A Letter to Baby Sign Language from a Deployed Soldier

Today we observe Veteran’s Day and we can’t begin to tell you how grateful we are for our service men and women selflessly serving our country. A few months ago we received this email capturing the very reason why in addition to our beautiful kits we offer hundreds of free printable and digital baby sign language resources.

Military Dads

To every mom & dad deployed this Veteran’s Day here is a big hug from us and a note that we hope fills you with love and encouragement for the days to come (I have changed the namesto protect the privacy of the sender):

Dear Baby Sign Language Team,
When my first baby was born I was deployed overseas serving in a hazardous zone. I was not given the option to return home to be with my wife during his birth and we did what we could to make the best of it. I joined via FaceTime and with the help of our Doula was able to encourage my wife and witness the birth of my son Watson

About two weeks after my little man was born I received a box from my sister. It was my first care package as a daddy and it included things you would not normally see in a war zone. A t-shirt that read “World’s Best Daddy”, chocolate cigars, a leather journal (what is a guy supposed to do with a journal anyways?) a deck of baby sign language flashcards and baby board books with titles such as Moo Baa, La La La, Good Night Moon, Small Cowboy, The Very Hungry Caterpillar & other titles that at the time I had no idea would become my favorites.

My work with the military involves all manner of communication technologies from satellites to knowing how to handle encryption. Because I love everything related to communications I wanted to find a way to connect with Watson that made sense to him and helped us bond. Bonding can be a difficult thing when you don’t have physical touch.

My wife and I would Skype or FaceTime almost every day and soon Watson began to react to noises and tried to engage with the source of noise (the iPad). When I realized my little man was noticing me I wanted to do something that would help us be daddy & son. I began using my extra small collection of board books and read to Watson every single night. Soon enough I had memorized every single book! When Watson was 4 months old he started fixing his eyesight on the screen and I decided I would give baby signing a try. We started with basic signs. Since I was not in close proximity meeting his needs or signing contextually was not really an option. All we had was books (very few) flashcards and a ton of love and interest in finding a way to connect. Soon enough Watson began mimicking signs.

To make the story short I am now in my second deployment and Watson is a toddler. Watson learned to sign the whole baby sign language deck and soon enough I was printing flashcards like crazy and learning new signs myself. My wife tells me Watson can sign over 100 signs!

In my current deployment we have some opportunities to interact with local children. I have used the flashcards as a way of engaging with the local children and each time I get to love them and serve them I think of my little man back home. I hope as he grows signing becomes our secret code.

Sorry for the long email, I mainly wanted to thank you for all the free resources you have. They have been priceless to me.

PS: Can you please make the flashcard for soldier?

*John C


Happy Veteran’s Day!

One Response to “A Letter to Baby Sign Language from a Deployed Soldier”

  1. GrandMa-Ma Brenda Roberts

    This is great! My Grandson needs this & I can’t wait 2 start the fun! Absolutely loved the story sent in by the Daddy Soldier! Thx 4 the info! Great job UR doing!

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