In A Perfect World:
Dane doesn’t need rescuing, but sometimes I do.
From day one, my son Dane hated to go to church. He missed everything that was said from the pulpit. Yet he saw more than I did so much of the time. This is the way it is with many deaf people--and my son is deaf. Although he proudly has his own voice, he is most definitely one of the Seers.
A deaf baby has intensely serious eyes. He was 18 months old before we learned he couldn’t hear anything except maybe a jet plane taking off. It seemed like we had to introduce ourselves to each other all over again. It was very frightening not to know this most essential thing about my own child. It was like I was seeing a brand new person when I looked at him, entirely familiar and utterly unknown. But I recognized him by his eyes...those blue planets that sustained his life.
Even with an arc of a smile underneath, my son’s eyes are usually weighty as storm clouds in a crowded conversation of hearing people. He tries, but he can’t keep up with all the changing speakers and topics. I see him flagging. I see him giving up. Even if he doesn’t look at me, his eyes are always talking to me, discerning, often doubting and questioning what he’s missing. He is one of the few people I know without words...I feel him, entirely. It has always been like this—a sort of superpower. And it hasn’t diminished, even though he’s grown up now. I often know what he’s thinking; what he is and isn’t saying. His thoughts speak directly to mine. I can’t explain this. I guess love can be like that.
When he was little, we dragged him to Sunday school because that’s what good parents do, right? He mostly colored pictures while the teacher told Bible stories. He got very little out of it...for him I think it was just a different slant on "am I missing something here?"
Dane takes off on his ATV regularly for long rides through the forest near where we live. Recently, he asked me to come along so I could see the trails he’s blazed. He knows I’m now addicted to photography, so he adds, “you can take lots of pictures in there.” I secured my camera as best I could and clung to him as we bounced and jolted over the rough terrain. Finally, we arrived at Dane’s favorite spot. He showed me the fragile white mushrooms under the umbrella plants, and a spider web that hung like a necklace between trees. He reverently described how he feels when he is in that forest space with the pines tall and straight and swaying above him, the quietude on his eyes. I said, Dane this is just another name for God. He smiled soft and agreed. Yes, he could see that. He could See that. This was a good thing between us because God has confused Dane for so long...my answers haven’t always been his answers (that is not a bad thing).
When he was about five years old, Dane asked me if God really created the whole world—made it all up out of nothing at all. I stammered around for a moment or two, then, as if knowing I wasn’t bringing anything he’d be satisfied with, he pressed on in a voice more defiant than curious, “If there wasn’t anything here yet, then what was God standing on when he made it?”
The only answer that's ever made any sense to me, my beautiful boy, is that God is standing on us and in Us. We are still blazing trails and discovering...still creating this world.
© Leeanne Seaver, 8/12