Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mama, I hope you don't die until next week!

Yes, my dear little Cracker actually said this to me.

Here's the scenario:

I'm very sick.  Nothing fatal, just horrible hacking coughs and terrible sneezes and a nose that *just*wont*quit*dripping!   Feeling achy and just plain terrible!

My dear son looks at me and says he hopes I hang on till next week.   Dad and I looked at each other and teased him that once I chaperoned his field trip, then he was done with me, didn't ever need his Mama again?  Nooo, not what he meant at all (we knew this, but just had to tease him about his choice of words!) 

I'll take his concern for my well-being and ability to chaperone his field trip next week to mean he loves me.  Yeah.    :-)

This is also connected to yesterday's post.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mama, please chaperone!!!

My son came home from school waving a permission slip for a field trip they were taking later in the month.   "Mama! Sign this!  I want you to go with us!  Here, chaperone, check this box yes!    Teacher said the first few parents who send this back will be chosen!"   And off he runs for a pen, with me barely needing to even ask!    First thing the next morning, the teacher gets this paper, and says his was the first to come back and so I am going on a field trip with him and his class. 

This was a few weeks ago and the reason came out last night why he wanted me to go.  "I want you to go so I will have someone to talk with, to sign with, to be with."     Aww, that tugs at my heart on several levels.   Mamas feel glad when their children want to be with them.  That's a good tug!    The not-so-good tug is that it means he'd be lonely otherwise?  I *want* for children, his classmates and peers especially, to sign with him and be buddies with him.  Not out of obligation, but because they can and want to.   This tug makes my heart sink a little bit.  I hope he is happy in school.  I hope it is just field trips that are "lonely" times for him.  But there's lunchtimes, there's recess, there's the group work in class, all of those are challenges for the deaf child. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aware? or ignorant?

My 4th grader Cracker was one of the 10 finalists in his school spelling bee, so he got to go on to the district spelling bee.  He is deaf like us and so his interpreter was there to relay the spelling word to him.  Of course we all wanted Cracker to succeed on his own merits and not have it seem like he cheated, or had help, or whatever.  He can do it just like anyone else can. 


There are many words that have similar signs, or a single sign is used by multiple words.  (For example:  Soup, Broth, Stew share a common sign.  There are MANY such instances where you'd have to spell the word to get precisely *that* word.)

So, the interpreter (K) stood by the moderator who gave each contestant their spelling words and just before giving the word to my little Cracker, K looked at the list and would say no or yes to whether that word had a sign that could be signed without spelling the word itself.   Sometimes multiple words would have to be skipped before there was a word that could be signed without any clarifying fingerspelling needed. 

All went well and my smart little cookie was among the last 5 students left standing.  (We're proud of him!!  He did great!!)  At the conclusion of the spelling bee, a man from the audience came up to K and asked her if she was skipping over words that didn't have signs, impressing us with his cultural awareness of American Sign Language.  But then he continued by saying he had a brother in law that was a deaf-mute.


K replied by saying that clearly Cracker was <span style="font-style:italic;">not</span> mute as he spoke for himself.  This gentleman acknowledged that Cracker spoke for himself then repeated that his brother in law was a deaf-mute. 

Sigh.  Shoulda stopped while he was ahead with his cultural awareness, instead of continuing on with a term that is SO out of use in today's society. 

Really, have you ever met a mute person??     Actually, I have, but this person was not a deaf person!   You do realize the ear and the vocal cords are NOT the same organ?    Deaf people *do* have voices, it just may sound different from what you're used to but that does not mean they're mute! 

Who's Cheese & Cracker?

Well, hello there!  I'm glad you've stopped by!  

What is this blog all about?  Well, as the title says, Deaf Mama Speaks.   I'm gonna share snippets, stories, perspectives and personal stuff about being Deaf/being ME.  I don't know what the difference is, as I am deaf and I am me, and they are the same thing to me!

I grew up deaf in a mostly deaf family as did one of my parents.  The other parent grew up oral.  

I teach.  Officially I teach sign language classes but I teach whatever I know.   I love questions so feel free to ask anything you want!

Oh good, here's a question! 
Who's Cheese and Cracker??  

Cheese:   My husband, my sweetheart.    He is a deaf professional.   He lipreads crazy good and speaks well, so he gets by in the 'hearing world' fine.   It has its challenges though.

Cracker:  Our son in 4th grade.  Smart little cookie!   Loves to read, involved in scouts and piano lessons.  Oh yeah, he's deaf too. 

My family all speak and sign.  Sometimes we sign only, sometimes we speak and sign, and sometimes speak only.   But when Deaf Mama Speaks on this blog, I'm sharing a message from my heart/mind/soul.  It is irrelevant whether I'm using my voice or my hands to share my message with you.