Hello everyone and happy summer to you! Forgive my long absence, but I needed some time and space to recover from my medical ordeal last fall and winter. I’m happy to say I’m in good health (knock wood) and ready to rock this summer! Seriously rocking it – two concerts this weekend and yes, even though I’m deaf, I go to concerts!
Most people don’t realize that even though I’m deaf, I can still appreciate music and live theater. And that I can dance. I’m always amused when people watch Dancing with the Stars and say things like, ‘How can they have a deaf dancer? Deaf people can’t dance. They can’t hear music.”
To that I say, HA! Funny thing is, I’m a much better dancer now than I ever was, because now, in slow dancing, I can’t get distracted, so I let Darling Handsome Hubby lead and I’m not thrown off by what I hear. In other dancing, I can feel the beat, which is also better for my dancing than when I could hear, and got thrown off by the music. Dancing with the Stars, well that’s another thing. I couldn’t have learned all those routines even if I could hear, so I totally applaud all the contestants.
At concerts, I can feel the rhythm and the bass. If I know the songs, it’s even better. I can use my memory as a guide and feel like I’m hearing the music. If I don’t know the songs, it’s not as easy, but still enjoyable to feel it and let it run through me.
Darling Handsome Hubby and I try to go to as many open caption performances as possible. Sometimes we go when it’s not captioned, so we developed a system for those shows. It goes like this:
Act I: I watch everything like a hawk and try to read their lips as much as possible.
Intermission: I tell DHH what I *think* is happening, and he either fills in the details, corrects anything I got wrong, or both. There’s actually less and less that I’m getting wrong. How ’bout that!
Act II: I take what I know from Act I and Act II makes more sense. I enjoy that, then when it’s over, I stand up and clap like hell because I love theater, and DHH tells me the rest.
Because I can’t hear, I think I particularly notice the scenery and I’ve become a huge fan of set design. Good job, set designers! You keep taking me to new places and worlds, giving me new experiences, and I’m in awe of you. You mesmerize me.
Meandering a bit, our little Brooklyn is going to be 20 months old tomorrow, and once again, time is flying by for us. Our little puppy is now a bigger puppy, still mischievous, playful, and fun, but now when I look in her eyes, I see a maturity developing that entrances me.
According to her trainer, she’s brilliant. I don’t doubt it. It took her no time at all to figure out that I’m deaf. And to learn that you wake Daddy in the morning, not Mommy! But that’s just a little braggy aside. 🙂
We’ve never had our dogs trained to be assistive dogs – somehow, they miraculously pick it up on their own. Charlie, Zeus, and Brody (all boys, by the way) picked up on it as it happened or worsened. Brooklyn is the first girl we’ve had, to come into the situation where I’m completely deaf and it’s a done deal. Sometimes I see her looking at me with her head tilted. I see her mouth move, and if my hearing aids are not in, I don’t hear any sound. I wondered what she was doing, until she did it when my hearing aids were in. And then I realized she was trying different sounds and watching to see if I reacted. I truly believe my little girl was trying to understand my loss.
And guess what! She loves to dance. When DHH and I are dancing, she jumps up and has to join in. Either we hold her paws as she sways against us, or we pick her up and keep dancing while she smothers us in kisses. It’s a joyful experience that she seems to have ‘picked up’ from our Beloved Brody, and I hope this continues forever.
Speaking of the little girl, we have “adolescent training” tonight, so I better get her ready for school. And myself. To quote an old line in an old movie, “I’ll be back.” (Maybe not today, but check back often!)