Thanks, Mom!

Avatar Author: Perseus Collins I am the son of Zeus. Read Bio

You know, you talk too much, my mother signed at me. She had that pissy expression she got when I forced her to lipread instead of making things easy for her.

I picked up my knife and fork and cut into my pancake. “Sorry, I didn’t understand you,” I said with my mouth full.

Her mouth turned into a thin line. Finish chewing first, she signed.

I smeared a piece of egg in syrup and chewed and swallowed to keep her waiting. “It’s not my fault you’re a deaf mute,” I said without moving my lower lip.

What? she signed. Use your hands, she signed.

“I can’t,” I complained. “I’m eating. You’re going to make me late.”

She stood up and rinsed her plate, throwing the dish rag into the sink a little too hard when she was done.

“What would you do if I was born without hands?” I said to her back. She stood there staring into the sink.

A moment later she turned around and silently held out the completed permission slip for the trip. I took it and hugged her.

Thanks, mom! I signed.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar April Raines

    Aww, that’s a sweet story. I like how you’ve captured the narrators ‘teenagerdom’ – or whatever the term is. The way the narrator manipulates the mom is skillfully done. (I’m realizing I don’t know if narrator is he or she, not important except as I try to type comment :p ).

    Is there an accepted convention for signing speech in writing? I’d still be tempted to put it in quotes, as it is speech, but I get why you didn’t (to differentiate it from regular speech, I assume). Perhaps using single quotes instead?

    Nicely done!

  2. Avatar Perseus Collins

    Thanks for the feedback. Just curious, what made you think of it as sweet?

  3. Avatar TextMason

    I hate to tell you, sir – but you were the winner this morning I was thinking about. Had I not had the day to muse over the work, you’d be walking away with the badge. It was that close. And with your field of competitors, that is honor indeed. LOVED this piece – the dynamic of family vs. disability is handled beautifully and organically. If you read my feedback to the other entrants, you will know that my only having one note is definitely praiseworthy.

    The line “What? she signed. Use your hands, she signed.” hiccups on the repitition. I’m not even sure how I’d reword this – but if I were chewing on it, I might go with “What? Her hands stuttered in frustration. Use your hands, she signed.”

    DEFINITELY following you now, sir – you have a gift that has my eye.

  4. Avatar April Raines

    It seemed sweet because they ‘made up’ at the end. The narrator signed to the mom, and hugged her, showing the mood shift. It just seems like a real, heartfelt moment between the two characters.

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