Now You’re Speaking My Language

On day three I had this idea that our D was going to be super excited to learn English. Of course my baseline was Phil who was making note cards in Latvian the day we decided to host and often can spit out an appropriate Latvian endearment because he is studious. I am not. As you may know my scheduled English lesson went out the window on day one. We have developed our own communication of uh huh’s, ut uhnn’s, occasionally a nee, but mostly lots of non verbal communication delivered with just the right amount of emphasis to know if we are on base or way off the charts. At times a yes involves smiles, sparkling eyes and lots of head bobs. Other times it’s a small shoulder shrug that means “yes, but don’t get too thrilled you crazy people”. Sometimes it’s a look that I swear could kill James Bond himself. It’s working for us.
One of the perks of living with a non verbal person (Peter is really non verbal, not just I don’t wanna talk non verbal) is that we don’t put much emphasis on hearing words such as our names. Another family might be hurt to never hear their host child address them by anything but we are used to it and it has become a non-issue really. I read other posts about families and the kiddos calling them mom and dad. It’s strange but I feel more honored that she told me you are not my mother. It means something is cracking. I believe when a heart breaks out of sorrow, grief or trauma that wound, given time to heal, makes a bit more room to grow a bigger heart.
Today D agreed to go out. We shopped at my friend Cathy’s house because she has the most amazing eBay store and has small sizes. We sorted through the uh huh’s a lot of UT UHNNN (that’s teen age for “no stinking way”) accompanied by major scowl. Bottom line we had a few winter basics and a beach cover up. Stopped at Target and actually purchased things for hair and nails. I tortured and embarrassed her in the underwear section by selecting giant granny panties and saying “PERFECT” really loud!
Home for a quick nap…favorite part of my day. And meet up with friends at a Russian deli in the area. D was very quick to smile when the owner spoke to her in Russian and she selected some Russian potato salad from the menu asking of course does it have onions? It didn’t. We also had a cold borscht and cabbage and noodles. Yummy!
It was still early and while finishing up the meal she typed into the translator ”could we go to Linda’s?” Linda and Wayne have graciously shared their swimming pool and home for her half birthday party! I was astounded; this was the first time she used anyone’s name! We scooted home, changed in swim suits and drove like batman for a refreshing evening dip. It was super; Linda was out and Wayne was busy, D and I floated in the water then had sword fights with the noodles, made elephant trunks and noises and finally filled the water pistols and planned for the arrival of Phil.
He came on down and was welcomed by two girls and water pistols…total shock attack. But we weren’t done…Phil went to change and we positioned ourselves D behind the truck, me flattened against the garage. We were like a SWAT team. We even did the counting sign thing…. We chased Phil into the pool and the water fight continued. He was a great sport!
Today was a big UH HUH day. Yup. MMMMM Uh Huh.

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