Tuesday, May 31, 2011
just saying ...
... most of the time it's fine. In fact, more than most of the time you
don't think twice about it. second nature like.
Get up in the morning, put on his cochlear implants,
just as you put on his clothes.
Talk to him, listen to him,
COMMUNICATE THROUGH SPOKEN LANGUAGE.
Therapy at the kitchen table becomes an everyday thing.
You call your husband excited about the discovery of a new word or sound,
and you cherish the moment together.
CIs are now a part of everyday life; a new normal.
as time goes on, you get past all "the looks and stares".
you THANK GOD ev-er-y.day for the miracle of CIs and
all the differences they've made in your child's life and
all the opportunities they've brought (and will continue to bring);
you THANK GOD ev-er-y.day for the fact that he can HEAR
and that when you talk to him, he comprehends,
even if he doesn't LISTEN to a word you're saying,
you know he HEARS you.
and when you confirm your initial thoughts, (and the equipment is just fine),
you chuckle, because he's no different than your two hearing kids,
in the fact that he TOTALLY has learned listening is a choice.
and you know it's the actual hearing part where the miracle began.
and mostly, there's this constant giddiness because of it all.
BUT, there are still THOSE moments,
MOMENTS, that may last a minute, sometimes an hour,
sometimes more than a few hours,
sometimes a whole freakin' day ...
WHERE IT ALL SUCKS.
Where all you can do is WONDER and WORRY,
about what's to come.
He's only THREE
hearing, two years.
You've come such a long way, yet have such a long way to go.
and of course you worry. Not all the time. Not a lot of the time,
but there are some times, you worry much more than others.
and sometimes that worry is hard to shoo away.
and even as you hear him talk to his siblings, or know he responds
as you call his name from upstairs and he's downstairs,
down the hall in the back room with the tv on,
there are still moments of worry ...
...what's to come when he's 6 and is not in an oral deaf program
with kids who are "like him", because you've worked so hard for him
to be a part of a mainstream classroom and
even harder that he NOT be defined by his hearing loss,
YET, all the six year olds see him as different.
Not only because of the equipment on his head, but
because it's much harder for him to listen and take it all in.
and you just pray and pray the teacher
teaches the class about UNIQUENESS.
not just his first year teacher in mainstream school,
but every teacher and every year thereafter.
...what's to come when he's 8 and he really starts to see himself as different,
and tells you he hates being deaf or asks why he has to be deaf,
when no one else in his family is;
or is scared to speak his voice to tell someone, "I didn't hear you," or
"Can you please repeat what you said?" because he doesn't want to stand out,
in fear of drawing more attention to himself when
honestly it wasn't his choice of not wanting to listen,
but the mere fact that he just didn't hear.
...what's to come when he's 10, and there are sleepovers.
and yes, he's been accepted, because you do everything.in.your.power
to make him a part of the community and to be included,
you advocate, you teach, you empower.
BUT, he's still DEAF and at the sleepover, he's not sure if he should
take off his CIs so not to miss out on the craziness that may go on after he
falls asleep and can't hear a thing.
...what's to come when he's a young teenager and all the kids are
going through puberty. the time when it's a known fact
that kids tease other kids,
and making fun of someone's differences is one way
of ignoring/getting past their own insecurities,
no matter how wrong it is.
you pray he has a good sense of humor, some good come backs,
and that it's not him who is the insecure one.
...what's to come when he's in his late teens and heading off to college,
to a WHOLE NEW community new to his world.
Having to take classes in HUGE auditoriums,
with 100's of classmates, and be able to understand
and keep up with everything the professor is saying.
because honestly, does the professor really care if he's getting it or not?
OR when he's in his college dorms and everyone is running out
because the fire alarm is going off and he's fast asleep, without his CIs on.
will someone stop to take the time to wake him?
You continuously teach him to be his own biggest advocate,
but even in doing so, you constantly pray and hope you are also teaching him
to always be proud of who he is and to use his voice.
as it is his voice that you've worked so hard at achieving.
it is his voice that you are thankful for everyday,
right along with every.single.ounce of hard work teaching him
to not just "hear", but to LISTEN.
it's not easy.
I'm his mom. and no matter what,
I will always worry about the "small things",