"Mom, Harry Styles signed to us at the One Direction concert!" My daughter picked me up from the airport and couldn't wait to tell me about the concert. Her face glowed and she trembled with excitement. For over a year, Lauren and her friend, Lauren Holtz, waited for this special night. The tickets were bought, the sign language interpreters were requested, and they headed over to the Midwest Amphitheater Sunday night. Their seats were in the 4th row, but the manager moved them up to the front row so they could access the interpreters.
The two girls met years ago at a deaf event when they were in first grade. My daughter lost her hearing when she became ill at four years of age and uses hearing aids. Lauren Holtz became deaf when she was a few weeks old and uses a cochlear implant. Lauren's mom, Jane, and I often drove an hour each way so the girls could play together. The two girls did sleepovers, deaf camps and Academic Bowls together. They performed in plays and signed songs at the International Center for Deafness and the Arts, the same place where Marlee Matlin began her acting career. The one thing which cemented their friendship was their love for One Direction and their music. For hours and hours, they would memorize the lyrics and sign along to their songs.
At the One Direction concert, the girls threw themselves into the songs, signing along as the One Direction boys sang. There were a few impromptu lines to songs which the girls didn't know, so they kicked back and watched the interpreters. The first time Harry signed to them, they nearly fainted. Harry continued to throw signs into his songs, including signing "back for you" right to the girls during the chorus of that song. It was hard not to miss the girls and the interpreters--the spotlight lit up their little corner of the stage. Twitter lit up with tweet after tweet from fans: Harry Styles Signs to Deaf Fans
Needless to say, the girls were on Cloud Nine after the concert ended. It was the night of their lives.