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Leo's Valentine

Leo's all hands these days.
Leo's always got a hand reaching out for me.
Always. 
Even back when he was just a wee lion cub he was all claws. And um...Head. But really we mostly focused on his hands. For obvious reasons.

Talking with his hands at only a few hours old...
At almost a year old..
And so on...
Regardless of the day, time, or his or mine emotional state, awake or completely sound asleep, he's reaching out to take my hand.
Seriously, his hands are always there...


Because of his delayed communication skills he's perfected the language of hands. And I don't mean Sign Language either, which Leo has had down pat for years, this is Leo's personal Hand Speak Dictionary.
His High Five is exemplary. He almost never misses.
The Boss hand (grabbing my hand to make it do things for him like push buttons, pick up food, turn on the bath, or really anything he doesn't feel like doing himself).
The Baby Hair hand: Strictly reserved for stroking new baby hair fuzz. On special occasions also puppies.
The Fist Bump: For doctors and grown-ups he's still reserving judgement on.
The Mani Hand: Close examination of all cuticles and brisk exfoliation of any scabs/dry skin.
There is also The Pedi Hand: going barefoot is a bravery ritual in my house. Socks are changed at super speed with optimal stealth.
The Tickle Hand: this one loves to come out of nowhere and attack the back of unsuspecting necks.
The Guilty Pat hand: Only comes out after a major misdemeanor. Like pulling the cat's tail.
The Sea-Horse Taggie hand: The tag of his sea horse is gently pressed into someone (where precisely is not important) with an index finger. Dad's bare back while he's sleeping is good choice.
The Tentative Hand: For touching strange and alien substances such as mushy vegetables, peeled apples, velcro, snow, and therapists.
The Royal Hand: For a wave which acknowledges and yet at the same time expects great things. Do not ignore or disappoint or else risk rapid escalation to Face Palm Hand (See below).
The Walking Hand: For help walking, running, stairs, jumping and leaping off furniture and cliffs.
The Panic Hand: When there is a tiny crumb or a sticker adhered to a digit, if he's broken a nail, or if it looks like a blood draw or pulse ox might be imminent.
The Eureka Hand: Both index fingers raised triumphantly at the sky. A variation of this sometimes includes hands framing his big smile.
The Sad hand: After a seizure his left hand is limp and sad and so over it.
The Tap: I'm bored so let's play. Or I'm feeling a teeny bit hungry, so snacks might be in order?
The moderate to hard Thigh or Arm Slap: Where is this play time/food/ipad I requested, slave?!
And the infamous, Face (your face) Palm (his palm): Taking no prisoners and has experience in trench war-fare.

There is more, of course, but that is the basics of Leo's Hand Speak for y'all to familiarize yourselves with. 
But the thing that Leo has always communicated effortlessly, in the beginning of his life and through-out really has no shape or form in traditional, classical, known or unknown language - it is that precious something that can't be labeled or defined, even through poetry, at least not properly...


 It can only be felt...or experienced, or given- Little Lion Man style.
Which means you can use your hands for emphasis...
To help communicate love.


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