A few times a month, she will say these words in public when we are shopping or going somewhere and customer services are five to fifteen feet away, cashiers asking their typical questions while I am paying, and list goes on.
I call her "My little mama" because she is.. She helps me, loves me, and protects me. Even with my deafness, she would tell the customer services or strangers I am deaf if I do not hear them. I ask her if it bothers her. She says no. Sometimes it does if we face rude services or situations. But I always tell her it is just the beginning, we have each other, do NOT take it personal, and we are stronger than that.
I usually tell them right away or eventually when we get face to face when I realize I did not hear them due to their facial and body expressions that I’ll pat their arm or touch their hand (depends on people and vibes) I’ll apologize and immediately let them know I am deaf and was not being rude. . I had a pharmacist who gave me prescriptions over time, I thought maybe she was stressed and worn out but then one day, she cried to me that she did not know I was deaf all along and apologized.
Sometimes my daughter would ask me "Why are you still being nice to them?" and "Why are they still being rude?" I explain to her not everyone knows what deaf means, what it is like, how to assist, or too busy to acknowledge "Deaf". What makes us beautiful and strong is holding our heads up high, continue to be kind and patient.
Noises are always behind me or beside me when I enter out of home to hearing world every morning. I never know what I will face, who is aware of “deaf” terms, will they be kind while I continue to be kind (even with rude results, I always continue to be kind and some felt guilty and some don’t which is okay as well).
I choose not to be fearful. I choose not to stay on my bridge the entire time between deaf and hearing as I choose to be free to be me. I choose to see the world, to feel the world, to hear the world with what I can, to learn from the world, and to teach the world. Parenting and deafness both come with challenges but both can also be rewarding!