Friday night is our normally scheduled Panera night with Connar. Usually he can sit and eat our table scraps while Amy and I scarf down our food.
Every Friday looks the same. Alix is our cashier and we usually can have our pick of tables. But last Friday introduced us to something new: Deaf Chat. That’s how the sign read.
About 15 folks gathered around the table for the purpose of conversing in American Sign Language. I could tell by their signs it was ASL, well that and the ASL textbook also confirmed my suspicions. And as I usually do, I had a few thoughts.
First of all, I couldn’t tell if all were truly/completely deaf (not sure on the correct terminology) and which folks were there simply to practice their signs. But many had hearing aids and I could tell they weren’t just trying to brush up on their skills. One thing I could tell was that they were all having an absolute blast. Laughing and signing and laughing some more. It was really cool. What a blessing to communicate and enjoy some company from like minded folks on a Friday night.
2nd of all, I thought to myself, “When is the last time I thanked God for being able to hear? When is the last time I thanked God for Connar being able to hear?” Hearing, like many other things, is only thought about when taken away.
We say, “God, why did you have to take it away?” Yet while we hear, taste, walk, touch, see, we don’t think twice about such things. We certainly aren’t explicitly thankful for them. We just assume them. I think we need to be more thankful for such things because they are not a “given” while living in a fallen world.
Hunh? What did you say?As one of your hard-of-hearing aquaintances, I can't sing the praises of my hearing aids highly enough!I have a dear friend whose son was born deaf (ironically, she's a music historian.) They've been traveling the challenging road of trying to raise their son bicultural / bilingual, both in the Deaf community and in the hearing community. Sign was his first language (and he even signs as he dreams!) They also opted for a cochlear implant, and his English hearing/speaking is progressing slowly. Sometimes I forget there are communities and cultures living next door that are not just like me.
Alexandra,Thanks for the response.