Jason lifted Felix up to the smudged glass shield that protected a selection of gelati and sorbetto from the greedy fingers of the line. Felix was two and a half at the time, strawberry blond with bright, curious eyes, and an abundance of pink cheek. He was also brain-damaged. He had lost a significant amount of white matter in utero, probably the result of a major bout with the chicken pox I had while carrying him. “Nocciola, albicocca, fragola, stracciatella,” I whispered in his ear, not quite certain of the pronunciation, not to mention meaning, of what I was reading, but enjoying the melody of the syllables. Was this what language was like for my son, pure rhythm and intonation? He could hear and make noise, but he did not seem to attach meaning to words. Words only affected him when they took on the lilt of nursery rhymes or songs. Add melody, and he was all attention.Related StoryAutistic and Aging OutFelix gazed covetously at the ice cream, different visually from the American version; something about the hue, the texture, the promising way that each flavor overflowed from its silver bin. My eyes probably gleamed in the same way as Felix’s.
A Child Screams for Ice Cream
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