Monday, July 22, 2013

The Sling Diaries Love + Adventure, Vol. III: Voice

“All I have is a voice.” 
― W.H. Auden

I knew this entry would be a little more difficult for me; a little less, poetic.  My poetry escapes me in moments like these, and I am reminded that sometimes, my poem is the future.  The words are there, but they are forming still, as little rose buds, secretive and knowing of what within it lies, even when the knowledge is a mystery. 

 Elliot has a speech delay.  Although he has always made a lot of sounds, he has very few words. Every day I waited for the words to form.  I waited for "ma-ma" and "dada."  At times I thought I heard words, resemblances of language.  As I waited I heard other little ones in their sing-song voices calling out as they were frightened or wanted to be held.  You hear the story many times:  mother's hearts melting as their little one waddled up to them and out of nowhere: "ma-ma."  If I can be honest, it's so hard not to be jealous.  To wish that little voice was coming from your own child.  I want to hear his voice because it is a part of him.  It's what awakes him from infancy and propels him into toddlerhood.  My eldest, my darling Elliot has yet to find his language, and yet I must remember his voice is so much more than language.  Although he seems so far from me at times, there is a oneness that transcends sound and language, one that goes back to the womb, where he was formed, and I can feel his strength and I find all my hope there.

As Elliot learns language, so does his brother.  Asher has learned, close to my heart.  While in the sling he is quiet and an observer, watching his brother and then, copying his energetic sounds.  Breastfeeding has become a bit humorous. Asher will pop on and off at the sounds of his brother, smiling and giggling.  But as he is nourished in his body, so is his mind expanded.  The first time he reached out, pointed and said "at, at" (that) he was being held in the sling, nursing.  In that moment, I can imagine the milk coursing through his body, rushing through every hungry place and as he is filled the language bursting forth.  What I hear, comes to me and then, it fills me, too.  The great cycle of birth and rebirth. 

In one of the images above you can see Asher nursing in the sling while Elliot calls out to the ocean.  The soft babbles and giggles of a baby at the breast, while hearing his older brother's voice sailing out to the sea are what makes my life so beautiful; so rich.  It's full of these beautiful notes, so different, yet they resound together to make the most magnificent music I've ever heard.  I can rest easy because it matters very little the manner in which their song may be composed; their voice is heard.  The sea hears it.  I hear it.  And in turn, i can only hope that the world will hear it.  

I am wearing a simple silk sling in amber.


  1. wow, wow, wow. danielle, this is astoundingly powerful. the photographs are lovely, i just love the colors, and your words are poetic and moving. thank you for such an honest post. <3

    1. thank you, lovely! I appreciate that so much! <3<3

  2. I recently discovered your blog and am enjoying reading your posts. This one in particular is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. such a beautiful post and such a wonderful capture of motherhood; breastfeeding and babywearing. x

  4. Thank you for this blog it makes me feel more stronger when I have read your story.



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