Tonight I had the unique experience of interpreting a stand up comedy show for my twelve year old Deaf son. Some Senior kids at his school do a comedy show once a month at a local hang out. My son wanted to go and he asked me to come and interpret. Of course I would do that, sounds like fun.
When we arrived it was pretty crowded and luckily there was one table up front open for us. This makes it easy for him to see the comic and me without me having to stand on stage. I just sat facing him right in front of the stage.
So the show begins and the kids are really funny. I find myself wanting my son to get every joke even though they chose music parody for the first set. Other bits had pop culture references and word play. I really had my work cut out for me. The thing is if I just interpret the content directly the humour can hidden. I need to also get the inflection of their voices to really deliver the joke. This is a lot of work to do it right but it is worth it to see him cracking up. It involves me , a 43 year old mama acting like a 18 year old kid. Yep, I have to do this because otherwise the joke is lost.
Well the awkward part was when the jokes had sexual or teenage reference.There was nothing too overt but defiantly not the kind of things I want my son to witness me saying. I was sitting in front of my son signing about humping, balls and why you never invite your mom as a friend on Facebook (we are friends). My thought is the other kids have the luxury of just sitting there and laughing, I will give my kid the same thing.
So on some level we cross a line. I pretend to be another person and not see his sweet eyes and gentle soul. He wants to go and I find the energy to let go of being mom for a second because well crap, he wants to go to the show where his friends are making the world laugh.