Last Friday evening, we saw The Greatest Showman film. It was an amazing film. It was one of those films that has important message- we all are different! It was very deep along with catchy tunes and dance moves. In fact, when we were walking to the theater; we saw all sorts of people that were different. For example, there were people that were over 6’6 feet tall, different shapes of bodies, and many people that were physically disabled. After seeing this film, I explained to my daughter that we all are different and unique in our own ways. Meanwhile, I was different at the movies. People who walked by me did not know that I am deaf since my hair was down and covered my cochlear implant. I loved the song, “This Is Me” by Keala Settle from the The Greatest Showman Soundtrack when the group of unique people were mistreated awfully by the public and felt unloved. But they did not give up and continued to face their fears by showing their unique selves.
I am different. My daughter is different even though she does not have physical disability. She is tall for her age. She has braces. People do not know she struggles on focusing in class due to high energy. Recently, we saw the movie, Wonder. Auggie has Treacher Callins Syndrome. His mother told him that she loves him for who he is. He shouted back at her angrily that she loves him because she is his mother. She corrected him and said that not only is she his mother, she knows his best qualities because he showed it and let her be part of his journey. She was encouraging him to make friends and face his fears by letting them get to know him. The Wonder film brought us memories of my childhood years of frustrations with my deafness and my peers. We all cried throughout the movie.
When my daughter was a few years old, I was working at the hair salon and my hours were long. There were times I got off at 8 PM that we were not able to spend much time together. One night, she was upset with me for me being tired and wanted my attention. It was time for her to take a bath. She looked at me and boldly told me she did not like my voice.( I have a nasal accent due to my profound hearing loss, and I was cochlear implanted at age fifteen). She did not know. She did not understand. At that moment, I cried. My mother cried. My father was upset for me. My daughter bawled. She felt horrible that she hurted her mama. But the reality was she was only three and half years old and learning that this is who I am. My mother was wearing a neatly starched white button up shirt, and it was getting soaked with Makayla’s tears and mine. My mother explained to her about my deafness (how it will not get better), I cannot change my voice and the stories of my struggles while I was growing up. Ever since, Makayla tells me I have a beautiful voice and she is protective of me and my deafness.
Overall, we all are beautifully different and have our own story to tell. We are the authors of our own stories. We do not give up by showing others what we are capable of and who we are! That is bravery. Do it scared! Be YOU!
Hearing Impaired single mother and teacher aide at a hearing impaired oral preschool program. An author of "Turn The Lights On, I Cant Hear You".