My Child's First Sign Is Just as Wonderful as a First Word

It was a day like any other. Often this is the way in life. Days come and days go, and among what becomes everyday and ordinary, something quite amazing happens.

It was a Wednesday. I had dressed my son, made him breakfast and checked that his school bag had everything in it he needed. Among other items, his bag contains his home/school diary (my lifeline of communication with his school life).

Communication is so vital for families like mine. We can’t ask our child about his day or listen to him read to us, and due to the physical distance from home, there is so little contact with school staff. There is no regular coffee mornings, or weekly assemblies parents can attend, and I never get to pick up my son at the school gate and chat with other parents.

While my brown-eyed boy is never far from my thoughts, in real life he was actually a 30-minute drive away. And that day, he was reaching a milestone I had no idea about.

On that Wednesday, my son learned his first sign.

For families like mine, this is every bit as massive as the average child saying their first word. The beauty, the joy and the celebration are just as special. The moment deserves sharing and recording. Yet none of the baby books have a page to record the day your child first signed. What a precious moment they are missing out on.

I had no idea he had such an amazing breakthrough in his development. Like so many parents who hear about their baby taking their first steps, or riding their bike for the first time and feel so devastated that someone else got to witness it before them, I, too, felt just as heartbroken.

The obstacles my son overcame to achieve this moment, the perseverance and dedication of staff in his school, the concentration required of my son, and the coordination skills required were all worthy of celebrating on their own merit. A whole new world of communication may just be beginning to open to us.

It was a day like any other. That is, until I read his school diary and cried. To me, the first day he signed is every bit as wonderful and significant as the first time any child speaks. It is precious. It is beautiful. And it is worthy of recording.

Note from school that reads "Isaac did brilliant signing yes/no... Great stuff..."

Days come and days go, and sometimes right in the middle of the ordinary, something quite amazing happens. On Wednesday, January 20, my son Isaac signed for the first time.

little boy with brown hair in a grey shirt

A version of this post originally appeared on Firefly Friends.

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