It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Postscript

I have been thinking about my last post and realized that I don't want to imply that there is something unbearably awful about deafness. I don't mean to send that message. My grief and my sense of loss were profound because of what I enjoy in a hearing world and what I wanted my children to enjoy too. I know there is a large Deaf community who would disagree with me, and I respect their position. I know that deaf people who never choose the option of hearing achieve wonderful things, they live perfectly happy and successful lives. I have been amazed and have greatly admired what deaf people have achieved without what I consider to be the "benefit" of hearing.

I respectfully disagree, however, that the only option for my children is to remain deaf and in silence. If that is a choice that they, my children, wish to make later in their life, all they need do is remove their processers and voila! Silence. The choice can be theirs. However, if my husband and I had never made the difficult decision to provide them with the option and ability to hear while they were young, if they would have wanted to choose that option later in life, the possibilities of what they could have achieved would be far diminished.

Again, I respect anyone Deaf who chooses to remain so. I know that there are beauties in life that are enjoyed regardless of whether one hears. We just decided that we would let that choice be our children's: this way, they can choose to keep hearing. Or not to hear. It can be up to them. (But I can almost certainly guarantee you what their choice will be.)

I mentioned the grief and profound sense of loss I felt. One aspect was the silence I envisioned for them: no sound of laughter, no sound of music....but that was only part of it. As any parent of a child with any sort of disability can tell you, when you find out (especially early on) that a child has something "wrong", you feel robbed of your baby. You feel robbed and cheated and betrayed. I'm glad that time and action and the love of a baby can ease those feelings and turn them into strength and courage and acceptance.

This has been a minor challenge compared to what many face, I know---and like I mentioned, there are those who would disagree wholeheartedly that our situation was a problem or a challenge or a reason to grieve at all. Regardless, these kinds of experiences, to whatever degree and depth, are gut-wrenching and life-changing. But I've been made glad that through all of the hardness of it, there has been so much good and so much positive that I could never have dreamed possible. I wouldn't have picked it but I can't imagine anything different.


Blogger DDM said...

I can't imagine someone standing in judgement of your choices for your children! Although, I totally get where you're coming from, having experienced a degree of it myself with my own son. More in the form of family members blaming my son's delays on my parenting.
You can imagine how well those conversations have gone.
You're right that other people face challenges with their kids, but they aren't bigger or worse. They're just challenges any way you look at it. I commend you for doing what you felt was best for your boys! And what an incredible 'place' to be in......sitting in the light at the end of the tunnel. *sigh* I hope to join you there someday!!!

12:53 PM, November 07, 2005

Blogger jay are said...

you will. I am sure of it, though I know it isn't always easy to believe. And you're in a hard hard place. I admire you...I can only imagine how incredibly infuriating to hear that your child's MEDICAL delays had anything at all to do with parenting style or skill. That would certainly create some friction. Ikes!
You're doing what you can in an isolated place....keep going.

1:34 PM, November 07, 2005

Blogger Michelle said...

I wouldn't have done anything different than you. You made the right choice out of love for your sons. I'm certain they'll thankyou for it later in life :)

10:20 PM, November 07, 2005


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