Sometimes You Just Know

11 Jul

I had this post knocking around in my head for a while.  Once I finally wrote it I’ve been afraid to publish it.  I’m not sure why.  So this morning I’m browsing through a couple of my favorite blogs and I discover that my girl AnyMommy has done it again.  She’s posted the hard stuff.  The REALLY hard stuff.  And I got inspired.  If she can do it, so can I.  So thanks, Any!!  Here we go.   

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You know how as a mom you sometimes just know?  I mean, deep in your gut, you know.  It’s just a feeling, but it almost defies description.  It’s not necessarily rational, or even based on facts.  But it’s very real.  You just know.

 

In December of 2001 my Sweet Pea was just turning three.  She had been a very easy baby but over the last six months something had changed.  And it wasn’t just the terrible twos or terrifying threes.  (Although they definitely were.)  This was different.  Her preschool teacher called me to discuss some problem behaviors.  Right there I knew we had a problem; you shouldn’t have to talk to your child’s PRESCHOOL teacher about behavior problems.  This teacher was a God-send; very loving, very patient, and very astute.  I asked her if she thought Sweet Pea was hearing everything…she responded that she was  actually concerned about her hearing.   I made an appointment with our ENT, a dear friend and colleague of mine from the OR, but deep in my gut I already knew.

 

It was during one of those beautiful evening walks that I first had my suspicions.  Sweet Pea was in the stroller and there was a yappy dog up ahead making all kinds of racket.  I said “Sweet Pea, where’s the doggie?” and she turned around to look behind her.  This dog was loud.  And right on the sidewalk up ahead of us.  And she turned around.  I knew.

 

Another day a helicopter flew right overhead and she didn’t even flinch.  It was loud.  And I knew.

 

We went to the ENT appointment where they put us in that little booth for the hearing test.  Sweet Pea and I had done this just six months earlier, and at that time her hearing was normal.  But I knew something had changed.  The audiologist held a piece of paper over her mouth and said “point to the hot dog”.  And my Sweet Pea said “Can you move that piece of paper so I can see what you’re saying?”

 

I knew.

 

Our ENT didn’t want to rush to a diagnosis, so we continued testing all the way through a sedated ABR, where they see your brain’s reaction to sound.  At the end of that test the audiologist said “Well, your daughter has mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss.”  I nodded, not surprised.  However, when she explained that we should fit Sweet Pea for hearing aids, you could’ve picked me up off the floor. 

I don’t know why THAT was the shock, but it was.  Hearing Aids?  That means there’s  more to this than a few nasty ear infections and the need for more/better/different antibiotics.  This is a lifelong deal.  Life won’t ever be the same.

 

Our child is hearing impaired.

 

There are lots of reasons children lose their hearing.  Some are detectable at birth, but Pea was born the year before mandatory newborn hearing testing.  In any case, Pea clearly had normal hearing for the first two and a half years of her life.  We know this because the child can TALK.  (I don’t know where she gets that!)  She said her first words at 9 months and hasn’t really shut up since.  And thank God for that because one of the hardest things kids with hearing loss have to deal with is speech.  She does receive speech therapy at school, but her issues are minimal.  We are also very blessed that she was clever enough to figure out how to read lips.  When they initially tested her for special services the teachers couldn’t believe how good her lipreading skills were.  What can I say?  Girlfriend is determined! 

 

I suppose whether your child is adopted or biological you imagine the fantasy kid.  You know, perfectly behaved, totally adorable, brilliant beyond words, and an Olympic athlete to boot.  And then at some point, whether your child is adopted or biological, you figure out that they are actually human.  Not a fantasy.  And that life isn’t going to be perfect.  It’s going to be LIFE…life with trials and imperfections and challenges and blessings and victories.

 

Some days the challenges almost do me in.  Because it’s not fair.  It’s not fair that she has to wear hearing aids and no one else does.  It’s not fair that she has to answer questions that curious children ask about her aids.  It’s not fair that in the swimming pool she is almost completely deaf and can’t really play Marco Polo because it’s a game that’s all about hearing.  It’s not fair that when I read books at bedtime she has to crane her neck so she can see my lips in order to know what I’m saying.  It’s not fair.  But it’s life. 

 

And just like I knew there was something wrong, somewhere deep, deep down in my soul I know she’s an overcomer.  A hurdler.  And she’s going to come out on top.  It’s going to be painful, there’s no doubt about that.  But every once in a while I catch a glimpse of the woman she’s going to become, and I just know.

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21 Responses to “Sometimes You Just Know”

  1. Barb July 11, 2008 at 10:09 am #

    Beautiful.

  2. Insta-Mom July 11, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    I love that you already see in your daughter the strong woman who will overcome this adversity. I have no doubt that it is that faith in her that makes her the strong little girl she is. What a beautiful thing to share with us.

  3. Erin July 11, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    That just warmed my heart and gave me chills.

  4. Amy Seay July 11, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    God knew exactly where whe needed to be. She’s got a great mommy!

