Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vow of Silence

If you were hoping this was some sort of announcement that I would no longer be voicing my opinion out loud or here in blog land.....sorry to disappoint.

The truth is actually more momentous than that........especially if you know my son David.

David is our second (and last) child and our only son.  He is 12.  He has one older sister who we jokingly say was born speaking.  She was speaking in full sentence at her first birthday.....no lies.....as in "Thank you for my birthday present" sentences. 

So David decided that between me and his Dad and his sister he just would not compete in the talking department.

When he was 18 months old I had him referred to speech therapy because he did not speak.  They did all the tests - said nothing was wrong - he understood everything and told us the speech would come.  They suggested we use sign language to help the speech development along.

So all through that summer we signed, and signed and signed - we read books, learned new signs and did all we could to get him talking. A course of action we look back on with a mixture of incredulity at our stupidity and amazement at what we unleashed.

On or about his 2nd birthday on September 1, David started speaking in somewhat intelligible sentences.  He had a funny way of speaking but he spoke and within months he had a vast vocabulary.

And to this day he has never stopped speaking unless he is fast asleep.  Literally ...... never........

Long after he is sent to bed and I am in my own bed next door I can often hear him talking softly....and early in the morning (I swear before his eyes are open) he is back to the quiet babble.  We hear him talking in the shower, when on his bike in the alley......he talks all the time....it sometimes drives us crazy!!  He processes his world out loud....we are so used to his babble that we often tune him out and then we miss the insightful commentary he often has and the deep questions and wide-ranging curiosity.

I have offered him cash for a few minutes of silence.  Be careful what you wish for........

So when he told us he was taking the Free the children Vow of Silence we were taken aback.  Ok truthfully Allan and I locked eyes in wide amazement and I know we were both wondering if this was even possible! He told us at WE day he learned about this and that he wanted to stand in solidarity with exploited children.

We won’t stand by while children are subjected to exploitation, poverty and the denial of their basic rights. Every day, millions of children are silenced by these abuses. But we can take a stand for children everywhere.
The Vow of Silence is Free The Children’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising campaign that engages tens of thousands of participants to stand up for children whose rights are not being upheld.
From Toronto to Mexico City, London to San Francisco, Beijing to Jakarta, Vancouver to Sydney and back, on November 30, 2011, young people will go silent for 24 hours in solidarity with children who are being silenced by poverty and exploitation. For Vow participants, being silent can mean refraining from speaking. It can also mean not using email, Facebook, Twitter or text messaging. It can even mean not using hand gestures, note writing or any communication at all.

We so love the heart David has for people especially those smaller and weaker and poorer than himself and we love his desire to be such a helper.......but 24 hours of silence is a very tall order for this kid.......a very great sacrifice to make.  He is actually missing a party he very much wants to attend because he knows he will slip up if he goes.  He even negotiated with me how to let me know he is at school safely without texting me.

We are proud of you David for standing up for something you believe in and for making a sacrifice to raise awareness and money for children with so much less.

We will contribute to your cause....gladly....and not just because it will be quiet in our house.... and we can't wait to hear your voice again....honestly..... xxxx

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