Hear Every Voice

All of the third graders at Emily’s school had practiced songs for the holiday concert. When they first received the music at the start of the school year, December seemed far off in the future. However, with just a week to go until the concert, Emily still didn’t have any idea how she would make the concert a good one for her mother, who was born deaf.

The teacher informed the children that a few permission slips, required to walk to the theater for the afternoon concert, were still missing... including Emily’s slip.

After her brothers had recapped their day in the American Sign Language they all used at home, Emily bravely asked her mom if she would like to attend the concert. Her mother, usually shy in social settings, hesitated but smiled and signed the permission slip.

That Friday, most of the children spotted their parents in the old theater, but one seat remained empty. At show time, Emily’s mom still had not arrived.

When the house lights came on, Emily saw her mother was seated in the center of the first row. Her mother stood, then proudly began clapping in a standing ovation for the young performers, with all the other parents following suit. As the lights rose over the stage for the show to begin, the audience faded into darkness and the little girl gave up trying to spot her mother, focusing instead on singing with all her heart. Suddenly, a movement caught her eye. To the right of the risers, she saw both her brothers, signing the words for the audience.

The show was perfect.

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