A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at an annual meeting regarding Newborn Hearing Screening in the state of Maryland. They were asking for a parent's perspective on the screening and my experience. I happily accepted. I have found that I truly enjoy speaking in front of people, which is amusing considering the state of shock that I seem to go into every time I do speak. As time went by I had been contacted by the coordinator for this meeting. I was told 10-15 minutes would be fine.
For those that do not know, I write for a home school newsletter that is distributed world-wide. Neither in speaking or writing am I EVER at a loss for words. Writing typically doesn't take me very long at all. I typically mull it over in my head for a week or two and then am able to process, digest and then, voila, 2 pages written within an hour or two. So I was prepared to write my brief speech on my all of my experiences with the hearing screening. I waited until 2 days before the meeting to print out the agenda, so I knew where I would fall within the timeframe of this meeting. Boy was I surprised when I looked at the agenda and suddenly I was slated to speak for 30 minutes! So after my slight freak out, since I wasn't prepared to speak for 30 minutes, I regrouped and decided that was no problem. I have 5 kids and experience with 4 of them and the testing. No biggie.
That was Wednesday. The day was over before I could blink, so I put my mind to making sure that I sat down Thursday and wrote. After all, the meeting was Friday. So there I sat Thursday evening. I sat and sat and sat. I had a whole whopping 3 sentences. I sat there and stared at that blank document page. The words just wouldn't come. As I sat there trying to figure this out and how I was going to make 30 minutes out of what I had. It wasn't going to happen. And the words just wouldn't come. I got up and took a breather, then regrouped. Still, the words wouldn't come. All I could think was, "I'm a writer! I speak in volumes! How can I NOT have the words to express my feelings and experiences?" And yet, the words wouldn't come. I finally resolved after several hours to do the only thing I could do --- grab some index cards and write bullet point notes for myself. I filled 9 cards front and back with notes and went to bed.
Friday came and I was on the road to the Hearing and Speech Agency. It felt good to dress up business style. Since the bank I work for adopted a policy of SUPER casual, I don't dress like that very much. I armed myself with my index cards and a very large book that was given to me when Sophia was identified as having hearing loss. I walked in the door very calm and collected. By the time I got to the table where there was a familiar face the butterflies had started and my eyes were quite possibly bugging out of my head. I was the second person to speak. I got up there, hands shaking, nervous because, as of last night, I had no words. So I took a deep breath. "Good morning, everyone. My name is Bridget Eaton. I wanted to share with all of you my experience with the Newborn Hearing Screening... ." I went through my whole speech, the whole time feeling like my face was burning red.
And those words, they finally came.
Friday, October 10, 2008
So, Sophia has a tendency to be a bit of a comic in our house. With her hearing loss and the fact that she doesn't always wear her hearing aid, the volume of things can get quite loud. They are usually turned up at the request of Sophia after she has refused her hearing aid. That said, I picked Sophia up from class and we got back into the car (along with 3 of her 4 siblings). We had the radio playing at a somewhat "normal" level. I got Sophia's attention in the rear view mirror to sign and ask if she had her hearing aid in. She nodded and proceeded to show me, after which she took it all the way out and tossed it across the car. Not even 30 seconds went by and my goofy child says to me, "Hey! I can't hear the music. Turn it up!" Kids!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The video above is a BEAUTIFUL signed interpretation of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change.” A friend of mine shared this video and the website where this came from. I think about my youngest daughter and this song really speaks to me. Please take a moment to listen, REALLY listen, to the lyrics. The world is changing, slowly, but I think we are all still waiting....
If you enjoyed this video, please check out: