Thursday, September 03, 2009

Huh? What? Say again?


I've gotten a couple of emails from two sites that would like to add my blogposts to their topics.

While I was flattered, I also kinda had a hunch what it was all about.

Yep, they were after my posts about deafness.


After throwing a pity party for myself that they didn't want me for my deep thoughts, witty humor, rockin' photography skilz, life experience of being married to a handsome redneck and raising a irresistably cute toddler...

I came to grips with the fact that they wanted me for my broken ears.

Yeah, that's what Itty Bit calls 'em.


Okay, so I didn't throw a pity party... I just pretty much knew what kind of "unique" perspective they were probably looking for.

And let's face it... I'm even more "unique" because of the blessing of being able to speak. This places me firmly in between two worlds and cultures.

Not that I think my perspective is more important than any other hearing or deaf person's, but I haven't written much specifically about my deafness lately.

I guess because the older I get, the less that becomes THE thing that identifies me. I'm more likely to be known as The Children's Pastor's Daughter, Mr. Daddy's Wife, Itty Bit's Mommy, Silly Ju's Sister, and the Kick-Butt Law Enforcement Accountant.

But Deaf Chick, not so much anymore. (Well, unless you ask me to sing, but then hey, you asked for it).


All a verbose (I am nothing if not long-winded) way to say... what would someone want to know? About sign language or lipreading? About being deaf? About being a deaf mother, a deaf ballet dancer, a deaf accounting professional, a deaf Christian, a deaf daughter, a deaf sister?

(That last one was just for you, Ju... I can still hear you shrieking, "MOM! She won't listen to me! She keeps turning her hearing aid off! Make her listen to me!!!")

How many of you have taken sign language classes, had deaf friends who taught you, pantomimed your way through conversations? Any questions you thought were too personal or rude to ask directly? Fire away... I might even include an embarrassing video in response... :)

(The two sites are , and in case anyone can offer opinions if it would be a good idea to join?)


I leave you with this:

Why do farts stink?

So deaf people can enjoy them too.



sarah said...

I've always wanted to learn sign language. But I'm afraid if I learn something new, something else of importance will be forgotten.

Susan said...

LOL!! In fact, you make me laugh out loud all the time. You are such a clever story-teller! Honestly, your life seems so rich and so normal that I forget the deafness thing unless you mention it. To me, you're just a funny, pretty mom with a funny husband and a funny family, and a cute kid, who is bound to prove he is just as funny as everybody else. (Can you tell how much my life values humor??) No mistake, I have learned things from you about your perspective from the deafness angle, but it just refuses to settle in my head that it could be a defining barrier for you, though certainly it must be in some cases. I see you as someone who rises above any difficult situation to get the best, most meaningful result (as evidenced in your most recent court appearance), so I think you have way more to teach than perspectives on deafness. Your honesty shines. You make good points. Your humor brightens the day. We all benefit.

Kmama said...

LOL at your joke at the end. I work in a community college where ASL and interpretation are very popoular subjects. When I first started working here, I walked into the cafeteria and was shell-shocked for a moment. It was packed, yet it was silent. Then I realized everyone was using ASL. I'm much more used to it now, but it took me a bit.

Thanks for following me!

Kmama said...

I wish I could type. *Popular*

Sarah said...

You'll laugh at this (I think). When I was little and my friends didn't understand "deaf" or "hard of hearing" I use to say things like, "My dad's ears are broken O.K.? He can't really hear you!" Great minds (of deaf parents) think alike I guess. Oh and I can't find your email but if/when I do I HAVE to tell you something funny that happened with my dad on our road trip. I was going to post about it but some people might find it offensive. But you'll find it funny, I think.

The Blue Sparrow said...

You always put a smile on my face every time I read your blogs. And thank you for your kind words on my last post, I needed to hear them.

Alicia W. said...

You know whats awesome? I never even knew until now after all this time that your ears are broken (how cute is that saying?). It does not define you.. what does is your beautiful mind and loving heart as a wife,mother,friend and blogger. HUGS!