  5. Kate July 11, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    How could you consider not posting that? It was so beautiful and totally real. My oldest has delayed speech and is in a special preschool program. We haven’t quite figured out what the problem is yet – but it seems to be a combination of things. But I’m oh so familiar with the feeling of it just not being fair. There is nothing more heartbreaking than the worry over a child. Whether it be for something life threatening or just something that threatens their sense of self or self esteem. I have found a couple of blogs by people who have kids with special needs and whenever they have one of “those” posts, I feel both sad and happy. Sad to think of someone else having that worry in their life and happy to know that I’m not alone.

  6. jane July 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    With two children with Auditory Processing Disorder I am sooo understanding of the “Moms just know”….as husbands, grandparents, even pediatricians accuse you of being overly worried…you just know. And, yes, God blesses us with this people because they are Overcomers! They are NICE because they know life is not always easy and everyone needs a break, they tend to be HUMBLE, because they are thankful for what is right with the world, and they are FAITHFUL because I really believe God lives within them louder than the rest. They slow us down and make us breathe and live more fully in each moment whether painful (and there are those days a lot) or precious (when you see growth and accomplishment -no matter how small).

  7. Minivan mom July 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Sending you a hug. Beautiful post.

  8. Jenny July 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    You’re right, our children aren’t perfect – whether that’s physically evident to others or not. Thankfully they give us plenty of opportunities to be proud, and it sounds like your little girl has given you so many! What an amazing little girl -teaching herself to read lips! And she’s got an amazing mom, too!

  9. T July 11, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    You’re both so gifted – and so blessed to have each other! And your hubby, too. Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

  10. anymommy July 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    It’s hard to face up to sometimes, isn’t it, that our kids aren’t perfect, that they’ll have to overcome, that they’ll have to live their lives and suffer sometimes and feel pain just like we do. I know I fear it because I fight the myth that to be a good mom I have to protect them from all the bad things in life that can ever happen to them. But, as Dory says, if nothing ever happened to them, then NOTHING would EVER happen to them.

    Your daughter is amazing and so are you. This was a gorgeous post. Thank you for writing it AND hitting publish. I know how hard it was.

  11. Andrea's Sweet Life July 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head for me, and brought more than one tear to my eye. It’s hardest, I think, when other people point out the imperfections in our kids. Do we defend, explain, laugh it off? I like to think those imperfections add more character than they’d ever have otherwise. And as Jane said, above… helps them to be even better people.

  12. Mama Ginger Tree July 12, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    “And that life is not going to be perfect. It’s going to be LIFE…life with trials and imperfections and challenges and blessings and victories.”

    I love that. So well said. I find one of the most painful things about motherhood is watching your children learn the lessons you know they can only learn by experiencing painful things. I bet she will continue to teach YOU a few things about how to handle life’s imperfections.

  13. Marinka July 14, 2008 at 6:37 am #

    What a wonderful post. You’re right–it’s not fair. But one of the most valuable motherhood lessons I’ve learned is that the joy in parenting is not having the perfect kid, because no one does, but it’s meeting your child’s needs. and you’re doing that.

  14. Maura July 14, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    That was beautiful to read. I don’t have kids, but I’m a daughter and I know that my mother’s faith and belief in me and my abilities made me, in large part, who I am today. Thank you for sharing that piece of your relationship with your daughter with us all.

  15. Anastasia July 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post. Your daughter will do well with a good mom like you. I sometimes have to remind myself that I need to accept my son the way he is, with his eccentricities and not constantly try and push him to be the way I want him to be.

  16. meg July 17, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    This was a beautiful reminder to see the strength, resiliancy and courage in our children. As a mom of 2 children with special needs, I know its easy to sometimes get too wrapped up in the daily challenges. Your post reminded me to look at the big picture and see just how far these children have come, how much they have overcome, and how beautiful it is to watch them!
    Hugs to you for posting the hard stuff. Keep it up!

  17. debcny July 19, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    Hello! Great post… very will written… and, I can COMPLETELY relate to just about this entire post. (And so is the beauty of the internet… always someone who can relate. Where was this “blog” thing several years back when I could have really used it??”. Anyway – it’s very nice to “meet” you!

    “It’s not fair. But it’s life.” Yup.

    My son went thru almost the same thing… and deals with much of the same issues you mention. He’s 11 now… and I just started to blog about all this recently myself.

    So, how is your beautiful daughter doing now?

    =)
    debc

  18. Julie July 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    I can’t really add to what the others have said before me…just beautiful. Thanks for having the courage to share.

  19. CC July 20, 2008 at 1:32 am #

    This is very well written. Thank you!

  20. amyeaker July 26, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    thank you for posting this

  21. Elizabeth July 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Great blog! I hope you’ll consider adding it to the aggregator at Deaf Village (www.deafvillage.com) — we’d love to have you as part of our community!

    (PS: sorry if this is a re-post! I lose track!)

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