I am naive. I admit it. I did not think that we would have to deal with ignorant people so early in Drew's life. I knew the time would come with others would look at him differently, but I thought the days of teasing and such would come in elementary and middle school.
On Saturday our friends called to see if we would join them for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Drew's Dad was working, but I happily agreed. I love the opportunity to get out of the house when I'm watching the kids by myself.
We were seated right away and immediately waited on. The waiter instantly noticed Drew's "different" ears. Instead of asking politely or not mentioning them at all, he said, "What's wrong with his ears?" Now, that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't said in the tone in which he said it. Having four impressionable children sitting at the table with me, I could not tell him what I really wanted to say, so I just said, "He is deaf. This helps him hear." We all restrained ourselves well, but I know my friends were equally as mad as me. Oh, if only I could have told him what I was really thinking. I wonder if he liked his tip?
Then, later that night I found myself in another uncomfortable situation. We attended the wedding of some friends from college. It was great to see Drew's Dads' fraternity brothers that we had not seen in years! We enjoyed catching up with friends from Denver, San Diego, Chicago and New York. It's hard to keep in touch with everyone these days. Many of our friends did not even know that Drew was born with profound hearing loss, so I found myself explaining our situation on more than one occasion.
I was telling a couple of our friends all about Drew's hearing loss and it's cause (Connexin 26) when I was once again confronted with an ignorant, and that is being nice, person. A friend of a friend was listening in on our conversation. I was explaining all about Drew's cochlear implants and our friends were fascinated by the technology and how well Drew is doing. Just as I was explaining that Drew's Dad and I carry a recessive gene for hearing loss the friend of a friend says, while turning his ear to the conversation, "What's that, I can't hear you. I'm deaf."
It took every ounce of me not to punch him in the face. I looked at him and said, "I find your comment to be very, and I mean very, offensive." Then I turned and tried to continue my conversation with true friends, but I was unable to even remember what I was talking about. He made everyone completely uncomfortable and ruined and otherwise enjoyable conversation.
I understand that there are ignorant people in the world. I am used to being stared at in the grocery store, at Lowe's and at Target. It really doesn't bother me, and I enjoy the times when people will actually ask me about Drew. I enjoy telling people how blessed we are that Drew can hear. But I have a hard time with arrogant, ignorant people and their asinine comments.