February 26, 2009
Yesterday morning, Bridget climbed into bed with Lucy to “snuggle her awake.” As they lay there chatting, Bridget asked Lucy a question. “When you open your mouth, how does talk come out?”
Lucy recounted this question to the rest of us over breakfast. As Phoebe and Lucy and I started to try to explain this to Bridget, it occurred to me what an amazingly complicated process this is. Miraculous, really.
First our brain gets an idea. It tells our mouths to start moving, and we have to take a breath and let the air go through our mouths and it passes our vocal cords while our teeth, tongue, and lips work together to form words. This whole process is instantaneous, and automatic, and we are for the most part not mindful of the complexities of this. In a moment of explanation to a three-year-old, I was struck with the remarkable intricacy of speech. What the heck?! How cool is that?
I love how slowing down and really listening to the questions of a small child makes me take pause and ponder the wonders of life.
There are definitely days that the endless chatter of Bridget’s musings and “nonsense” talking makes me want to put my hands over my ears and run away, shrieking “Enough!” But that’s another story.