My friend Carol is back home visiting her sister and nephew. On Wednesday, I texted Carol to let her know I posted something on the blog for her birthday. It’s a recording of me singing ‘Landslide’, one of Carol’s favorites.
Since I don’t put my image online, there’s no video. Carol’s nephew, I’ll call him L, thought the computer was broken when Carol pulled up the youtube link.
L is four, and familiar with youtube. Carol said it’s “what makes the videos”. So when there was no video, L thought the computer was broken because he could hear me but not see me.
Carol took the opportunity to teach him about blindness. She told me about it on the phone today and I asked if I could blog about it, because it was just too adorable.
She said it took about eight minutes to explain to him why there was no picture along with the sound. L is at the age where he’s asking questions like crazy. What a great way to introduce the fact that some people can’t see and therefore never have a picture with audio!
What she told me next just warmed my heart. L asked her if I could hear and how I do stuff. When she explained that I rely on my hearing to maneuver through life, L took that to mean that I’m a super hero.
One of my email signatures reads, “I’m not disabled; my eyes are”. And in a way, that’s how L thinks of me. I’m not disabled, I’m a super hero. I have all these other abilities that people who can see don’t necessarily have. Kids are so cool. They haven’t learned prejudice yet. They see things so innocently.
Later, Carol and L were out and just happened to see a blind person with a guide dog. Another opportunity presented itself for L. Carol was able to explain what a guide dog does and that I have one too.
All this from recording a youtube video with no picture.
It reminds me of when my friend Kevin’s son was here a couple summers ago. They came over to go swimming and Kevin explained to his son that I’m blind, before they arrived at my house. Kevin’s son was eight at the time and understood blindness. As we were leaving the house to go swimming, he handed me my cane asking, “don’t you need this?” It had been propped against the wall. I explained that I would be using his dad to help me walk around.
While we were in the pool, I kept splashing him. He didn’t believe I was blind because I kept finding him. I was able to explain that I could hear him moving around in the water, and so he then tried to move around silently haha!
When we arrived back at my house, he asked if he could guide me to the door. It was the most adorable thing. Kevin walked behind me to make sure I’d be ok, and I explained to his son how to help me to the door.
I just love kids and what little sponges they are. Hopefully these two boys will grow into men who don’t see blindness as something weak now. We just never know what small experience might shape their lives.
I adore that to L, I’m a super hero. That conversation just made my day!