Quiet Noise, Uncomfortable Unsilence

I used to try convincing him to stay, throwing out signs for friend, swing, play, dirt, and whatever else I thought might or should interest a nine year old. It’s no use though. There’s really no talking to him when he gets like this.

The car ride is noisy, full of road noise coming through the floor of my 82 Spitfire convertable. I blare the music trying to lose myself in the extended version of ‘Magic Carpet Ride’. My hands thump on the steering wheel along to the bass. Some jerk in an over-priced SUV honks cause I cut him off.

The car ride is perfectly silent. My son just looks out the window at the passing greenery, the near jungle conditions of rainy Mississippi. I can’t sign while I drive. After that one fender bender, he refuses to sign at me while I drive, not that I can blame him. He feels things so deeply.

So deeply he retreats within himself. They say deafness isn’t as much a disability as it is a culture. I just never figured there’d be a cultural divide between me and my own kid.

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