Hi. My name is Katherine Elizabeth Madison. Boring, I know, that’s why I go by my nickname Kitty. I am 11 years old and a normal kid just like you. I live at home with my family, ride a school bus, and go to public school. I have two best friends, Nina and Leo. We hang out as much as our parents will let us. I love to read, watch television and movies, listen to music, and shop. But, I am also different too. I am blind.
Hey, don’t feel sorry for me, we are all different. No two kids are the same. That’s supposed to be a good thing right? I am proud to be just me, Kitty Madison.
I always seem to run into obstacles, things that seem impossible to do, but I always find a way to get through them. I may be blind, but that won’t keep me from following my dreams. I am unstoppable!
Sometimes other kids or adults think that I can’t do something because I am blind, but I always prove them wrong. One such day last year as I walked into the cafeteria I could hear many noises. The cafeteria was seriously crowded and I could hear kids talking and eating. I could smell lunch too. It was meatloaf day again, yum, yum! I headed through the lunch line, folded up my cane, stuck it under my arm and grabbed a tray. I know the lunch ladies really well and got through the line with my food very quickly. I entered my student ID number into the keypad and headed to the table.
As I neared the usual table I recognized two familiar voices as Nina and Leo. I walked in their direction and called out their names. “Hey Kitty! We saved you a seat!” Nina called back and I could hear the screech as she pulled out the chair next to her for me to sit down. I sat down and put my folded cane under my chair.
They both said hi, but I could tell something wasn’t right by the tone of their voices. “What’s up?” I asked. They didn’t say anything, so I asked again, “Come on guys, I can’t read your minds.” After a long pause, Nina spoke up, “Sorry Kitty. It’s just that Lindsy has invited our entire class to the movies for her birthday.”
“ Oh, I feel so sorry for her.” I said. I hate it when I our parents make us invite our entire class to a party. Don’t they get it that by 4th grade everyone in class isn’t best buds anymore?
“What’s wrong with that?” I asked, “It sounds like fun. We still like going to the movies right?” I was a little confused with the conversation so far.
“That’s just it. She invited the entire class, except you,” Leo blurted out. Feeling hurt, all I could say was, “Oh, ok, but why? I thought Lindsy liked me.”
“She said she didn’t think you would want to go since the movie we are going to see isn’t a musical. I think she was worried you wouldn’t enjoy yourself,” Nina explained sounding skittish.
“I like other movies besides musicals!” I exclaimed.
“Hey don’t shoot the messengers!” Leo practically shouted, “We know you like other movies, but everyone else in class doesn’t know you as well as we do.”
Leo had a point, so I decided to take action. When we got back to the classroom after lunch I headed over to where I knew Lindsy’s desk was. She said hi and I could tell she was still worried by the sound of her voice.
Before I could chicken out, I said, “Hi Lindsy! I heard about the class going to the movies for your birthday. I think my invite must’ve just got lost, so I wanted to tell you in person that I’d love to go.”
“Oh… well… of course… it must’ve got lost. I would love for you to come along. Everyone in class is invited of course!” she replied sounding less nervous.
“By the way, what movie are we going to see?” I asked.
“The new Molly Sinclair movie,” she said.
“Great! I love her movies, I can’t wait! Thanks, Lindsy,” I replied with much excitement.
I walked away feeling much better about everything. That afternoon, I told my Mom about the party and she helped me call the theater. Things need to be especially organized with the specific movie and the theater’s show times. We called Lindsy’s mom to coordinate the time of the show. Luckily, it worked out with the time and day of the film we were wanting to see. Everything was setup and I was really excited about the weekend.
That Saturday my Mom dropped Leo, Nina and myself off in front of the theater. Once everyone was there, they all got in line to buy their tickets. Meanwhile, I began to walk towards the door to go inside.
Lindsy called out my name, “Hey, Kitty! You’re going the wrong way! The line for the ticket booth is this way.” She tried to grab my shoulders and steer me in the right direction, which unfortunately people do a lot. For future reference, never just grab someone who is blind out of no where. After recovering from the shock of being grabbed unexpectedly, I politely pulled away and said, “Thanks Lindsy, but I already reserved my ticket. I need to go inside to get what I need.”
Lindsy sounded a little confused as I heard her back away from me and say, “Oh, sorry, ok, I guess I’ll just get back in line with my mom.”
I was waiting inside when everyone else got through buying their tickets.
“What’s that?” a student named Mark asked.
“Oh, that’s just her head set,” Leo replied for me.
“Head set? For what?” Lindsy asked.
“Oh, it’s so that I can hear the descriptive audio. The movie we are seeing was made with a voice over narration. And, I can hear it along with the movie when wearing these ear phones,” I explained, trying not to smile.
It is way too much fun sometimes being the center of attention. I love explaining things like this to people. They are always so amazed by things that are just normal for me.
“Way cool!” everyone seemed to exclaim at once.
“What kinds of things does it say that we don’t hear?” Mark asked.
“Oh, normal things that are seen, but not heard,” I explained.
“Like what?” Mark asked, sounding completely intrigued by the whole thing.
“Well, like action, facial expressions or things going on in the background that are important to the story. Especially if it is something funny,” I tried to think of an example that they would understand. “I mean, what if the main character slipped on spilt milk and all of you began to laugh? If there wasn’t a description to tell me what happened, I may feel left out because I didn’t see what was so funny.”
Everyone thought about that for a second and began to voice their agreement. They totally got it! I felt good; I had explained myself well. My teachers are always telling me to advocate for myself. That is just a big word that means that I should stick up for myself and be independent.
We went into the theater and I sat in between Nina and Leo. We had so much fun, the movie was fabulous, and all my friends from class got to know me just a little better that day. This is just one example of things that happen to me all the time. Welcome to my life…