Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Child's Admonishment

Young children tend to over-generalize things and think in "black and white". Their perspectives and comments on life can be funny at times.

My deaf friend, Katie, has a son, Peter, who is hearing. Katie's hearing parents lived close by that they would visit at least twice a week.

From time to time, Katie taught Peter, who was then 3-1/2, the basic of "rights and wrongs". Peter nodded earnestly as if absorbing all the "do's and don'ts" in his tiny head. He knew how to be a "good boy".

One afternoon, Katie's father was driving when he happened to overlook another car in his path and tried to swerve but instead hit the car. Fortunately, his car was not damaged badly; just few dents here and there.

The next day, he visited Katie at her home and was narrating about "his-fault" accident to Katie's husband who is hearing. Peter was playing in the living room when he overheard the conversation.

Peter walked up to his grandfather, pointed at him, and piped up, "Bad boy!"

Friday, June 6, 2008

A fainting spell

During my teen years in middle school, in my PE classes, every students were required to do sit-ups and stretching prior to starting an assigned sport. I used to do sit-ups quite fast, often beating other students whenever the coach timed us.

I would practice doing sit-ups at home with my sister sitting on my feet, to hold them in. I also practiced trying to split my legs as well, but not too successfully though.

After a year, I started to notice that whenever I started to do sit-ups, the middle of my butt would hurt a bit. The pain slowly increased in the span of few months, up to the point where I could no longer do any sit-ups, or even sit cross-legged on the floor.

The doctor diagnosed that I had a cyst between my butt. An operation was scheduled as soon as I finished 8th grade prior to summer-break.

After the operation, for almost 6 months, I had to wear skirts daily. I was not allowed to wear pants due to the fact that the seams may rub my stitches and scar.

By the time school started for the fall, I was forced to bring a seat pillow since I was unable to sit on the hard desk seats for a prolonged time. I felt like a freak, yet no one said anything to me. Perhaps they said something behind my back, or so I imagined.

Prior to the start of fall semester, I developed a high fever and was confined to bed for about 4 days. I did not eat much and barely consumed liquids.

On the 4th day, I woke up in the morning, almost feeling quite back to normal.

Happily and relieved, I walked from my bedroom to the bathroom to finally brush my teeth.

As soon as I finished brushing my teeth, but not yet putting the toothbrush back in its holder, I looked at myself in the mirror.

Somehow, the mirror became a bit blurry and a bit darker. Puzzled, I tried to strain my eyes at the mirror.

Suddenly, I felt dizzy and my eyes saw "black".

"MOM, MOM, I CAN'T SEE!!!" I screamed, running out of the bedroom and into my parents' bedroom.

The next thing I remembered was I found myself lying down, with my mom hovering me, frantically trying to rouse me.

I looked to my right to my outstretched arm which was half -way under my parents' bed. In my tightly fisted hand was my toothbrush.

Apparently, I had fainted due to lack of food for days.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Child's Hint

There is an old saying that has been around for hundred of years: "Children can be seen, not heard".

On the contrary, children usually have better perspective than adults simply because they have not yet acquired many notions that they learn from school and friends. Their minds are quite simple and focused. Parents can also learn from their children.

A friend of mine, I will call Melinda, recently told me this story about her son.

Melinda is the head of household while her husband is a "house-husband", a new term coined nowadays in lieu of housewife. Previously, she often worked over-time and traveled quite frequently, at least twice a month.

They have a 7-year old son and a 3-year old daughter. They eventually grew used to their mother's frequent absence, knowing that she has to work to bring home the "bacon".

One night, a year ago, Melinda arrived home late and exhausted. Nevertheless, she mustered up the remaining of her energy and tucked her children to bed.

Her son begged her to read a story to him.

Melinda slipped comfortably into the covers with him and started signing the story of a puppy who loved to roam around and sniff new things. Eventually, the puppy got lost, trying to find its mother.

Patiently, Melinda answered her son's questions in the midst of signing the story.

Finally, upon finishing the story, Melinda closed the book and asked her son a question.

"Why do you think the puppy got lost?"

Her son signed innocently, "Because his Mommy had to work all the time".

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Hearing Miracle

As a stay-home freshman at my home state university, I often hung out in the university lounge with hearing Indian friends with most of whom I grew up with. The university was only 10 minute-drive from my parents' home.

An avid lip-reader back then, I managed to get some of the conversations between my friends. If I did not understand, I would often ask for some repeats. Most of my friends were used to my voice and knew to tap my shoulder whenever they wanted to speak to me. They used some exaggerated lip-movements so that I could easily grasp of what were being said.

One afternoon, between break in my classes, I had ample time to relax and chat with my friends. One girl who I had known since middle school, Rita, invited me to visit a friend of hers at one of the dorms.

Cheerfully tagging along with Rita and her other friends who also followed, we walked about a mile to one of the dorms.

Rita's friend opened the door and was a bit surprised to see us all standing in the doorway. She immediately invited us in her dorm room. After brief introductions, for about an hour we chatted and had some tea. Then Rita looked at her watch and beckoned that it was time to leave.

Rita's friends quickly filed to the door with me as the last person to leave.

We were not yet a foot away from the door when Rita's dorm friend, who was sitting on the other side of her room by the window, called out to please close the door for her.

Not knowing that the friend had just called out, I suddenly thought it would be polite to close the door since I was the last person.

Upon closing the door, I turned around to find Rita and her gang, frozen in spot across from me, staring and gaping.

With a shock on her face, Rita gasped and suddenly grabbed my shoulder. Puzzled, I looked at her face while she moved her lips quickly.

"Nita, you can hear now?!"