So a long time ago, in college, I took two years of American Sign language. And I stopped doing it about the time I felt my fellow classmates were about to vow a life of silence. Seriously, I was really turned off by it during that time. I felt like it was all or nothing. I think ASL is an amazing language and has a distinctive culture, but I really struggled with the fact that I could hear and didn't want to embrace the culture as my own. I have always been drawn to sign language, from as long as I can remember. I always thought they maybe I would have a deaf child one day...who knows. Everytime they check for my babies hearing I still wonder. But three 3 hearing children so far.
Fast forward to the last few years. My animosity has disolved and of course I wish I'd kept it up more. Especially on a day like today. On my monthly excursion to Costco, the store I love and hate. So, after completing my list and feeding my kids hotdogs we found a checkout line. The checker was unusual quiet, but very friendly. A big ole' guy. Anyway, I asked him if he was deaf and he was. I could answer everything else in sign and talk a little bit with him (sign language and me are hard because of the fact that I'm always holding a baby for like the last 5 years and its hard to do it one handed!). But I was glad to be able to show my kids a little. And connect with this man and maybe brighten his day. Cause he smiled so big.
There was another time a few years out of college where I'd lost a lot of the language and I was in the temple. Someone came and asked if anyone signed cause someone needed a translator. Oh great, I thought. I'm like a two year old talking...please hope there is someone else. so I said nothing, until nobody else was helping and they asked again. But I did help that man find who he was looking for, but I was shocked at how much I'd forgotten and embarrassed.
But the barrier was broken down when I moved to California and me the most amazing girl. Aimee Walker. Seriously, she is my favorite person...and funny if she finds this on my blog. But unknowingly she helped me love sign language again and she could 'talk' to anyone whether they signed or not. This girl just glows. And I'm glad my cool cuz Ali is a pro now too.
Enough rambling, but I'm glad to have taught my kids some of it...it sure is helping in those non-speaking years. Milk, cookie, more, please. And that way we can always have a secret (or not so secret) code to say I love you.