My husband introduced Jen and I when I was 33 about years old.
Nothing like bringing back the 80’s by having your husband introduce you to a friend who you actually knew in childhood.
In fact our parents attended Jericho Hill School for the Deaf together in THEIR childhood back in the 60’s.
Years pass, people drift… next thing you know your new beau says, “hey a know a girl with deaf parents. Do you know her?”
Odds are YES.
It’s been so neat to see our kids play together. The memories that come flooding back.
All the time when I was growing up people would say, “what’s it like to have deaf parents?”
I’d shrug…. normal?
As I got older I realized my parents were probably the most ‘normal’ parents out of ALL my peers with the hearing type.
It wasn’t till I became a mother myself that I noted the small differences that must have been.
And not until I spent time with Jen as an adult with our own children that I was able to reflect on things I didn’t realize were normal just for us CODA. (child of deaf adult)
The fear of being taken away from your parents for example. At that time society still viewed it as doubtful that deaf parents could adequately raise a child on their own.
Here I thought it was just the fears of an overbearing Grandmother, when in fact it was a commonly held fear by most deaf with children during that time,
especially those who could hear.
We knew too many swear words and would say them when our parents weren’t looking which resulted in many dirty looks.
Our friends mainly just wanted to know the swear words in sign language.
My house was not quiet. IT WAS LOUD! My mother would vacuum outside my bedroom door at ungodly hours as a teen and every cupboard and door in the house creaked.
My dad snores SOOOOO loud, but my mom doesn’t mind.
I’m a very heavy sleeper.
My mom was recently approached by a total stranger. A woman so taken aback by her and her friends at their little weekly coffee meet-up. “You all talk to each other! You’re so engaged! You don’t look at your phones! I wish more people had relationships like you!!!”
We laugh and tell stories that only a CODA would get. Our kids are like peas in a pod.
Must be those grandparents.
Grinning Weasel is Cheryl Voigt, a Squamish based photographer specializing in newborn, maternity and family portraits.