God is the madwoman in the attic.
I'm camped out on the threshold with my journal, camera, and plenty of snacks.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

other languages, other ways of thinking

I stumbled onto the following video while following a link to sign language videos. I was looking for holiday phrases in ASL (American Sign Language). I found... well... I don't know. You watch it. It cracked open my tiny mind a little. And gripped my heart.

After watching it, I could only think of Little N. All the unique or stereotypical ways he interacts with the world. Meeting new objects by rubbing them against his cheek. Sitting contentedly next to the open dishwasher and rolling the lower rack in and out. Racing back and forth in the hall or spinning spinning spinning himself dizzy. Knocking on his forehead with crooked index fingers.

I thought, maybe those interactions are significant to Little N in ways I just don't understand. Maybe, in the same way that ASL is a bridge from him out into the conventional world - I could practice some of his ways as a bridge into his world.

So I started with a soft toy. I picked it up and gently brushed N's cheek with it. It got his attention and he smiled. Then I brushed it against my cheek. I smiled at him and talked about how the toy felt to my cheek. And Little N smiled too. At bedtime, I tried it again. He has a couple books that are made out of cloth and lightly quilted. I brought one to him in his bed. I asked him if he wanted it, then brushed it gently against his cheek. He accepted it with a smile.

It's a little thing but I think it's a good thing and a right thing. So I'll keep trying to learn his language, as much as he will grant me.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

What a sensitive and loving Mom you are Jenni!! North has the best Mom and Dad in the world for him!!!! You guys are so in tune with him and I love that you can't learn enough to help and guide him so he can relate to the world around him!! Love to you all,