Emily said...

Um ew! You know, I always forget that you're deaf unless it gets mentioned. I don't like it defines you...I think your amazing personality, wonderful qualities, and sweet spirit do!

hannah m said...

I love what you said about your deafness not defining you - it's a part of you and your experience, but humans are so much more complex than a simple word allows. That's true even for Viv at two years old - she's silly and sweet and gets cranky when she needs to eat (like her mother!); she's a book lover and hug giver. And she happens to wear hearing aids and have some other challenges. All part of what makes her, her - but not one of those things define her.

Funny, wellsphere and deafvillage contacted me about slurping my blog content, too. I said no, thanks, as I'm not looking to increase readership and I tend to write personal, not medical posts. But I think it's an interesting idea to combine medical information with a person's personal experience via a blog - I'm sure people visiting either of those sites would benefit from your perspective if you decide to join!

Lisa said...

I am with Susan and all the others. I often "forget" about your deafness until it is blatantly mentioned. Even comments like "when Itty Bit screamed" and such do not register that I do not know how you know this, without hearing. (I am referring to the comment on my last TST, when he was not in the room with you.) Did she feel it, like a vibration, or a mothers instinct, or did Mr. Daddy tell her? I hope this don't seem rude, but I honestly just don't put "deaf" at the beginning of your description, if you know what I mean. I remember posts you wrote about hearing Itty Bit's voice, and it brings me to tears, and that is a reality to me that I cannot begin to fathom. Sorry, I have to cut this short, I am getting "help" with my nephew at the moment. Just know you are who you are, and we all LOVE LOVE LOVE you for it! Lisa S

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm with the others, I've often forgotten about the broken ears too so I think it's normal, and completely right by saying it doesn't define you.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for a video or something of you singing, I think that'd make a GREAT True Story Tuesday (hello Mr. Daddy?! ;) *snort*).

McCrakensx4 said...

I took sign in high school and college, but I am not any good at it!! Kinda like the 5 years of French I took...don't remember much! Fun for you though! Congrats!

He & Me + 3 said...

Wow reading the other comments is sure neat. YOu are so loved...I don't think about it until you mention it.
I learned sign language out of a book & when I taught at the Montessori preschool. I taught my kids sign language before they could talk. I think it is a beautiful language. I love to see our sign language teacher at church sign the worship songs. Oh so lovely.
I had to laugh out loud over the joke too. Very funny.

Pam D said...

I love the pic at the top of your post. When my boy gets into the shower, he makes that sign against the shower door, and I make it on the other side against his hand. When we take our hands away, his hand always leaves a "smiley face" on his side because the door is wet. And then our eyes meet and we smile at each other. Love is love in any language. Somehow, I think that should be your message.

Pam D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
City girl turned Country Girl said...

Well I think you know my story...Born 50% deaf in both ears. I don't wear the hearing aids because my ears are to sensitive. I never learned sign language, the main part of communication is reading lips!! And I do it really well LOL!! It is always a struggle when you meet someone new and they don't understand that "whispering" in my ear is completely useless LOL!!

I'm glad you handled that with such grace!! And I love your blog for YOU!!! Not your ears!!

renee said...

you crack me up! and yes...the bug statue is totally for real. said...

You are killing me with that parting shot.


OK, since you've opened the forum...
Is it better to sign like a two year old to my nephew (because that is my skill level) or spare him the snicker?

Shana Putnam said...

I have a surprise for you on my blog!

Jaime said...

