Our Micah is 17 months old and is learning baby sign language. As am I.
One of his favorite signs is milk, which sort of looks like he’s squeezing milk out of an udder. It’s his favorite sign because he usually gets what he asks for from Cindy. He’s not too fond of the cow variety yet; he likes his milk fresh and familiar.
Another word he likes to sign is up. He points excitedly to the roof, wanting me to pick him up. Of course, he usually gets what he asks for from me. Mostly he simply wants me to hold him, just to be close. But sometimes he has other motives. He wants my perspective.
I’ll pick him up and he’ll begin examining surfaces he can’t normally see from his height—counters, tables, bookshelves—making mental notes of what he plans to reach for later, when I’m not looking.
Another sign he uses a lot is please. He places his hand near his chest and rubs circles. He’ll often use this in place of more, which is a little harder. We’ll ask, “Would you like more?” And he starts to wax on/wax off like the Karate Kid.
Micah is learning the basics of prayer.
When he asks for milk, he receives it, like he will from a Father who knows how to give good gifts. He says please, just as he will later approach the throne of grace confidently and in humility. And he says up now, but someday he’ll ask and be lifted to his Father’s arms and find perspective, when life from his vantage point seems to make little sense.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17 NIV
Knowing how to say only a few English words, Micah mostly speaks in tongues. But he’s learning to communicate. And someday he’ll talk with his Father in heaven. My hope and aim is that he’ll find conversation with God as easy and natural as speaking to me.