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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

Press Home

Deaf American Prose: 1980–2010
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That’s the G-rated version, anyway. So much for our great plan to avoid gender stereotyping. Or for our exalted plan to never voice to the babies to make sure they developed beautiful signing, so that they would stay in our Deaf world.

By now I had finished my meal and was considering dessert. I had read that breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, so with twins I must really be able to afford extra. What was I going to do about Matt? I wasn’t sure if he loved me, but he clearly loves his babies. Maybe he loves them more than I do. I had been blaming the detached feelings I had for the babies on being tired, but what if I really couldn’t love them like a mother should? Maybe they would all be better off without me.

What if I ran away, not just for the morning, but for good. For good? For the better?

I could just imagine the newspaper story:

Police were called to a house on the 4000 block of Davidson St. when Laura Mayo, 28, a deaf stay at home mother of two month old twins, failed to return home. Her husband, Matt (also deaf ), an accountant for the county government, called authorities at 7:00 p.m. to report his wife missing. She left home in the middle of the night, leaving a note that said she would return home by 11:00 a.m., according to sources who requested anonymity.

“Laura, if you are reading this, please come home. The twins need you,” Matt said, speaking through an interpreter.

“I’ve hardly seen Laura since the twins were born,” neighbor Connie McCall said. Another neighbor, Amanda Johnson, knew something was wrong when she tried to drop off a baby gift. “Laura and the twins were home, but she wouldn’t answer the door.”

Various neighbors are helping Matt with the twins. Anyone with information should contact the authorities.

I know this sounds terrible, but what I was thinking was that I wasn’t sure what would be worse, how the news would spread around the Deaf community, Facebook and emails and text messages, or how this would make hearing people see Deaf people. I wasn’t thinking about how I would scar the kids for life by leaving them, or hurt Matt.

Does it matter? It was enough to make me decide to go home, and right away. It was only 5:30. The babies and Matt were still sleeping. I put the note in the shredder. When Patrick started crying at 6:00, I got the twins for their feeding.

When Matt came downstairs, I remembered that I had parked the car in a different spot than he had left it last night. How was I going to explain that one?

I needn’t have worried. He never noticed.

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