I used to hide my ears with my hair straight down by my face. If the wind blew my hair up, I would hold my hair down, embarrassed someone might see and point it out. I almost didn’t try out for the cheer team because I would have to wear a high ponytail. I have had hearing aids since I was 3 years old and it was a source of being teased and it was always pointed out.
As an adult, I am wondrously free and I love my ears and my hearing aids. My hearing aids are my badge of honor. It tells my story, it gives a picture of how hard it is but still showing the joy that is in me. People ask questions and I welcome them now. It is a chance for educating them not to be frustrated, rude or angry.
My instant icebreaker with deaf children… I get down eye to eye, “hey, I’m just like you…” as I pull my hair to show my hearing aids that were just the same and being different is okay, it makes us strong and makes us who we are. Their tough walls melts and we become instant best friends because we understand each other instantly.
I always carry another secret on my ears. I started wearing unicorns and kid-themed earring in my 3rd piercings even in my professional clothes because adults sometimes have lost their whimsy and they don’t notice it. But kids when they see I’m deaf and different…that’s okay, they also see a fun little dinosaur guarding over my hearing aid. Adding the little touches of whimsy and magic that most people miss because our littles marvel in it.