We were worried about our daughter’s hearing. She’s sixteen and never seems to hear anything we say. Comments made to this kid are usually answered with “Hmmm?” Requests for her to do something invariably are met with “What?” And never try calling to her from another room. You will grow old waiting for a reply.
We were seriously considering getting her hearing tested when we began to notice inconsistencies in her hearing. One day we were in the kitchen pouring some crackers into a bowl when this supposedly deaf child suddenly appeared at our elbows.
“Can I have some?” she asked.
She had been in her bedroom at the other end of the house when she heard the crackers hitting the bowl.
Another time, we had opened a bag of pretzels and were sitting in the living room sharing them when we looked up and saw her standing there.
“How’d you know we had pretzels?” we asked as she dived into the bag.
“I heard you chewing,” she replied.
Or how about the time we were having an in-depth and lengthy discussion about a very special character in one of our books who needed to be able to communicate with other characters without giving too much information away, which would ruin the plot. We went back and forth for a good twenty minutes when our daughter called out from her bedroom.
“Make it communicate with feelings instead of words,” she said.
She had followed the entire conversation, which was taking place in the living room. And what was even more astounding, her suggestion was terrific. We used it, and it added a great dimension to the story. However, when we yelled back, “Thanks!”, we received no reply.
Sigh. Do you suppose there is a test for selective hearing in teens?
When Mary was nine years old, she wrote her first blog. Yes, we know that the Internet did not exist then. In the olden days, nine year olds blogged by writing their thoughts on paper and handing them in to their teachers. If the teacher deemed the post worthy, she read it aloud to the class. We’d like to share Mary’s Thanksgiving blog:
We Are Thankful
We are thankful for food, homes, clothing, sisters, brothers, fathers, and mothers. But most of all we are thankful for love. We celebrate Thanksgiving by giving thanks to God for all the nice things He gave us. He gave us the Earth. He gave us water and the sun. We thank God for his love.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
We have interesting discussions at our house. The other day we were talking about universal constants. (We can’t remember how this worked its way into the conversation, but that happens a lot around here.) We talked about the speed of light. Gravity. Moms.
Moms was our daughter’s contribution. She firmly stated there is one thing that is instantly recognized everywhere, regardless of where in the world you happen to be. The Mom Voice.
Everyone knows the Mom Voice. It is the voice that freezes children on playgrounds. It stops physical action with one word. It can be heard over distances that would make even fire truck horns sound muted. It is the ultimate authority, that instantly recognized tone to which all beings respond.
We have seen the Mom Voice in action many times. Once, while on vacation, we had a room overlooking the hotel pool. It had begun to rain and thunder, but several kids were still swimming. One irate mom, who had sent her husband to (unsuccessfully) extract their children from the pool, came to the edge of the water, put her hands on her hips and commanded, “Get out of the pool. NOW!” Not only did her children promptly vacate the pool, every other child (and a few dads) also sprang from the water.
At our house, the Mom Voice showed its awesome power just yesterday. One of the kittens was attempting to paw open a cupboard door. After being removed from the kitchen half a dozen times, the kitten waited until Mom had settled comfortably in a chair with a good book. Then she crept back into the kitchen. The unmistakeable sound of kitten claws against wood drifted into the living room. Not wanting to get up again, Mom yelled, “I know what you’re doing and you had better stop it!”
The results were immediate. Down the hall in her bedroom, our daughter froze, thinking “But I’m just doing school work.” Joe came out of the office and poked his head around the corner with an inquiring what-have-I-done-now expression. Both kittens went scampering. And outside the open window, in the neighbor’s yard, two boys stood frozen by the rock wall that divides the yards. They carefully put down the rocks they had been removing from the wall (for what purpose we do not know) and crept away.
The Mom Voice. It’s a superpower.