Darcy watches as Eric and Margo struggle to get their respective points across to the other. His frustration is evident as Margo not so calmly takes each of his points and shoots them down as she states her case again. This goes on for another minute or so before Harry and Barbra struggle to add their two cents to the conversation. It becomes more of a melee as Harry Jr., Denise and Sam jump into the fray. Darcy feels as though she is in a tennis match as her head swings to and fro between the speakers. This is a first in her class and she is not quite sure yet how she wants to handle it.
She knows she should at minimum break up the debate as it disrupts the rest of her class who are also watching similar silent fascination. Still, she cannot help but wonder how long can it go on before anyone in the discussion will realize exactly what is happening now. One of the other student’s looks at Darcy trying hard to suppress a giggle as Sam, the comedian of the group, lets a good zinger loose among them.
Darcy looks at the clock and sees nearly fifteen minutes has passed. Okay enough is enough now, she has to end it and does so the most effective way she knows.
“All of you just shut up!” She whispers just loud enough to make her point.
The entire room comes to a stand still in surprise. Her voice is the first sound heard in the class in over an hour.
Eric, Margo and Sam immediately look contrite as they rub their respective fists in a clockwise circle in the center of their chests to Darcy. Eric adds using his thumb to tap the side of his chin while looking at his mother Margo. Margo smiles and signs the letters O and K to Eric. It takes another moment for them to realize what has happened and all burst into polite laughter. Just as with Darcy’s whisper, the sound is unusually loud in the room.
Margo and younger son Eric, Margo’s husband Harry, their oldest son Harry Jr., Harry Jr.’s wife Barbra and their son /Harry’s grandson, Sam have taken ASL for almost a year, along with a few other members of their family throughout the courses. In today’s class no vocals were allowed. So when Eric signed an off-the-cuff remake to Sam, Margo saw it and chastised him in sign not wanting to embarrass him by speaking it aloud. The only problem was they were in a room full of people who can sign. Most had seen the exchange anyway and the silent argument between mother and son ensued.
“Have we argued all this time in ASL?” Eric signs.
Harry Jr. was the reason they were all there. Diagnosed with throat cancer, this supportive family, as a unit, decided to learn ASL. This way they would all be able to communicate with him once he complexly lost his voice.
“Well so much for worrying about us not being able to communicate when the time comes.” Harry Jr. signs self deprecatingly. It was a valid worry in the rocky beginning of their taking classes,.
That was why she had let them argue. Now they know for sure that they can communicate.
“If we did not already know you were family. We do now” Is Darcy’s smiling response.