My son, Hunter, who was born deaf, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVES music. And when I say loves it, I mean when he's pulled a typical 4 year old thing- like talk back to his mama, we punish him from the phone/TV/iPad, which 95% of the time means iTunes music or YouTube videos/songs. Isn't that what we're supposed to do- take away the things they want the most so that they think twice next time before talking back?
Yep. This mama whose son was born deaf but now hears and LOOOOOOOOOOOOVES music, punishes her son from listening to music. And I complain about it. About the amount of music we have to listen to, how loud it is, how annoying it is and how we have to listen to the same handful of songs over and over and over and over again. (Although the dancing aspect is pretty entertaining).
But if you were a bug on the wall in my house, you may agree that the extent to which we listen to music and the volume that it HAS to be on, is a little absurd. It's the first thing he asks for when he gets home from school and the last thing he's doing before bedtime routines. Not every.single.night. But a majority of the time. Like when it's raining outside or 100 degrees. And on the nights when he is playing outside, the music somehow mysteriously makes its way outside as well! We go to Nana and Pappy's and he's requesting the speaker that connects to the iPad right when we walk in. We go to Maw Maw's and he's trying to fix the cassette player that we used to listen to when we lived with her a year ago (because this obsession is not new!)
I recently read a post by Kelle Hampton over at Enjoying the Small Things where she addressed her daughter Nella's love for Barbie dolls. She said she was never a huge fan, never had them growing up, but that Nella (who was born with DS) is obsessed. But she said the Barbies create some sort of magic for Nella. And through the Barbies, she's heard voices she didn't know were Nella's, phrases she didn't know she could say, and she has observed her deep understanding of conversation. And in some weird way, I compared that story to Hunter's love of music. It's brings out so.much.life. and personality that would never exist (or would possibly exist but be very much downplayed) if he couldn't hear. We wonder all the time what his personality would be like if he couldn't hear. If sign language was his only language. Where would we be today?
Definitely not at St. Edward School. Possibly not even in New Iberia. Possibly not in Kindergym, Soccer or T-Ball. And absolutely not sitting in our living room night after night watching a dance party happen right there in front of us. Watching the life that music brings to my son who can now hear and communicate and speak like he was never born deaf.
A friend of mine recently sent me an article about using the words "I get to" instead of "I have to". And the overall concept is to be grateful that we "get to" do things that we may have never been able to do if it weren't for tiny miracles (like babies and cochlear implants). Because not everyone is given the same opportunities we sometimes take for granted.
I truly appreciate the meaning of the article, and I think twice now when I go to complain about pretty much anything when it comes to my children. I absolutely understand how abundantly blessed I am. I go to bed every night after charging Hunter's batteries for his Cochlear Implants, and I wake up every morning to put them back on his ears. I'm constantly reminded how lucky Hunter is that he can hear. But I can't say it's completely stopped me from complaining.
I still complain that my 4 year old son talks back, that my 20 month old laughs at me when I tell him to do something, and that my husband wants to play golf every weekend. I like to look at my complaints more as comical stories, because a majority of the time I'm laughing (if I'm not crying, ha!).
But I also feel like if we didn't share our struggles and stories, so many of us would feel so alone. As women in general, we were wired to share, to relate, to listen and to accept each other. The times I feel the most "normal" (whatever that may be) is when a friend says, I've been there, done that.. you'll get through it. And if I can't be real with how I feel, then it's not worth sharing at all.
So to sum it all up, I'm a typical mom, rolling with the punches of every day life. And ever so grateful to be "typical" and dealing with mainly just the "norm" that comes with two kids. And it's not always rainbows and unicorns around my house. But (except for a future without Usher Syndrome) I wouldn't have it any other way.
Here are a few bonuses :)