Monday, April 21, 2008

Sweet Nothing in My Ear

CBS aired the newest Hallmark Hall of Fame movie last night. The King and I set our VCR, baked up a few cookies (well, maybe more, but who's really counting?), got cozy on the couch, and settled in for a fun night.

This wasn't just any movie. It was called "Sweet Nothing in My Ear". The basic premise of the movie is that we have a hearing husband who is very devoted to his Deaf wife, and they have a son. The child is born with hearing, but loses it later on. Everyone is okay with his hearing loss until one day a doctor mentions to the father that his son is a prime candidate for a cochlear implant, which would restore the child's hearing in many ways.

The mother, who is Deaf and has Deaf parents and has chosen the Deaf culture and lifestyle is heartbroken over the father's desire to implant his son. The father is conflicted and fears that he'll feel guilt and remorse if he chooses not to do this for his son. He considers all the freedoms the child would have, and the opportunities he may miss out on due to his hearing loss.

Issues that are confronted in the movie are whether or not the child would be cast out of the Deaf community if he were no longer really Deaf, or out of the hearing world because he's not really hearing. Would this make the child some sort of freak? We also get a peek into the mind of a staunchly Deaf man, the wife's father. He is very into his Deaf pride, culture, and even some prejudice.

We get a remarkable glimpse at the gadgets and gizmos available to the Deaf, such as a machine that can be brought to the movie theatre to provide captioning, a portable Video Relay Machine for calling, flashing lights when the door bell rings or the alarm clock goes off, and blackberry-type devices for instant communication and two-way paging.

We see the son's response to wanting to please both his mother and his father. He attempts to use his voice which causes the mother and her side of the family to panic at the thought of him losing his Deafness. To the father, though, this is a sign that there is hope for his son to regain his voice and benefit from a cochlear implant.

So, why do I bother sharing the rundown of some cheesy Hallmark movie? Quite honestly, there were scenes in that movie that were eerily familiar, almost like we've lived them ourselves. And then, there they were on the screen for all the world to see and experience with us.

It's time for me to share the journey we've had with the Beast and his hearing loss and the decisions we've made for him. Over the next several months, prepare for the details to unfold...

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