Feeling the Stomp of Life

Because I am Deaf, I feel all the things you cannot hear.

Before we had children, I felt Nathan crawl into bed with plans to talk and tangle, but now he falls into bed for safety and escape.

Before we had children, he left me slowly, begrudgingly, unwittingly.
Now he jolts alert, heart pounding, reacting to a scream I felt as something – or someone – that fell heavily to the floor… or worse, to check on our baby who doesn’t breathe while the other children stand still and unmoving.

When I steal silence in a bath of bubbles, I know which child waits for me in the hall by how they bounce, jump on the floor, lean against the shelf, bang on the door, or sticks their fingers underneath.

When we play hide and seek, and the children try to cheat by taking my ears away, I can still feel their giggles through the walls and see their hunched shapes under blankets.

So they take tinker toys and cover my eyes, which turns the game into a monster chase that sends them all squealing into the backyard.


When my blankets rustle with the tug of a toddler climbing up…

When the kitchen rattles from things knocked down by a preschool dancer…

When the playroom rumbles with the tumbling of Lincoln logs…

When the carpet feels like the pat-pat-thump of a one weak-legged child trying to walk our balance beam…

When the soccer ball comes soaring through the back door, past my shoulder, and bounces off the table…

When little handles comb fingers through my hair pulled into makeshift ponytails…

When my eternal companions plops down playfully instead of collapsing…

That feels like a good day, and I am glad to be home, even for a little while.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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