Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

dimanche 13 mai 2007

A Tribute to My Hearing Mom

On Mother’s Day, how can I not reflect on the kind of mother I have and what she has done for me, especially as a hearing mother of a deaf child? This is a woman who was born into a literate, well-educated family that has never forgotten its blue collar roots only a few generations back. This is a family with an intense love of history, travel, politics, discussions, and much more. When I was born into this family, my mom eagerly welcomed me, fussed over me, did everything she could, and loved the heck out of me.

Mom suspected that I might not have normal hearing when I was very young and had me tested at six months, two days old. When the audiologist confirmed my mom’s suspicions, her first thought was, “How will she get language?” To her, hearing the birds sing would’ve been nice, but that wasn’t the point. Language was much more important to her. She tried speaking with me but making sure I could see her face and lips at all times, but she knew in her gut this was not the way to go. She took sign language classes and, being a teacher and coming from the well educated family she does, talked to me constantly (like all the parents in my family do), telling me things and explaining things. By the time I was 3, she felt I was progressing normally and just kept doing what good parents do for their children. When she started me at preschool, she told the teacher that she expected me to be on grade level and stuck to her guns when the teacher expressed doubts. She continued to encourage and expect speech development, but if that didn't work at any given time, she reverted to signs - something which is still true to this day. She instantly understood that I had to be around other deaf people. She made sure I was around other deaf children at least part of the time, no matter what, even though I did not go to the state school until junior high. In her words, "To me, it was always about communication. That's the only thing that really made sense to me - that you be around people you could communicate with {easily and without barriers}." I feel so fortunate to have Mom for this reason alone.

There are many more reasons I feel so lucky to have my mom. She has always been a staunch ally and a wonderful friend. She encouraged me to try many different things, allowed me to become interested in things, and supported my hobbies and interests. She started taking me to the library during hot summer afternoons when I was just 3 years old and putting me down, reading to me, and just reading her own book, for hours. She suspects that’s why I love reading and books so much. I think there’s more to it, including the fact that every single room in Mom’s house has at least one bookcase or place where books are stored (yes, even the bathroom and kitchen). She even drew and wrote a children’s book for me, which is one of the first books I read. She honed my debating and writing skills in so many little ways all my life. She played word and language games with me. She took me to the park, to museums, and historic sites every weekend when I was young. She talked my eyes off, and still does, explaining things to me. She fought for the best possible school placement for me. She supports me and believes in me. She even tries new things to support me. She’s a wonderful friend, sharing many of the same interests. I hope to have her in my life for years and years to come. I love my mom. This entry is inadequate and cannot explain all the reasons and ways I love my mom, but it’s a start. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!!

2 Comments:

  • At 12:53, Anonymous moxie_mocha said…

    Very nicely written post about your mom. Your mom worked hard just like my mom did. We're lucky to have mothers like them.

    Happy Mother's Day to all.

     
  • At 05:18, Blogger Karen said…

    Happy Mother's Day to your mom and all the other moms raising deaf and hard of hearing kids out there. :)

     

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