Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I wish you were My little girl

I found this article and I wanted to share it with you Mary Ann Bird, in her memoir entitled The Whisper Test, tells of the power of words of acceptance in her own life. She was born with multiple birth defects: deaf in one ear, a cleft palate, a disfigured face, a crooked nose, lopsided feet. As a child, Mary Ann suffered not only these physical impairments but also the emotional damage inflicted by other children. “Oh, Mary Ann,” her classmates would say, “what happened to your lip?” “I cut it on a piece of glass,” she would lie. One of her worst experiences at school, she reported, was the day of the annual hearing test. The teacher would call each child to her desk, and the child would cover first one ear, and then the other. The teacher would whisper something to the child like “The sky is blue” or “You have new shoes.” This was “the whisper test”; if the teacher’s phrase was heard and repeated, the child passed the test. To avoid the humiliation of failure, Mary Ann always would cheat on the test, secretly cupping her hand over her one good ear so that she still could hear what the teacher said. One year Mary Ann was in the class of Miss Leonard, one of the most beloved and popular teachers in the school. Every student, including Mary Ann, wanted to be noticed by her, wanted to be her pet. Then came the day of the dreaded hearing test. When her turn came, Mary Ann was called to the teacher’s desk. As Mary Ann cupped her hand over her good ear, Miss Leonard leaned forward to whisper. “I waited for those words,” Mary Ann wrote, “that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life.” Miss Leonard did not say to Mary Ann, “The sky is blue” or “You have new shoes.” What she whispered was, “I wish you were my little girl.” In Him J. Tom Washburn

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