A couple weeks ago, I got a call with an offer I was thrilled to accept: I was going to school!
Well OK, maybe not exactly. I was asked to sit on a parent panel for a class of deaf ed/early interventionists to be. She was looking for parents of hard of hearing/deaf kids to come in, share their experiences, and answer questions on our journeys so far. On one level, I was apprehensive; I’m not much of a public speaker! But it was as part of a panel, so I wouldn’t be alone, and the opportunity to help not only these students but future parents as well was an exciting one.
I was prepared to rehash some of the harder times of our journey, along with the positive ones. I was prepared to be honest and forthcoming. What I wasn’t prepared for was what an amazing experience it was. I think all of the parents there agreed at the end that it was great just to talk about it, and to know there were other adults out there who talked like we did, about the things we did. The experiences among us were varied – some “just” deaf, some with various delays, some with cochlear implants, some with hearing aids – but no matter how different our individual experiences were I found myself nodding so often at the things they were saying.
These other parents, they got it. And because they got it, I felt connected to them, even if I couldn’t tell you their names. When one mother, who had just gotten a CI surgery date, started to tear up, I wanted to pull her into a hug and comfort her even though I’d only met her 15 minutes before. (I resisted, though.)
Time passed so quickly, and the hour turned into an hour and a half almost, but it still seems to be over so soon. I’m so, so glad I did it though, and would do it again in a heartbeat. It reinforced my desire to go to the Moog workshop this summer too, if only to meet other parents and get that feeling of not being so alone again. I have wonderful support and wonderful friends and family, but there’s always that “step apart” feeling at times. It’s amazing what spending time with other D/HOH parents and sharing your story can do. It’s cathartic to go back to those days and emotions again. (It also made me realize that I never recorded our ABR experience…that’s something I plan on doing in the next little bit, just to have it down. Much like a birth story or a story of activation or surgery day, that’s something I’d like in here, and remembered.)
I think that’s part of why I blog, and have reached out to the blog community…for those ties. But it’s not the same as sitting in the same room, no matter how great all the online folks are.
You will live an extraordinary life because of this extraordinary child and the journey you have been asked to take with him.Everything happens for a reason,I am proud of you and excited for you both. What a beautiful building it is too, full of charm and character and very welcoming. Have fun.Love you, mom
Neat. That’s really neat you got to do that.