To The Parent in the Trenches of Hearing Loss 27 Jul
When did this happen? I swear it was literally yesterday. They were in diapers and cribs and highchairs and nursing and eating rice cereal. I carried a super cute diaper bag, and my shirt was never free of spit-up or worse. We were beginning our walk with hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech therapy, occupational therapy, specialist after specialist.
How did this happen? I know I was there for it all. Every second of it. I have the stretch marks and worry lines to prove it. But, how did I blink and suddenly look over to see two gangly tweens sitting at my kitchen table?
Tonight as I cooked dinner, I listened to an interaction between these people, one whose voice is deepening and cracking and the other one who is finding hers. They talked about things like Minecraft, Harry Potter, and school shootings. What they would do if it happened to them? How they are going to go mining in their game world. What would it be like if Professor Dumbledore was their principal?
For anyone who is entering or living in a fog after a diagnosis of hearing loss (or any need other than typical), I share with you this:
It will get easier.
Sure, the challenges will not vanish. But, the advocacy and dedication you are devoting to your child in these early years will pay huge dividends as they shift from newborn, baby, toddler, adolescent, into a tween and teen.
I know your worry. I felt it too. All the time. I worried about everything, having many sleepless nights and a tightness in my heart. Will they develop language? For me, I worry about my children’s hearing loss. For you, it could be something completely different. Worrying is worrying.
How will we keep the devices on? Will they make friends?
All the: Hows. Whats. Whens. Whys?
Even now, I occasionally feel a tinge of it, but not as sharp as back then. Instead, I now share the same concerns most parents feel raising tweens and teens.
The day will come when a mundane moment around a kitchen table gives you a realization and faith—their resiliency, tenacity, and unabashed gusto will carry them. In your child you will witness a grit, the result of overcoming something hard, challenging, character revealing.
Will you ever wish cards had been differently dealt? At times, maybe. Will there be moments you wonder,
“What life would be like if. . . ?”
Perhaps, a few.
Rest assured, when it’s all said and done, you will not want to change a thing. And even when things seem overwhelming, like you just can’t because your heart hurts for your child, you will soon understand they were designed exactly the way He intended.
Take a deep breath because one day you will know it is going to be OK.