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Joy

Boy finally says 'I love you mommy' after years of a speech delay and moves his mom to tears

His sweet voice was so worth the wait.

jayla henry tiktok

"I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me."

I am not a mother myself, but I’d imagine all moms eagerly await the day they can finally hear the words “I love you” sweetly whispered by their kids.

For Texas-based mom Jayla Henry, that moment might have come a little later than usual, but that certainly didn’t make it any less special. Plus, she was able to capture it all in a video that has people in tears.

The clip, which has 6.8 million views on TikTok, shows Henry baking holiday cookies with her 4-year-old son Braylon, who was diagnosed with a speech delay.


It’s already a happy time between a mother and son, but then Braylon does the unexpected. In an outburst of pure joy, he wraps his arms around Henry's neck, showers her with kisses and utters those long awaited words:

“I love you mommy!”

Her voice shaking, Henry quickly replies, “I love you so much!”

@jaylabrenae5 It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed. I’m in awe right now😭❤️ #momlife#sahm#mommoments#sweetestboy#toddlertalk#beautifulmoments♬ janes love song - Miya

She then posted the video to TikTok, along with the caption:

“It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed. I’m in awe right now.”

In an interview with TODAY, Henry shared that Braylon had been diagnosed with a speech delay at 18 months old.

“He wasn’t even babbling at that point. He would just point at things," Henry said. “That’s when we realized something wasn’t right.”

Braylon began working with a speech pathologist up until the family moved, when his parents took on the role themselves. Luckily, he was a determined and avid learner.

Henry added that at first she blamed herself for Braylon’s delay, wondering if she didn’t do enough. Knowing this guilt is a common feeling for parents of children with developmental challenges, she sought to open up about her experience so that others might feel more comfortable talking about their own.

“We need to normalize talking about the things in our life that aren't perfect,” she told TODAY.

Clearly, Henry’s video did in fact resonate with a lot of folks.

“I pray for the day my 3 year old son can say ‘momma’ and ‘I love you.’ He has Apraxia so he says very few words,” one parent shared in the TikTok comments .

Another added, “My daughter has been in speech therapy for 3 years now. The 1st time she said ‘mommy’ I was a mess.”

The truth is, speech delays are fairly common. One out of 5 children will learn to use words a little later than other children their age. And while, yes, a speech delay might sometimes signal something more serious, the condition also can resolve on its own with a little bit of patience and encouragement.

Of course, it’s easy to say that. But for parents actually living through it, the waiting can be painful. Perhaps that’s why moments like the one Henry was able to capture carry a little extra weight—not only do parents with similar challenges feel validated, but they get the hopeful reminder that every milestone is precious, no matter when it comes.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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