"Mom, can I write on my walls?"
When my teenage daughter asked me that question, I had to probe further. "What do you plan on writing on the walls?" I asked. In the previous years, Lauren had requested permission for many different ways of expressing herself. Multiple ear piercings. Belly button piercing. Tattoos. I suddenly had visions of graffiti strewn around the walls.
"I want to put up inspirational quotes and parts from my favorite songs."
Okay, I could live with that. The only rule I had was if it was okay for Grandma to read it, she could put it up. The walls quickly filled up with quotes, poems, songs and random sayings. Friends and family joined in on the fun and left their mark on her walls. Her room ended up as a printed article in the TribLocal section of the Chicago Tribune:
So when Lauren and her friend, Lauren Holtz, began creating American Sign Language music videos set to One Direction music, they knew the room would be the perfect setting for "The Story of My Life." In just one weekend, they practiced the song and recorded it. The girls have done several other One Direction music videos, including "I Would" which was selected for the One Direction playlist for 1DDaymusicvideos. One of the most common questions they get often is, "Are you really deaf?" My daughter is hard of hearing and uses hearing aids and her friend, Lauren, is deaf and has a cochlear implant. The girls can follow songs by memorizing the lyrics and practicing them over and over.
When I first saw what they created, I was totally, completely blown away, and not just because I'm the mom. The girls put together a beautiful, heart-touching rendition of the One Direction song which showcases the quotes around the room. Whenever I describe this room to someone, I can never convey the reality of seeing hundreds and hundreds of words covering nearly every inch of the room. "Written on these walls are the stories I can't explain..." You'll have to see for yourself.