My Hands are Words

The feeling of sand slipping through my fingers.
The first time I held my husband's hand.
Seeing my children's hands fold onto my pinky.
Wiping tears from my eyes as I cry.
Clapping through excitement when my children took their first steps.
Putting my hand out the window to feel the wind and rain.

My hands have felt wonderful, magnificent things in my lifetime.  I always knew that was what hands were for.  They were to touch and feel. Just one of my senses...

via Google Images
My hands were a tool to get things done.  To write, to flip pages in my favorite book, to cup my children's cheeks in my palm, to feel the kiss from my husband.

I always took for granted what they could do.  I mean, I've used them as anyone else would, but that they'd become so integral to my life.  Never thought that, ever. 

My hands have become communication.  They have become another language for me, for my family.   I use my fingers and hands to communicate with my child.  They have given me the vehicle to show her love, to explain things to her, to find out what she needs.

My daughter is deaf and it has become one of the most beautiful parts of my life.

When my daughter was born, she couldn't pass the hearing tests doctors gave to infants.  At one-month old, she was still unable to pass these tests.  A little after she was two-months old, she was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy.  After two years or so, she is now defined as deaf since she can only hear a little less than 10%...her right ear a little better than her left.  None of that matters, really.

When I first knew that she couldn't hear, I didn't cry because of the diagnosis.  I cried because she would never hear me sing to her, soothe her with my words, hear me read a story to her, give her advice.  I thought only my voice could do all those things, but I was so wrong.

We started learning American Sign Language (ASL) as soon as we could.  I am by far not an expert or fluent, but I'm learning.  My husband and two other children are as well.  It has become the other language in our family.  It has become an accompaniment to spoken words.

Our baby girl gets to communicate with us.  We sing, read, pray...with our hands.  Everyday she learns so much and we do as well.  It is amazing!  It is a super power I never knew we had.

The first time she signed Mama.
Using my hands to tell her I Love You.
Her fingers making shapes that mean that she's hungry or thirsty or happy or angry.

Fingers are not just for touching, feeling...they are words.


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  1. So beautifully written. So easy to take for granted our senses until we no longer have one. I’d love to learn and teach sign language with our family!

  2. I love that you shared this, it warms might heart. A little reminder that love can be shown in so many ways. Love you and your family.


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