total cheese, michelle style

This morning I took Annie to storytime at the library. The woman in charge was deaf. However, she spoke quite clearly and while she signed every word, I would have probably only labeled her as "hard of hearing," her enunciation was so good. That is, until during the first book (one about deaf children) when she told us that she was mostly deaf at birth because of a birth defect, and had lost the rest of her hearing at a very early age due to complications. She talked about having lights at her house for when the phone rang or when someone was at the door, and about an alarm clock she put under her pillow that "wiggled" her awake in the morning. She talked about a beloved dog who told her of danger (like water left running), and how she typed messages into the phone at her office desk at the library. She said something like, "I don't hear music, but I can feel the vibrations. I know I like music because I like what I feel."

But wait. Remember now that I said that I would have only labeled her as "hard of hearing" before learning all those things? SHE WAS REMARKABLE. She was clear, and confident, and beautiful. She was professional and unintimidated and welcoming and charismatic.

And even better: although my Annie listened to her words, she also watched her signs. And she understood both, equally it seemed. And for some reason, that made me feel like we were already friends. Like we already knew her secret language. When the woman asked (and signed), "How does it feel outside? Is it cold or hot?" Annie looked at her and signed, "COOOLLDD!"

Made me want to weep.

So, here's to meeting our FULL potential, even amidst HUGE hurdles. Thank you, library lady. (Ann Marie, you're part of that inspiring posse, aren't you?)

Okay so it wasn't all hallmark special quality--Annie got freaked out by the name tags ladies and we had to leave for a minute to calm down. But when we went back into the room, I distracted her by showing her this INCREDIBLE mural on the wall of the old woman who swallowed a fly. Over and over, we found animals and Annie made signs and sounds, and life was good again.

There are so many talented people in this world! And this morning, we enjoyed some of them at the library.

Okay, that's all. I needed to get that out before I go face the dishes.


Lillie said…
So not cheesy--- so inspiring. I always cringe at the thought of what I'd do with such hardships. I dream I'd be like her.

Oh and I LOVE your new header and the whole blog--- it looks so fresh and LOVELY!
Ummmm, so NOT cheesy! (I agree with Lillie) and I got a little misty-eyed myself thinking of that wonderful woman connecting with sweet, deep and intense Annie.
Thanks for being really excellent at updating your blog! It was wonderful to hear your voice yesterday. And, BTW we were invited back to Suncoast, FL next November... So, if not sooner, I'll see you then!!!!!
Ann Marie said…
What a great story. I feel inspired to be all that I can be.
What a good-feeling day for you. An experience like that would fill me up for a good long time...or at least like you put it, until time to do dishes. :) I'm glad you and Annie had such a great day at the library. Hooray for amazing people who make my problems (speaking for Brynne only) seem so small. I need to remember people like that more often. So, thanks for sharing about Library Lady. :)
Astyn said…
Hey Michelle- I am catching up on your blog during nap time ( I should probably be doing the dishes), but I remember this day. You write about it so well. You should send it to the library. I am sure this kind of thing would make Annes day. She really was great.