May 15, 2017
By , Lafayette, CO

The day I was born my parents thought that I was magnificent, so they named me Magnificent. They told me that I was magnificent every single day up until I went deaf. They stopped calling me Magnificent and started calling me Maggie, which was weird because I still thought I was pretty magnificent. I went deaf when I was four years old because I got Meningitis, now I'm eight. I went deaf at an age when I already knew how to talk, so I am still able to speak even though I am deaf. Everything is pretty much the same except I can't hear things. Sometimes I miss the sound of my mom's voice or being able to hear my dad’s car pulling into the driveway to warn me that he was home. Besides that being deaf isn't bad. Actually, there's one other thing that I hate about being deaf: often times people think I can't speak for myself, so they try to advocate for me. It’s so annoying! Now that I think about it, I hate it a lot and I want to do something about it. I want to be able to communicate better with others and be able to speak for myself.
One example of my parents trying to advocate for me would be yesterday when I went to my friend’s birthday party. She was turning nine and it was at the bowling alley. I got her some candy, a stuffed animal, and nail polish as a gift. When we arrived at the bowling alley my parents walked me in just as all the other parents did. All of the parents said hello and all the kids told Kinsley “Happy Birthday!” The parents began to say goodbye to their children and left. Except for mine. My parents weren't leaving, so I went up to them and said, “Hey, what’s the deal? Why aren't you leaving?”
“Well, we wanted to stay here with you and help you in case you have troubles with anyone,” they replied.
“I don't need you to do that for me. I can speak for myself,” I snapped back and walked away.
They ended up staying at the birthday party, but attempted to keep their distance; which, didn't really work. Every time someone tried to talk to me, my parents were right next to me. They would listen to our conversation and try to put words in my mouth. It was frustrating and embarrassing.
When we got home from the party I was giving them the cold shoulder. I was being distant until they finally asked me what was wrong. I explained to them how they made me feel today and they are constantly undermining me. Before they could reply, I stomped off and went to my room for the night.
I woke up and decided I would forgive my parents for treating me like an incompetent baby. When I went downstairs they said that they were sorry and asked if they could make it up to me by taking me to my favorite breakfast restaurant. Of course I said yes! I had the same excitement as I did yesterday. We got to the restaurant and I ordered myself a large apple juice. Then we looked over the menu for about ten minutes. The waitress came back and I was ready to order some pancakes. When it got to my turn I started to talk when my mom interrupted me. She told the waitress that I wanted pancakes, bacon, and potatoes. Before I could tell the waitress that I wanted eggs instead of potatoes, she walked away. At this point I was furious. Why did my mom order for me? It made me upset that just yesterday we had a conversation about this and she was already doing the same thing again. I sat there pouting until our food arrived, and I pouted even harder. I didn't touch my food. At this point my mind was racing trying to figure out how I could make my parents stop treating me like a little kid. I'm tired of them taking pitty on me and thinking that I need to be spoken for. They asked me why I wasn't eating.
“Because you did it again!” I shouted. There was an awkward silence while practically everyone in the restaurant stared at us.
“We can talk about it when we get home,” muttered my dad.
“No! I want to talk about it now. I wanted to order for myself, you didn't even order me what I wanted. I want a cochlear implant, so you don't think you have to speak for me anymore,” I ranted.
“We can discuss that issue when we get home,” my mom said with a stern voice.
I couldn't stand to be in there anymore, so I went outside. I sat on a bench while my parents finished breakfast. I did a lot of thinking. Is a cochlear implant something that I really wanted? It was a really big irreversible decision. It made me really nervous to think about. I’m only eight years old and this decision is bigger than me. I thought about it until my family came out, then I thought about it some more on the way home. I decided that this was something I wanted and created my argument.The car ride home seemed painfully long. I was so nervous; I kept wondering what my parents were going to say when I told them what I wanted and why.
They told me to sit at the table when we walked in, so I did. They asked me why I wanted a cochlear implant. I explained that I was done with them treating me like a child. I was tired of them thinking I need help talking for myself, and I wanted to be able to communicate with people better. All they said was “ok.” There was a pause until my mom said that she would make an appointment for a consult.
Three months after that I had my surgery and got a cochlear implant. The first thing that I heard was my parents say, “We love you Magnificent!” This made me fill with joy. I missed the sound of my parent’s voices.
I was so excited to go to school and show all my friends. I was happy that I made this decision, and that I was now able to hear certain sounds. My parents understood why I made the decision and they were proud of me. That day I learned that you have to be able to advocate for yourself. Other people can’t speak for you because they don't know what you want to say. I was ready to do whatever I had to in order to get my voice back. I got my cochlear implant and couldn't be happier.

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