That joke was terrible! That's all I have to say... :-)

Jewelz said... are most definitely NOT defined by your hearing impairment. You are refined by it!
Let me share a funny story with you, if I may.
I am a qualified teacher of the deaf...however Art is my passion and that is my specialist appointment. I sign AUSLAN...well, because I'm an Aussie :0)
I use my Auslan regularly, because many of my indigenous students speak English as a second language. No they are not deaf but a lot of people do not realize that many signs evolved from natural gestures. So when a child looks blankly at me that's when my hands come out to do the speaking. :0) I see the lights go on and a bright wide smile spread over their dark little faces when they get what I am trying to tell them.
So, when my number 4 was born, there is ten years between her and the closest sibling to her age, I told the whole family that I was going to sign to her from the day she was born. My husband scoffed at me, the kids raised their eyebrows but didn't mock my decision (by the time she was about 10 months old, I caught my husband signing 'What would you like to drink?" she responded by signing "milk" so he got her milk...then he realized I was watching him. He went all sheepish and agreed that there might just be something in this signing thang after all. One doubter converted :0)
When I went back to teaching she went into daycare two days a week. She was verbal but still a work in progress...My theory was, if she could be immersed in signing from birth, by the time she had developed the gross and fine motor skills to attempting signing, then she would be able to communicate her wants and needs to us...and not get to a point where, because of pure frustration @ NOT being able to communicate, she would start chucking frustration tantrums!
Fast Forward to a day at daycare when I was stopped by a staff member who asked me a question about a sign Bella kept making at a certain point of the day!
I asked where she was at the time....the toilet!
She said I know this is 'toilet' and she signed T for toilet. So I asked her to repeat what Belle was doing.
She repeated the gesture to me and a smile spread over my face...she was so over thinking the signing thing, that she was not looking at what Belle was trying to do. She wasn't trying to say anything!
Her pants were too tight and she was trying, all by herself, to pull them down so she could go to the toilet...only everytime she tried to pull them down, her hands slipped out of the waistband of her shorts, down, past the top of her pants and down the sides of her legs! Just like we might sign 'pull your pants down' However she was looking straight at Miss D whist she was trying to pull her pants down! Oh How I laughed.
The carer went red in the face muttered something about how silly she felt at how much she had 'over thought it'. I just laughed out loud. It was precious.
Itty Bitty has the best of both worlds. My bet is he is developmentally way further ahead that other children that have been brought up by speaking,non signing parents! I know signing has contributed to her improved knowledge of the meaning of the spoken word!
You have amazing knowledge to impart...but don't get 'used up' do what nourishes you. If that is sharing your knowledge then do so..if it suits you AND if your contributions are acknowledged accordingly. Go with your gut instinct I say.

Thanks for reading my ramblings
Cheers Jewelz

Oh and let Mr Daddy know that the Pilbara is not a's a where.( He dropped over to my 'place' for my SOOC post and had no idea what, who or where 'The Pilbara' was.
Western Australia is a big a$$ state. The Pilbara is a region in the far North West of Australia. Perhaps my SOOC post will make more sense to him now :0)

Cheers Jewelz from SmashingCups
~whispers to self~ man this is a long a$$ post ;0)

Ruby Red Slippers said...

Very neat perspective on life-
I had no idea you had a hearing issue-
I know some minor sign language, and have taught my kids a handful of signs-
When I taught first grade, Sign Language is one of the ways I taught the children their spelling words, and we hung the sign for each letter on the wall with the corisponding letter-
I would walk down the hall, signing a spelling word and the kids had to imitate me-then whoever could 'read' the signed word-would do the next one...
I am always wanting to learn more about the whole perspective-so whatever you choose to share will be helpful-

Lynn said...

Dear Rach,
You don't have to do everything, you know?

Looks like God is saying "Rach, follow your heart" with that SOOC shot. WOW!!
You are the 'good stuff' as we like to say over at the de mellos. I love your humor and love. Mr Daddy and Itty Bitty are pretty cool too. Keep up the good work.
You do have photohog talent too.
hugs from Arkansas,

Stacy said...

Great post, Rachel. I don't think about your deafness much anymore and was really surprised when you brought it up after I had been reading here for a bit. You have a very "normal" life and I can definitely tell you don't let your hearing impairment define you. You don't let anything stop you!

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