David recently asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My answer? Peace on Earth and good will toward men.
And without being there and having the nonverbal communication portion to know, you are left wondering, "Was she serious/being sarcastic/just kidding around?"
Somewhere along the road of development, you developed a desire to communicate with others. You learned that you had to share attention with another person both to understand and to be understood. Part of that attention sharing meant being aware of non-verbal cues provided by your communicating partner. You began to recognize changes in tone, volume, facial expression, and other body language and it helped you to derive meaning in addition to the spoken words.
You can have a conversation with someone without paying attention to any of the cues/clues listed above. But you are not likely to make your communicating partner feel well understood. Nor are you likely to derive the kind of joy that comes from two people really spending time together.
Jack still has issues with attention sharing. He is paying more attention to others these days but I can't help but wonder if his vision (or lack thereof) is playing a role in inhibiting him from picking up subtle (and some not so subtle) social cues.
So back to the original question...I actually would like to see peace on Earth and good will toward men but don't really expect all of that this side of heaven. What I really would love to have for Christmas is a socially engaged little boy who delights in sharing attention with others.
Jack progresses daily and I expect to see my Christmas wish come true but maybe not this Christmas...
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