I suspect that parents of teenagers would tell me that all parents have to learn a new language to communicate with their children. And they're probably right. However, I'm facing something a little more extreme.
Yesterday, my wife and I enrolled in an American Sign Language course. This was motivated by frustration on our part and the part of our child with communication. My daughter signs want, eat and more but we don't know the signs to be able to teach her to tell us what she wants more of. So the need to learn an entirely new language was born.
Once a week on Wednesday evenings a sign language mentor will be coming out to our house to teach us ASL. The teacher is deaf and although she can read lips, she will be requiring us to sign so we can learn more efficiently. She says she will take things at the pace that my wife and I learn, but I'm a little apprehensive.
I speak Spanish already. I picked it up as a missionary in Argentina ten years ago. And I understand the principles of mastering a new language. You've got to immerse yourself in order to get enough practice to make that new language stick. It's really hard work.
I have a huge desire to really communicate with my daughter. And obviously that desire will overcome the daunting task of learning an entirely new language. But I have to admit that I'm apprehensive about the whole thing. I hope it works out. First class is a week from tonight.