Monday, August 18, 2008

Older in Many Ways

Ryan is an amazing child, we knew this from the day he was born. He has that "old soul" type of personality ... very loving, deep thinker, never meets a stranger, laid back, go-with-the-flow type of kid. When I got pregnant with Aiden, I was very excited for him to be another big brother ... and he is absolutely fabulous with his little bro.

The other day Ryan came to his dad and me about a texted conversation he had with another "gamer" on XBox Live. Ryan saw that this player was Deaf through his profile and was excited to talk to this player. The conversation proceeded:

Ryan - "What was it like being Deaf growing up?"

Player - "I learned sign language so it was fine."

Ryan - "Wow. That's cool. My baby brother was born deaf. We're going to get him cochlear implants."

Player - "That's too bad. That's not how God intended him to be and your parents are going against God's will."

Ryan - "Well, that is my parents choice to make and I can't wait for my brother to hear me and talk to me."

When Ryan told us this, he asked, "Why would people get angry about doing something to help Aiden hear? We don't think it's wrong if they choose not to get cochlear implants." Coming from an 11 year old.

Everyday Ryan spends time with Aiden. Everyday Ryan plays with him, reads him a book, sings to him, makes him laugh. Everyday Ryan wonders what it's like to be deaf, what his little brother's silent world is like, we all do. Soon before the incident above happened, I overheard Ryan talking to Aiden:

"You are just the coolest little brother and I'm so lucky to have you. I love you so much and I can't wait until you can hear me tell you that!" Tears and a big smile from a proud mother.

This was Ryan's first incident with someone who opposes cochlear implants and I'm sure it won't be his last. Ryan didn't judge this person for their choice and he still doesn't. My 11 year old has confronted this before either my husband or I have had to and he handled it beautifully. High five baby!


elizabeth said...

That is AWESOME! He handled the confrontation with such grace and good manners. There will always be nasty people like that out there, whichever option you choose, and the best thing is not to engage and focus on the many positive things your choice has done for your son and your family. Way to go, big brother! You should be so proud!!!

leahlefler said...

Wow- what an awesome kid (and brother)! Or young man, since he obviously has the character of one. I hope my boys can handle difficult situations with such grace as they get older.

kkohler said...

Those are the moments where you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done raising an incredible young man!

Loudest Mom said...

aneywWhat a fantastic son you have !!!! He is (and will continue to be) a great big brother.......

Bill and Shelly said...

You must be so proud of him. He handled that with such grace, I don't think I could have done that when I was his age.
Aiden is going to have a great role model to look up to in his big brother.

Julie said...

Wow, what a great response from Ryan! (My first visit to your blog.)

My son is HoH too. We haven't had anyone come at us with that attitude, but it always boggles my mind.

I wear contacts so I can see. My friend gives her kids insulin because they are diabetic. And nobody accuses us of doing something unnatural or wrong!

I thank God for the technology that helps my son hear, and me see, and my friend's boys survive!

When will he get his CI? (I have no idea how young they do that.)