Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bring on the Clowns...

I have a story to tell.
I have been telling my story to pediatricians and doctors for two years.
This time, I wanted to bring Jordan.
I was invited by a parent I met through the forum to speak at a mini-conference for a parent association near Pisa, she had just completed a course to become a clown and told me the event was for children.
I thought, finally, the perfect occasion to bring Jordan.
So I did.
He stayed home from school and slept until 11 am. We took the train from Grosseto and arrived in Viareggio three hours later.
We all sat in chairs in a circle. I sat next to Jordan.
The clowns began with a group exercise: Telephone.
I twinged.
How could a group of parents and children with a hearing loss successfully play a game of Telephone?- you know that camp favorite where one person says a word and you whisper it in the ear of the person next to you until it goes full circle and everyone laughs at the difference between the first word and the last. I whispered the word into Jordan's processor. The clown sitting next to a girl wearing hearing aids mouthed the word so that the little girl could read her lips and around the word went.
The first and last words didn't match, but no one cared.
Then, the clowns took us outside.
We did the same exact game but using gestures. The first person had to mimic four gestures for the second person, who then tapped the third person on the shoulder. The third person turned around to see the gestures etc. The final gestures did not match the first gestures...but no one cared.
Last but not least, we returned inside and the clowns called for volunteer pairs.
Jordan and I volunteered.
They said, "Okay, one person has to lead the other person. And the person being led must keep his/her eyes closed."
Jordan and I looked at each other. I said, "I'll lead".
He said, "Ok".
So, Jordan closed his eyes and I took his hands and I led him around the room, avoiding all obstacles. I led him down steps, out of the room and around again and he never once opened his eyes. I even had him do a couple of turns:-)
The clowns said, "Okay! Time to switch. Now the person leading has to close his/her eyes, while your partner leads you around the room."
I had a minute of sheer panic.
I was in my son's hands.
After an entire lifetime of helping my son, raising my son, leading him...
he was now leading me.
I closed my eyes and gave him my hands.
He walked me around slowly.
He twirled me around.
My eyes started tearing.
Like they are right now.


Debbie said...

And the teacher becomes the student! Nice Jodi. You must be so proud! xo

tammy said...

Wow. and now my eyes are watering. trust your son to lead you because you have done such an amazing job at leading him, but sometimes it takes this "opposite" situation to realize it. and this jodi, is why you, and Jordan, are such an inspiration. love to you all.