Monday, January 21, 2008

Just Because


Some people are just always nice because they want to be. The kids had 10.00 each and wanted to go to Kmart which is only 25 miles away but they had a change of heart at the last minute and wanted to stop in Cracker Barrel first to see if they had any 10.00 items to spend their money on. I agreed to go look and Gage immediately found this jacked-up jeep for 7.99 and Brook was just looking at everything. Well this lady who works there was eavesdropping on our conversation about either getting the jeep now or chancing that it won't be there the next time we visit. He asked the lady to hide it for him and she explained that she couldn't just hide it(although she was getting a kick out of him), he'd better get it she said, it was the only one left. He said "but it cost 7.99 and then I'll have to pay tax, I just don't know that I can afford this right now". hahaha, she and I both were a little taken back by this comment and I was all for him getting it so we didn't have to go anywhere else. Brook had decided on the grabber thing that picks stuff up off the ground. Next came the manager, actually to talk to the lady who was employed there but he too was drug into this "BIG" decision of the day. He put on his best sales pitch and he and Gage talked about the hydraulics, the lift kit, the suspension. Finally, he had sold him! We were getting this Jeep. I usually notice people glancing at his implant or asking me what that is, but this time, no one looked! I watched, their eyes were looking directly at his eyes. I said NOTHING! So we walked over to the cash register and Gage again spoke to the lady, calling her by name (he'd read her name tag!!). This poor lady nearly fell on the floor after that, she couldn't believe this little guy could read her name. He is a little small for his age but he is in fact six and in the first grade, despite being almost the same size as my four year old. Anyway, I heard the manager call this lady back and he gave her a basket..."after they pay for their toys, let them pick out several candies and put it all in the basket for an Easter Basket! no charge" I was floored. So they paid for their toys and then picked out several candies, not just .50 candy but like a flashlight full of candy and more. I was so astonished at how nice they were! And this was no charity. They just really liked Gage! Brook was just wandering around the whole time and she didn't even speak to the people. So I finally told the lady, "that's plenty really, y'all are sooo sweet! you didn't have to do that but how nice!" Gage continued to talk to everyone and as we were leaving I looked at the lady and said "you have no idea, do you?" and she gave a confused look...I said "you have no idea that they are both completely deaf. They have cochlear implants now but when they are off, they hear nothing". Her jaw was on the floor, I kid you not. I then gave her a quick explanation that he had to learn to hear first, then learn to talk, then learn to read. She had been so impressed w/him reading the other employee names like Rhonda (which is a hard one for a 6 yr old to be reading w/the silent letter). I knew that those people didn't need that information to be so kind. I felt like if they realized how much I appreciated it, it may give them the encouragement to keep up the good work. We parents often get stares, rude comments, stupid questions, you name it. When someone is kind to us FIRST, and not out of pity, it truly makes me want to be a better person. I think we left the Cracker Barrel today with more than just prizes, and I can't thank them enough! Makes you just want to be nice to everyone, you never know how much it can mean. And after a rough night of hateful emails the night before, this kindness came at a good time for me.

7 comments:

kw said...

I just read your comment in Jodi's blog. So sorry I haven't been supporting you more. I think you're a GREAT mom-- OK??

Smiles and hugs,
Kim :-)

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

Goosebumps!!! LOVE IT!!!! don't even know what to say but I adored this story. Again- i have to just say- that this goes to you being such an INCREDIBLE mom! You have done such a GREAT job with them- but NOT just in the area of the hearing. THat is secondary! You have /are growing them into a beautiful little boy and girl..a little man and woman. Respectful and loving little kids- and it showed and they saw it at the CB. They were just 'great kids' at the Cracker Barrel. Not great deaf kids...just great kids. the fact that they were deaf and you knew it just added to the sweetness to you.

oh on a semi-unrelated note- could you send up some grits from the cracker barrel? when i traveled south i loved stopping there for grits in the morning. there is a CB near us but i doubt they have grits. maybe they would fit in an envelope....

Paula said...

Val, I got tears in my eyes reading this. You must've been so overjoyed today! Pay it forward. :) Thanks for the uplifting story.

K.L. said...

Hi Val,
Isn't it amazing how well they are able to interact with people. All that practice in speech therapy pays off in more ways than one. Congratulations on a great job you are doing with them.

I understand why you are leaving DeafRead, and support you, but it saddens me too.

Abbie said...

It wasn't until this year that I could say that people can really surprise you. If I read this last year, I would have been like "a dime a dozen," but now I have this newfound appreciation for when people just come out of left field to be nice. This is a great moment to show case kids being kids in a nice world.

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Gosh Val,
Save this pot for the rest of your life. I can't even believe this experience, so incredible. I think it's great that you told them about Gage and Brook, spreading awareness if fundamental and you are the queen in that department!You are a very special woman...love you, Jodi

misskri said...

I LOVE this story!!! It's nice for people to see the kids as KIDS...normal little kids! Gage is doing fantastically well...WAY TO GO GAGE AND MOM!!!! All that hard work is paying off!!!!

Hugs
Melissa