The Amazing Mom of Luke

I believe this is the first time that a Deaf person entered The Amazing Race, now on their 14th season, although The Amazing Race Asia already had Adrian. Luke has been the center of most blog posts. He has been discussed lengthily here, here and here. The Bionic Ear Blogger even said that “Deafness Isn’t Amazing… It’s Just Is” and I totally agree with her. 🙂

Well, enough about him. Since March is Women’s Month, I like to dwell more on Margie, The Amazing Mom! The fifty year old mother of Luke works as a clinical research associate. CBS Biography Page describes her as

competitive and a little controlling, but in a good way. She is willing to go anywhere the Race takes her and isn’t afraid of adventure.

Margie is considered as Luke’s link to the hearing world. She uses American Sign Language to communicate with her son and is amazingly skilled at that. She perceives the race experience as a great opportunity to spend quality time with her son. She truly is one of a kind. The biography did not mention if Luke has other siblings. If he does, I’m sure all of them would fully support him.

Here is the one-minute YouTube spliced video of The Amazing Race 14 Episode 1 featuring Margie and Luke:

One amazing quality I find in her is that Margie is a signing Mom! Ever since I started teaching for the deaf in 1991, I can barely count in my two hands the number of moms who are skilled signers. Forget about being a SKILLED signer. A simple day-to-day conversational signing is good enough for me. Yet, even with that minimum ability, I can hardly find one. It’s a tragic and heartbreaking feeling for me.

Moms ought to be guiding angels to their kids. They should be there to explain to their children about the difficulties of growing up, to answer their children’s simple queries about life and to encourage them to face the world bravely. Now, how can they do that if they don’t even know how to communicate with their deaf children? That’s odd!

In our school, we included house visits as one of our important and not-to-be-missed activity. For the past nine years, we have been doing this program and we value this special occasion very much. It has renewed relationships among parents and their deaf children as well as developed bonding between the school and the family. Most families don’t know how to communicate through sign language. This has become an opportunity for the parents to talk to their children spontaneously with the aid of a sign language interpreter. For the past two years, I have been assisted in interpreting part by another amazing and talented young teacher, Sir Jefferson Cortez. 🙂

As I interview the parents, lack of communication is almost always the main contention. The deaf child complains that his mother doesn’t understand him. He cannot relate to him about his personal feelings and what he has been going through. The mother scolds his deaf child without even explaining to him clearly why he was being scolded. It’s like being jailed without knowing what you are accused of. That’s unfair, very unfair!

What hurts me the most is that when mothers approach me and asks me to tell their children to do this or not to do that. Isn’t that their duty to tell them as mothers and not mine as their teacher? At times, I politely request the mothers to tell that straight to their children. However, their most common reply is, “Sorry, I can’t. I don’t know how to sign.” Now, that’s tragic! 😦

So to the signing moms out there like Margie, this blogger salutes you! You are truly the Amazing Moms! 🙂

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