I Clearly Lack Communication Skills

Micah looked me in the eye so earnestly that I knew whatever it was he was asking for meant a lot to him. I just didn't know what it was that he wanted. He crossed his fingers like he was keeping a promise, held them up in front of his nose, and pulled his hand down past his chin. Sign language for something, but I had no idea what. I should know, right? Micah does. I feel like such a failure as a mom sometimes.

I guessed. We were at Walmart. Did he want to buy something? What does he normally like? My mind was blank. All he ever asks for there are burgers and fries from McDonald's, and we know what that sign is. The crossed fingers were the sign for the letter "R." What starts with R that he'd want? I SHOULD KNOW THIS.

He didn't get what he wanted that day. But that sign bothered me. A lot of signs bother me. I should know what my son is saying. I should know the same signs that he does. I made a mental note to look up the sign once I got home, but that was a futile effort. I could find nothing that was the sign that Micah had made.

I did the only other thing I knew to do. I turned to Facebook. If you want to know anything, ask the people of Facebook. Someone is bound to know the answer. There was much speculation among my friends, and the question was shared with another group of friends that were so helpful in tossing around their own speculation. But in the end it was a local friend that told me what Micah was saying. She's an aide at Micah's school, and said his teacher taught him that as the sign for the color red. (And I couldn't find this when I googled because it's not the correct sign for the color red.)

So while the mystery of the sign was solved, I was still clueless what Micah meant. There was no way, with the earnest way he was looking at me, that he simply wanted to tell me something was the color red. Communicating with that boy is like speaking in riddles. It's always a guessing game, and sometimes we win, but most times we just guess around the idea of a truth. We're getting better at decoding his language of semi-signs and made up guesstures, but it's been 9 years in the making.


Driving through town to return a movie, Micah made the sign again. The one with the "R" fingers in front of his nose and pulled down past his chin. The one for the color red. Then he made the sign for a lion. And my light bulb, hovering above my head, lit up. Bazinga! RED BOX. Micah wanted a movie about a lion at Red Box. He wanted to rent Madagascar 3, because he saw it there the last time but it was not available.

And now I know what Micah wanted at Walmart that day. There is a Red Box at Walmart, and movies are every bit as important to that boy as food is. He was asking to red a movie. I have added one more word to my vocabulary. Micah and I can now argue whether or not it's a good day to rent movies.


Cindy said...

Congratulations! Whew! Quite a relief, huh?

Karen Deborah said...

your brilliant.