My daughter is learning her words for the end of term performance. She speaks with confidence and relishes an audience. In that respect she’s won before she’s started. I’ll be proud.
But I’ll worry too. For I knew a little girl, exactly the same age, who was very similar. Then one morning she stood up in front of the whole school to read the morning prayer and her words wouldn’t come. They didn’t really come back. She stuttered her way through life for the next ten years.
Back then, very little help was available. Teachers and parents turned a blind eye. Hoping, I guess, that it would disappear as quickly as it came. But it didn’t. She had good friends who spoke for her, finished her sentences. But when you can’t even tell someone your name, you become someone very different to the person you maybe should have been.
My daughter appears blessed. She seems to have inherited all of our good traits and none of the bad. But she is so like me. What if she’s also inherited that genetic link? That glitch in the brain? What if one day she stands up like her mummy all those years ago and finds her words don’t come?