A while back, when I was pregnant with Rilla, I wrote about lying next to Wonderboy at naptime and watching him chatter in sign language before he drifted off to sleep. "I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen anything sweeter," I wrote, "than a toddler signing ‘love.’ "
Well, I was wrong. Because what that boy is doing now is even sweeter still. He is teaching his baby sister to sign. He’ll touch her forehead with his thumb, fingers pointing up: Daddy. Same sign on her chin: Mommy. He strokes her cheek in our special name-sign for Rose, then takes her through the rest of the family. Jane, Beanie, baby.
He forgets to name himself. He’s too busy taking her chubby hands in his and trying to get her to cross her arms over her chest. She belly-laughs, beaming at him. She may not be able to sign it, but she knows he is teaching her love.