Emerson signed "baby." Emerson signed "baby" on Monday night. And on Tuesday. And on Wednesday. And on Thursday. And on Friday. Emerson signed "baby" when I prompted her by saying "baby" and lifting one of her arms into the position. And this morning I sat down beside her with Holden in my arms and she smiled at him and crossed her hands over her arms and swung them back and forth enthusiastically. And I
And she could have just jumped up and taken a Sharpie pen to the already-abused hallway wall and written the perfect equation by which one can create cold fusion (or some other strange scientific unicorn I know nothing about) or she could've opened her mouth and told me she was only eating Gerber mac 'n' cheese from now on and Beech-Nut and their extra 40 calories could go take a hike.
I was beginning to wonder. We thought she'd signed "more" a few times a few months ago, but we couldn't get her to repeat it and it seemed she was just imitating and not understanding. Now, she just signed "baby," consistently, perfectly, appropriately, and all my fears of a lifetime not being able to communicate with this little princess went POOF! into the netherworld. If I were in Serbia right now, stepping curiously down those halls with the sickly sweet scent of Pediasure wafting from the cooler in my hand, I would have found that dear woman who made it all happen and thrown myself at her for a far-too-tight hug and thanked her for bringing us to this amazing, often-frustrating but ever-surprising reminder of the most simplest joys of life. And Dr. J would have thought I'd lost my mind (which she probably has thought from time to time over the last near-two-years!) but I probably would've laughed and not cared a bit. She helped us find a gift we are still unwrapping.
Maybe she won't speak, maybe she won't read, maybe she will but it will be the kind that is frozen in toddlerhood forever. But we will have something; we will spend the rest of our days tickling and playing peek-a-boo and signing "baby" until our arms grow simply too tired for another swing.