Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Quiet – #AtoZ Challenge

10 Comments

I know I’ve mentioned before what it’s like when I visit Alex’s school for a special event. Walking down a hallway, jam-packed with students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, all of them chatting animatedly without a sound but the scuffing of shoes on the floor, is an experience not many hearing people are likely to have. I want to add that the shoe-scuffing is decidedly loud, however. I think that may be because Deaf parents aren’t constantly telling the kids to stop dragging their feet already, like the rest of us do. But I digress.

Unlike the above point, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the first time I went with Alex for a playdate. It was back when we lived in the Ottawa area. We only went to a couple, hosted by a Deaf mom, for her kids and some of their friends, all of whom were Deaf. I was lucky to have found them: I was pointed in the right direction by one of my American Sign Language teachers.

My first impression at the playdate, once we got the kids organized and sitting around a table with building blocks, was how eerie it was. If I remember correctly, there were four adults and five or six children ranging in ages from two to six, and the room was dead quiet. What I remember the most was how happy Alex was. At the age of six, Alex was probably more fascinated watching the adults sign and the kids communicate with one another without excluding him than he was with the actual playing. It was at that moment that I realized these were his people and I was not.  As happy as I was for him, and still am, that he’s part of that wonderful community, being unlike him is one of the most heartbreaking things I have to endure as his mother.

It’s very strange to give birth to someone whose first language isn’t the same as yours.

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.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

10 thoughts on “Quiet – #AtoZ Challenge

  1. I love that through these posts of yours, you are opening our eyes to things many of us may have never thought of. To not be a part of your son’s “people” would be a very strange and lonely feeling indeed. I too share this feeling (although not to the full degree) with my son who is generally very quiet, because of his severe delay in speech. Unless prompted to talk, he rarely speaks at all. It’s very lonely. I wish so badly that I could get into his head and share his life (and his experiences) with him and he with me.

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  2. I’d be willing to bet that he is just like you inside and, from what I know of you, that makes him a very lucky boy indeed.

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  3. I think being selfless goes with being a mom, but you certainly have to take that to another level. It’s a good thing, but a little sad too.

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  4. In some ways it’s sad that you felt that “you weren’t is people” but happy that he was at ease with is deaf friends. I can’t imagine what you go though but you are amazing.

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  5. mmmmmmmmmmh bitter-sweet , Linda xx

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  6. I can’t even imagine how it felt for you Linda but can only liken the feeling g to that of older immigrant grandparents sitting among the younger generations whose new first language is that of their new country…. not really understanding what is being said or being able to keep up. ..

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  7. I am really fascinated by that perspective Linda. I would never have thought of it in that way. I know from my own very limited experience with the deaf that they do operate in a very different way to us. I once had a deaf drama group come to the school and do a performance for us. Not all the troupe were deaf and I was fascinated to learn that they basically took their cues from the vibrations they felt through the floor. My other experience was when my aunt died and a deaf choir performed for her funeral which went extremely well except for the third signer in the second row who was obviously flat.

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  8. So sad but so inevitable and right.

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  9. That would be so hard, communication differences can really be a struggle. I can tell from your posts though that you are a great mother.

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