Earlier this week, traveling home from work, I rescued another box turtle from crossing the yellow lines of certain doom. He straddled the double yellow in the middle of the road, dancing a minuet to avoid onrushing cars. Snatching him up, he rode shotgun home to see the boys before releasing him into the wilds of our back yard.
Rushing to the car to get the first peek, even before I opened the door, they were already in search of a name. Mr. Shoe, in honor of the stuffed turtle? Spot, for the colorful orange Rorshact blots on his shell? Hissy, his first words as Logan lifted him out of the car? Cole proclaimed him...Datso! Datso?
I have long marveled at the language of my children. Our linguistic conundrum began with "solostate", of which I am still unsure of the exact definition. Logan and Cole, from their perch in the back seat, engaged in deeply intelligent conversations about "solostate", would grin and shake their heads at our idiocy when asked what was "solostate." Their delight mirrored our frustration as our very ability to communicate was lost in translation.
Whimper wipers, thermonitor, easy to decipher in their context. Possibly my children were replaced at birth by life forms from another planet, only the batteries on their universal translator are wearing down...just a theory.
Language, the ability to communicate, speaks either inclusion or division. Do we speak to be understood or to confuse? to bring together or to separate? to build ourselves up or to tear walls down? Intentionally or otherwise, the words we use carry crushing weight. How we use them determines our very character.
(...little yellow fish anyone?)