Thursday, July 11, 2013

GUEST COLUMNIST: My Daughter Mollie


So, I've been enjoying a nice vacation down in St. Louis, Missouri. We get to come down here about once a year from our humble abode in west Michigan.Its a nice time to see all the grand parents and other crazy family members that we never see otherwise. So, this morning the family and me went to a nice diner to have breakfast with my dad's parents before setting out for north again. (I'm typing this journal on my dad's phone because I was bored... and eager to share this story with you all.)

Anyways! We were seated and served juice and coffee and everything was great, the woman serving us was very amazing. I took to liking her instantly, she was very energetic and friendly and just one of those people who could make you feel like it would be a great day. 

Well, my mom, dad, and me were signing back and forth; discussing the menu and the long car trip awaiting us later in the morning. We could already see heads turning at the sight of our strange language spoken with wordless gestures and our waitress was to be included in the crowd.

She came over, serving up our drinks and giving us our menus for the meal, and after many times of saying ''You're welcome.'' To us several times, she finally asked a question we were used to hearing; '' What is the sign for...'' in this case it was for ''you're welcome''. Smiling at this polite gesture we kindly showed her and nodded with a smile when she repeated it back to us with ease.

''I used to know sign language,'' she spoke, waiting patently for my father to interpret. ''I forgot because I haven't practiced in so long.''

We all nodded in understanding.

She went on, obviously feeling that this needed more explanation. 

What she said next made us all very confused.

''I knew sign language because my niece was blind.''

I stopped breathing for a second, my brain so confused and shocked that I couldn't do anything. I could see my father pause in his signing, also confused, although he recovered much faster.

The most we could do was nod in some kind of understanding and struggle to hold our chuckles in until she was out of earshot.

A blind niece in need of a visual language? Almost as bad as going to the library and being handed a Braille book after being announced deaf (yes, that has happened.)

So while we try to work through this brainwracker, please try to make sure you don't have a blind niece trying to learn sign language, it'll be very difficult and quite useless.

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