Yesterday, I had a visitor who came unexpectedly dragging her teenaged (14) year old daughter and her friend (15). Since the visitor was 4 hours late in arriving and was supposed to be giving me an estimate on deep-cleaning my apartment (sorry folks, I'm one of those women who likes to have a cleaning lady whenever possible. Finances since my stroke haven't been so great but it's reached critical mass of disgustingness now and I want a one-time nooks-and-cranny cleaning service. I simply cannot see well enough to do my own nooks and crannys, anymore!) I was less than thrilled at the arrival of two bumpish teens whose sole job seemed to be to plant themselves on my sofa and text-message each other, while the mother proceeded to talk me to death for several hours but not do so much as a lick of work.
Yesterday I had my new cleaning lady show up, accompanied by her delightful, sweet, and totally deaf daughter and her very darling, funny, lively deaf friend. These girls were so charming and funny, and awfully good at pantomime for the non-deaf, which would be me, since the Mom can sign quite well and of course these girls are very high-tech and use those little ipod things or blackberry's or whatever they are called to speak with each other. They are boarding students at the Fremont School for the Deaf, and are home for the summer. Those two are joined at the hip much like I was with my cousins at that age, so they just automatically go everywhere together.
The girls were good at eye contact (obviously necessary for lip reading and absorption of nuances in a non-hearing world.) and ready with bright smiles. They were interested in my teapot life and asked all kinds of questions and were curious about my life. You certainly don't find that in hearing teenagers!
The 15 year old asked me if I had any pictures of myself. She is a photography buff. Lucky she! I dragged out my box of pics from my whole life and they entertained themselves quite well pouring over those.
The Mom was signing to them that I lived alone with one cat and no husband and was very independant, and the 15 year old signed back, "Is she happy?"
Well, I loved that question! Who thinks to ask a person they are just learning about if they are happy? I was happy to tell them that I am. I left out the rider, "For the Most Part" because I could see the Mom wants them to contemplate an independant, rich, happy-filled life of their own without recourse to boys, drugs or tattoos. They even learn to drive and be responsible for their own travel arrangements at 14 so I think they are going to do well in life!
It was a totally neat and unexpected day.