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.