Can Dad really not hear me? What if the music is REALLY loud? Mom, stop signing to us we want to hear your voice! At five years old I was sure I was the only little boy in the world that was pondering such questions. Even then my life felt so unique and I hadn't even been exposed to d/Deaf, cochlear implants, Audism, ethics, professionalism, and the rest of these hot button topics that now swirl around my head each day. No, I was just Five years old.
This story is about me, but I'm not sure it can be complete without understanding a little more about my parents. My mom, at first glance, is just like all of your moms. She loved all of us more than she could ever love herself, and she is hearing. My father was born profoundly deaf and spent ages 3-20 in a nearby School for the Deaf. How they ever met? Now that is a story in itself for another day...
In elementary school my understanding of the hearing world soared exponentially. Each day my reading, spelling, and understanding of the English language improved. By 2nd grade I was CHAMP spelling, and I don't mean the champion of an ESPN televised spelling bee. At this young age what set me apart from the other kids is I could spell 'seeds' and 'toast' on my fingers as well as between the lines of a test. However, at this age finger spelling ABCs and knowing signs-for-words was the extent of my ASL world. Far be it from me at 7 years old to keep my dialogue conceptually accurate, or understand that I wasn't allowed to flick rubber bands across the kitchen with my brother because of Deaf culture!
Fast forward to 2012, for the past 3 years I have been working as a nationally certified interpreter and am 24 years old. How did I get here? Do I like my job? How is my relationship with my father? These questions and many more you are invited to explore - welcome to my blog.