Hello all

A little Ray of Sunshine came into my life yesterday in the form of a visitor.

It was very much-needed after my sister’s life was celebrated the day before with a funeral that she would have loved and it was attended by people from all walks of life. But I’d had enough of sadness and after a couple of phone calls discussing the funeral and my well-being, this little Ray of Sunshine appeared in the form of my granddaughter Violet (6) who was to spend the day with Bampy and me.

little miss sunshineShe bounced right in the door full of fun, laughter and ideas for craft but not until I had the biggest hug and she told me she loved me. It was just in time for the ritual of morning tea in our outside covered area. Bampy and Violet came laden with tiny Christmas fruit mince pies all ready to be consumed which they had obtained for half price at the local supermarket. It was oh so lovely.

As the morning wore on we picked out a movie for her to watch called “The Nightmare before Christmas.” It looked a bit ghoulish and scary to my uneducated movie sensibilities but Violet assured me she had watched it at After School Care every day for four days and it was quite fine. She loved this movie.

It is nice to get reassurance from a 6-year-old that a movie is suitable for a child! In fact, if you have not seen this animated movie with your children, make sure you do. It actually began life as a poem by Tim Burton in 1982 and then became a 1993 American motion musical fantasy horror film produced/co-written by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick.

However, is was not at all scary as we watch one of the skeletons discovering Christmas which is all rather nice. But I digress! What Violet said to me before we started watching the movie, floored me:

Grandma, when you are watching the movie with me, you have to speak “Silent” language …” and with that she began to show me exactly what “Silent” language was by mouthing a conversation with me. “Oh is that a language … a bit like speaking Chinese?” I asked. Of course Grandma! Surely every Grandma should know these things? Well, I AM learning!

Speaking ‘Silent’.  Hmmm … I ask you: who could have thought this one up? Have any of you ever learned to speak ‘Silent?’ You must have at some stage of your life? You know, it is the type of thing you speak when you are in a work meeting and you want to mouth something to someone across the desk? Your lips move but no sound comes out.

Oh how embarrassing!

Oh how embarrassing!

Oh you know what speaking Silent means surely??! We have all come across it and in fact, I have come across it a few times now at weddings … of all places.

You know the scene. Everyone is silent. The speaker is going on a bit too long for your liking and it is a tad over the top into the bargain. Twice it has happened that the speaker was the Mother of the Groom and when they spoke it was so embarrassing that those at the table began ‘speaking Silent’ to one another out of shock and horror.

Most people were mouthing to one another “What’s going on with this woman??” or another bit of Silent langauge was: “Oh how embarrassing for … xyz.” On the third occasion that this happened at a wedding at which I was present, it was someone we did not know speaking about someone else we did not know.

Yes, the speaker was a little over the top but not enough to cause a couple of the people at our table to start ‘speaking Silent’ in a derogatory fashion about what the man was saying. It wasn’t nice but then again, humans will be humans and behave how they wish. You cannot stop them.

The thing about this language is, it is anything but silent. It speaks volumes. Even body language can speak without any Silent Language in it. If you are observant, the looks on people’s faces tell you whether you have hurt them with your words. Apparently body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating so we need to be aware of it. (Ah I sense a blog coming on about this subject in the future).

It is fine when you mouth the words “I love you” as my sister did to me before she died because she was unable to speak. This is a good way of speaking Silent. There is also ‘not so good’ uses of the Silent language.

I heart uHowever, my dear friends when Violet was leaving in the car with her mother. She wound down the window and called out “Good-bye Grandma”. I decided to speak the Silent language as I was not far away so I mouthed the words “I love you!” She couldn’t quite catch it so I used sign language to help interpret.

I pointed at myself, did a drawing of a heart and then pointed at her. Violet was so excited that she giggled calling out “Oh Grandma, I love you too!!” as the car reversed out of the driveway.

Thank you my Little Ray of Sunshine for coming along and brightening up my day … and for teaching me the Silent Language … not in a bad way but in a very good way. We should all ‘speak Silent’ in this way a lot more often.

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