We've been out and about a lot now that the winter weather is finally breaking. It looks like spring has finally sprung, hopefully for good. I mentioned to Drew's Dad the other day as we ate lunch how I felt like people were staring at Drew's ears less and less. He quickly told me that I just don't notice the staring anymore. As I sat in the restaurant, I looked around and realized he was right. People were staring, but I just didn't notice. Nor did I care. Drew can hear. Drew can talk. And that is all that matters.
On that note, I really appreciate the people that talk to me about Drew's ears. They will ask questions. And I don't mind answering, no matter how silly they are. The interesting thing is that it is mostly children that ask questions. And the questions are so heartfelt and sincere. We were playing in the mall play area the other day when a couple of boys, who looked to be about six or seven years old, came up to me and said, "What's on his ears?" I explained that Drew was deaf and that those little "things" on his ears allowed him to hear. They said, in the nicest tone, "Oh, we're sorry. That's sad that he can't hear." They were so genuine. I went on to tell them that while he can not hear without his "ears" on, it is a blessing that he can hear at all. They were hooked on every word I said, and were genuinely interested in Drew. They followed Drew around the entire time we played, helping him climb on the rocket ship and crawl through the tunnels. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with Drew. They loved hearing Drew say "Hi," and asked him to say it on a number of occasions. I wish that adults had the innocence of children, and as we left, I told the boys' Mother's just how nice they were to Drew and that I wished more people we like their sons.
On a separate occasion we were playing on the playground at Graeter's Ice Cream (which, by the way, if you are ever in the Columbus area, you must have dessert at Graeter's!). A boy, about eight years old, came up to Drew and I and asked if he was wearing hearing aids. I told him that they were a "kind of hearing aid" that helps deaf people hear. The little boy looked at me and said, "Cool. How much did that cost?" I laughed. It was such an innocent question, and as I was laughing I heard his Mother say, in that embarrassed motherly voice, "Conner, we don't ask those kinds of questions." It was so funny. I explained that it cost a lot, "more than some houses. But we are just thankful that Drew can hear." The boy talked and played with Drew. He had so much fun rolling a ball with Drew and hearing Drew say "ball" over and over again.
I really don't recognize Drew without his ears on and I don't notice people staring, unless I'm looking for it. I've grown, because I really don't care anymore. You can stare all you want, but my little boy can hear! And that is what matters.