Silas has a new game. It started over Thanksgiving when he pulled Steve's hat off (a delightful activity in and of itself), held it aloft, and everyone in the room cheered. It only took two repeats for him to learn that arms in the air equals everyone claps and cheers. So now, when he feels like being the center of attention, he'll raise his hands in the air, look directly at me, raise his eyebrows and start to smile, anticipating the cheering to come (I, of course, always oblige).
Steve and I are both amazed by this. There have been communicative gestures before, but this strikes us as different. A first step in the building of a true exchange. For so many months we've been operating on faith. Faith that our parenting is adequate. Faith that his needs are being met. Faith that he's happy. There are the obvious signs of whether or not these things are true. Crying. Smiles. Laughter. But they all exist in him as a response to the external. For so long it has seemed that our communication has flowed mostly in a single direction: from us to him. The arms-in-the-air is something else. It comes from inside him as he tries to get a reaction from us. It makes the fact that he is a little person with his own desires, motivations, and opinions so very front and center. My heart absolutely swells.