hopey” on her shirt or dress, her face lights up and she reaches out with her hands to say “hello”.

So here’s my tip for the day:  If you have a non-verbal kiddo in your house, spend a little extra for that monogram….not the initials, but their full name….because, think about it, no one is going to read initials.  And if you haven’t tried chow chow on top of your pinto beans, well, what are you waiting for?