Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family Time and Weird People

This weekend has captured what deafness can mean to our family. Just small things that add up to a bigger picture.

I wrote this post on Saturday and my computer crashed while I was writing it. I lost half of the post so this is a bit random. I am going to go ahead and post it since I want to remember this weekend.

Last night my son had a modern dance show. It was really cool and as always I sit amazed watching my kiddo, who can't hear a thing, show off his finesse after 8 months of training. At one point his group formed a sort of mountain and a kid walked on them sort of floating and falling into the arms of another just as she reached the top. His teacher is so good she can make beginners look polished. She, according to my son, has passion for dance. That motivates him to work harder.

After the show I was at the table where they sell school stuff. Sweat pants, shirts that kind of thing. I wanted to buy him some pants but they only had sizes up from adult medium. I held up the medium and said,
" I think these are too big for my 12 year old. "

A high school kid standing next to me laughed and said,

" For Haddy? Uh, yea a little too big"

I held the waistband up to my neck and said,

"Really you think this is too big?"

I recognized him but was so surprised he knew I was Haddy's mom. Well, it is true all the kids at school know him.

He is the Deaf kid who can act.

Later Haddy walks up and I was signing to him asking if he wanted a shirt and I hear from the volunteer parent behind the table,

" That is your son? Oh my god, tell him he was amazing in the show!"

She looked really excited. I pause thinking that although he loves to dance he had a minor role tonight and maybe she was just impressed a deaf kid can dance. Then she gushed on and I realized she was talking about the dinner show theater he was a principal in. The conversation shifted for me.

When Haddy was acting in the show you couldn't tell he was Deaf. He was just an actor like everyone else. This woman really likes his work and his response was so cute,

" Thank you, thank you"

His face slightly exposes a pink blush. He gives her a shy smile. He is shy when praised. He loves the process of art but once it is finished he is done. He doesn't buy into getting the rewards for effort. He loves for people to like his work but hasn't found a comfort zone with praise. He just really loves the work of art.

Tonight, after the show he tells me he loves dance because once you start on stage you enter a different world. He tells me it is different from theater, it is more connected to your soul. I think , wow , he really is growing up.

This morning we woke up and with grandma , who is visiting for the dance show, and march off to a restaurant for food. We walk in as a hungry tribe. I am up front with my son signing and the hostess sees that. I hear her shout ,

" Are there five in your party?"

I jump a bit at her volume. She is shouting and very slowly.

I look to her and whisper,

"Yes five"

She looks relieved and shows us to our table.

We eat and after stop by a store. As we stand in line a mom and her three kids have no problem STARING I mean just staring at us. I feel like someone is watching me pee. This rarely happens, people usually look and when I make eye contact they look away but this family felt like they thought we were at they zoo.

My allergies are bothering me and I am not so patient. I did something I never do. I stared back. I stood there and stared at this family not flinching until we checked out and left the store. OK, I feel like a two year old. I will try and control my childish behaviour in the future but this one time it felt good. Later it just felt stupid. So I am not perfect.

So the last thing that strikes me today is we bought a game "Cadoo" I have been meaning to buy it for a long time. My husband hates board games so he went to the gym leaving me and grandma to play with the kids. So my son was quickly in the lead. I was second. My son pulls up a card. It says he needs to figure out the secret word

U+ (a picture of a knee)+ (a picture of a ear of corn)

I saw that and realized he would need phonetic tools. Get another card I tell him this is a hearing thing. He agrees and tells me he thought it was


Yea , someday I will learn.


  1. I completely understand this "other world" when he's dancing. My sisters and I (and one of my brothers) took dance and performed (in addition to playing piano and performing throughout our lives -- and in addition to playing basketball in high school)... It's all the same. You get lost in what you love and it is like magic.

    I'm glad Haddy found one of the things that is like magic for him. He's so cool (your daughter is, too) and I'm sure there will be a bunch of other things that are magic, too, as time goes on.

    What fun to watch him discover and grow. Thanks for sharing, Mel!

    PS: Sometimes it is essential to become the 2 year old -- it teaches lessons to others that just can't be taught any other way. So, three cheers! (Heh-heh.) Also, hope your alergies get better (this is such a bad year for them)!

    Love ya' girlfriend!

  2. I can just see the stare you shot back at that family -- LOL!

    Dance is indeed a transcendent experience -- that is why I didn't give up performing until I was 45 and was spending way too many hours and dollars in manual therapy every week to keep myself stage worthy. I love that Haddy is dancing! Now to get him doing Pilates.....