Writing about myself always makes me a little squirmish. I like writing about experiences and my perception of world events, but writing about me not too much. However, I’ll do it for this purpose.
Describing oneself in one word is always fun. I’ve done this activity quite a bit for work during team building events. There are so many to choose from. The words are practically endless. But, when I have to I use impatient to describe myself. My mother always said I wanted to be born, live, get married and die all before my 30th birthday. Now that I’m on the cusp of 40, I’m glad that didn’t happen! My impatience has led me to be impulsive, which aren’t very positive words combined to reflect my personality. LOL
But there are a few positive things about me. 😜 I am loyal, dedicated and generous. I would give you my last penny if you needed it.
15 years ago if you would’ve told me I would be married for the second time with two kids, I would’ve laughed. Now add on top of that a Deaf child, I really would have said you were crazy. I know for a fact having children has made me a better person. However, having a Deaf child has humbled me. It also has changed me into a person who looks at the inside of a person rather than the outside. There’s always been a part of me that is vain. Hard to admit but it’s the reality. Getting to know and except people who are different than you makes some people uncomfortable, myself included. When Heath was born he change that in an instant. We were all thrown into getting to know people who are very different from us. Their culture and their identity completely different than anything we ever knew.
We had to put all of our emotions about Heath not being hearing like us and unable to hear us aside and open our minds and hearts to who he was as a person. Looking past the difference between you and your child is not easy for hearing parents to do. Children are carbon copies of us or at least some of us try for them to be anyway. 😉 I can sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of not bonding with your child over lullaby songs or first words. When the doctors tell you that your newborn did not pass the hearing test there are a million things that race through your mind at once, one of which is, already they are failing at something! I feel strongly that parents need time to process it all. And it’s OK to have negative emotions about it. The first Deaf person parents meet are usually their own child. But those feelings really should only last for a short period of time and the negativity should be left in the past. Parents must make hard decisions quickly, not just for themselves but also for their Deaf child. Why? Because language acquisition and brain development are at risk. (I’ll go more into that in a later post)
So we as a family needed to make our choice quickly. It was that impatient/ impulsive quality which moved us to make the choice quickly and we are so glad we did! We got to know a person who introduced us to the Deaf school in Fremont, California. We actually visited all four deaf and hard of hearing programs in our area. However, since we live 30 miles from the Deaf school in Fremont, we chose to start getting to know that school. Plus it was the only school that didn’t focus on the “problem” or “fixing” it. The teachers focused on the children. There was a lot of playing, laughing and learning. On Fridays, Fremont has a playgroup for toddlers and infants which all kids are welcomed to attend even if you aren’t in that district.
I was still on maternity leave when I started going to the playgroups and Heath was about four months old. It was there that I met mothers just like me with babies the same age. I truly believe that if I had never met these women he would not be there at the school today.
So I’m grateful that I open my mind and my heart to people that were different than me and I’m also grateful that they open their hearts and minds to someone different than them.
And that is my perspective.