“I Love You,” He Squealed, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Part I: He squealed, “I love you!” at the top of his lungs, multiple times, before he was physically removed, gently and lovingly.
How did that happen? The morning began quietly. …
For three months I had been looking for a robe for my hospitalized father and thought perhaps this national store might have one.
Men’s robes are hard to find – outside of Christmas, I am learning. Within the store that did not have men’s robe I saw huge signs. I selected three items, and with two coupons, I went to the intimates counter. (Lines are always shorter.) …
The youngster said, loudly, “Papa chair!” The couple near the child gasped. …
Part II: Then he blew a loud, large raspberry on my arm. That’s when the couple accompanying the child stepped in. They were mortified. Me? Not at all.
The man said, “I’m so sorry! We’re taking him out to be around people. His parents are getting a divorce – six long months! – both are deaf.
“They can’t find interpreters to help them in court. The case continues to be delayed. We’re helping our daughter. She’s deaf.”
Part III: Many professionals now wonder if the lack of words by the young child is due to marital conflicts (“awful things” they said) and “that divorce that is dragging on and on and on.”
“We are taking him with us now to help him to learn to speak.”
I listened, softly sharing what I felt was appropriate.
The grandmother commented that she was impressed I knew sign. She said, “I never learned.”
I did not blink; I did not judge.
She continued, “I never learned because sign interpreters in my daughter’s schools were always changing. Each did a different sign language. There are many.”
I replied, “Yes, 22, as I understand.”
She continued, “Each day my daughter’s signs changed, and I couldn’t keep up … working and raising my children.”
She looked away. She looked so sad.
The grandfather had stepped away, down the aisle. I signed to the youngster; he didn’t sign back.
His grandmother, “I’m so sorry for what he’s done to you. We are going to correct that.”
Again, I repeated that I was fine.
I touched her arm and looked to the young boy.
Then I signed the ASL “I love you” sign.
The child gasped, opened his mouth wide and squealed, “I LOVE YOU!! I love you! I love you!!”
His grandfather scooped him up in his arms while the child loudly repeated his words. He waved the sign overhead with his right hand.
Then I signed the private, family ASL “I love you” sign.
He promptly wiggled out of his grandfather’s arms, solemnly stood on the floor facing me, feet apart, and with sincere emotion, signed a sentence to me and ended the sentence with the formal “I love you” and a salute.
His grandmother now had a pen.
Would I write down the name of the sign interpreting company and details that would help her? “Yes, ma’am.”
I asked if they were members of CODA, Children of Deaf Adults with a national association, state and local chapters?
No, they had never heard of that group.
I maintained my court reporter posture, no facial emotion.
I wrote the name of groups, words, information, and phone numbers that I knew would benefit this family.
When I finished, the grandmother hugged me.
The child was still holding the formal “I love you” sign.
The grandfather was mouthing “thank you” over and over.
Again, he scooped up his grandson and began to walk away.
I could hear the child with his loud, louder and then still louder, “I love you!” as they left the department and entire area of the store.
When I slowly looked back to the register, customers and staff were frozen in posture.
The cashier said, “I knew a deaf person once.”
I did not roll my eyes or exhale.
I listened to the young voice shrieking “I love you!” which could be heard throughout the entire store as he was carried to the front doors.
And I wondered, “What do others think is happening right now?”
My path may never cross this young child or grandparents again.
When I least expect it my path is changed.
The messenger that day was a 4-year old who squealed with delight and grandparents who hugged me for helping their family.
Returning to my office, I placed calls to referrals, adding details, if the grandparents phoned. Each promised to do all they could to help.
I never learned the youngster’s name, yet I will always remember his bright spirit and his signed words.
I wish only the best for the young child who kissed my arm twice, then blew a raspberry. That day, in Intimates, he truly touched my heart, and I left without the robe for my father.
Telling Dad about the event later as a patient in Warm Springs Hospital, Dad smiled a sweet smile and giggled.
Robeless, Dad was ‘working’ to walk again.
He continued to repeat, his mantra, “I still have things I want to do. Busy. Busy. Busy. That’s me!”
And I walked, ever so slowly with Dad, nurses on his left and right, as he pushed himself with each step, holding machines, wires, IVs.
He did not want anyone’s help. “No! “I can do this by myself!” Each time, the nurses would raise their eyebrows and look to me. Each time, I would smile and say, “That’s ‘my’ dad …”
After a walk, we both rested.
Dad smiled a sweet smile as I described details that I am unable to share here.
That day, Dad, the teacher, social worker, guidance counselor, husband and father, agreed with me that the messenger was a 4-year old child learning to speak who clearly has buckets of love he wants to share. Buckets of pure love and grandparents who wish a better world for their family. Amen. May it be so for all of us.
Monette Benoit may be reached for tutoring and coaching: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Part I of III is posted October 5, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part II of III is posted October 17, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part III of III is posted October 28, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Motivation Management & Life Coach,
Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com
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Coaching and tutoring topics include:
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• Veteran court reporters and broadcast captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material and an instructor, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college.
She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, students and instructors.
She has also helped create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home, remote, students.
Her one-on-one tutoring has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.
Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day.