For those of you that don’t know, my parents are deaf. That makes me a CODA – Child of Deaf Adult. When I meet other CODAs, it is so much fun to talk about our childhoods and laugh at all of the similar stories we have about growing up. I absolutely loved growing up with parents who are deaf – it has so much to do with how I am today. It made me humble. I feel like I was raised much differently than my peers, and that’s okay! It’s what I love about my life. So, I thought I would do a “true confessions” post, but about being a CODA.
#1. I literally struggle to hear what’s happening on TV, regardless of volume, if I don’t have subtitles on.
#2. If I had a dime for every time I told a person on the phone that my parents were deaf, and they said “Oh okay, we’ll call back tomorrow,” I’d be filthy rich.
#3. Stomping and throwing small items (like a pen) across a room were perfectly acceptable methods of getting my parents’ attention.
#4. I will never forget the time the town installed new smoke alarms in our house that were recently set up with strobe lights for my parents, and upon arriving home late at night, my dad ran inside the house and set off the alarm so we could see the lights from outside. I’m pretty sure we had to cut the power to the house to get them to stop going off.
#5. Sign language is my first language, but now that I haven’t lived at home for a while, it’s gotten sort of rusty, and it makes me a little sad.
#6. People who are deaf are the loudest people in the restaurant, but ninjas in the night. There were several times when I would practically jump out of my socks because my dad walked into the kitchen at night without making a sound.
#7. I have always been in awe of the patience my parents have for people who are new to sign language and trying to communicate with them. They just wait and wait, and help them through the conversation, and treat that person like a million bucks despite how rough their signing is.
#8. My parents are the best people I know.
#9. I have been known to turn down my music to sign through the window to my parents in the car next to me at a light.
#10. We got away with diddly squat while we were kids. My parents could feel the slightest thud on the floor from across the house if we were wrestling, or doing anything we weren’t suppose to be doing. Talk about the ultimate funsuckers in the world of ten-year olds.