Though my son, Alex, observes much more than most of us in the family do, there’s at least a quarter, if not half, of what the rest of us perceive that he misses, being Deaf. While we hear things that go on around us without having to see them, (right now there’s a car going by with a rattling trailer on the back, and my other son, Chris, is coughing upstairs in his room) Alex’s world is quiet. He only knows what is in front of his face. I know this, because I often accidentally sneak up on the poor kid and scare him out of his erps.
I think of him in his own little world, not knowing what’s going on around him, and I find it natural that we end up calling him, “Your Majesty.” He’s self-centered in a way that makes sense. And yet he still finds a way to be in tune.
That he has compassion, even though I’m not able to explain to him what compassion means, tells me that teaching by example goes so much further than speaking. Openness begets openness, caring begets caring, and love begets love. This, unfortunately, can also be said for close-mindedness, rejection, and hate. To me, it speaks in volumes about how we all need to behave around our children.
Kindness is as often shown in gestures as it is in words. We can express kind words to one another without meaning them, but the sincerity of a smile cannot be faked. Nor can the act of opening a door, or handing back a lost item that a person doesn’t know he or she has dropped. I’m happy to have not only been able to demonstrate these qualities to my son, but I’m grateful to have been able to expose him to other people who have as well.
My A to Z theme concerns the joys and challenges of being the hearing mother of my Deaf son, Alex. To learn more about his beginnings in life, click here to go to my first A to Z entry.