Even as we researched CIs, made it through surgery, activation, and Sophie began to speak her first words, Jared continued to dream about that day he would hear those words. Our days were spent focusing on language opportunities, tracking receptive and expressive vocabulary, and just generally doing everything in our power to help Sophie progress. Even during the exciting times where Sophie was saying several new words each day, I knew exactly what Jared was patiently waiting for Sophie to say. Unlike phrases such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Birthday", what he was waiting to hear was never rehearsed or practiced, as he wanted her to say it naturally, on her own terms.
And now that time has come (or probably came a month or so ago, as I have been behind on my blogging!). It is the first thing we hear in the morning and the last thing we hear at night. Sophie regularly tears through the house, stopping to grab one of our legs and give it a quick kiss while saying, "Hi, Mommy/Daddy! I WUV you, Mommy/Daddy!" And I'm not sure which brings me more joy - hearing those words said to me or seeing Jared's face light up as she says it to him. Either way, I believe those four words will always be the sweetest thing that we ever hear our deaf daughter speak. :)