I worked an event at the Children’s Museum last weekend, where I met a little girl who my mind has been wandering back to. Her name is Samantha, and she’s both deaf and visually impaired. And I was watching this girl run from exhibit to exhibit, but every once in a while, you saw her eyes wander around the room, making sure her mom was somewhere close (her mom was signing to her all evening). Samantha was so enthusiastic and the first to jump on the stage to be taught Indian-style dancing, and though her own body has the potential to limit her on a daily basis, she still has fun. She laughs loudly. She’s just a little girl.
I asked her mom if Samantha ever got frustrated that she couldn’t understand what was being said around her. She replied, “Not really. She gets more frustrated when other people can’t understand her.” And later she said, “She thinks she’s perfectly normal.”
Samantha won’t get to fully experience the chaos of family get-togethers. She won’t get to sing as loud as the person on the radio and think, “Wow, I sound pretty good,” (come on…you know you’ve done that). But she’s happy and knows no other way of living. That’s amazing to me.
There’s no guarantee that my little daughter (if I have one, the Lord willing) will have normal hearing. I can’t rely on that. And I hope that if I’m that mother that builds my home around English and sign language, that I can be as positive as Samantha and her mom. It’s always encouraging to see people overcome, yes?