I had a speech impediment when I was a young child.
At the time, my family was living in Pennsylvania. My sister was enrolled at a prestigious Montessori school... while I attended Humpty Dumpty College daycare. While at HDC, I was taken care of by a woman from New York [named Shannon]. Although I have no recollection of Shannon, to this day I envision her to be similar to the actress Fran Dresser from the 90’s TV hit series [ironically] called “The Nanny”.
And somehow, all of the stars aligned and I was learning to talk when Shannon [and her New York accent] were brought into my life. Soon enough, I had picked up on all of the pronunciation and phonetic idiosyncrasies of someone directly out of Queens. I mainly struggled with my R’s (pronouncing “caahh” instead of “car”) – which, after some preliminary research, I learned is a distinguishing feature of the New York dialect called the “Pre-R Distinction”. Yes, three year old Kristin was straight out of the Empire State.
Luckily, my parents caught-on to what was happening and quickly took action. I remember sitting on my father’s lap in our upstairs study, having to repeat after him:
“No, carRRRR” (Dad)
We did that for hours at a time and eventually my accent faded into the foggy childhood memory file of the mind. However, I recalled my speech impediment after spending some time with a one year old who is learning how to talk. I thought about how frustrating it would be to have something to say and not know the words to use to articulate it. Or to have something on your mind but it just doesn’t come out correctly.
I understand that frustration. It has been a year since I have publically written on KSL. Since then, I've had many thoughts and ideas, lots of interesting stories, delicious recipes, books that you must read, lessons that I have learned and memories that I do not want to forget. But I couldn’t quite find words that were good enough to make public.
But the worst thing I could do would be to stop trying to use my words all together [although I would then technically be a mute – which has been a dream of mine since this post]. So I’ve decided to keep on practicing my skill, honing my craft, sharing my thoughts. And even if it doesn't come out right - at least I tried. And that is enough.