I reposted my blog called “What Are You Up Against?” yesterday. In it, I talk about how we are all up against something. Mine happens to be hearing loss.
Someone who takes my classes regularly emailed me this today and it was so moving to me that I had to share. Take a minute and read. My heart goes out to her son.
Keep going guys. Even when you think no one is listening, keep going. Someone is listening. They always are.
Sometimes they just don’t hear it for a while, is all.
Wow. I just read your post “What Are you Up Against?”. You mentioned your hearing problems in class but I never knew the details. Wow.
As you say…BAM. Your post hit me really hard.
My 7 year old Jackson has intermittent hearing and a life full of ear problems. He’s had 8 surgeries…3 major surgeries and 5 sets of ear tubes. Rare conditions that caused multiple hospitalizations. At age 5.5 we couldn’t get an infection in his left ear to clear and a rare condition called mastoiditis developed. The infection went into the bone behind his ear, at the base of the skull.
I won’t even explain the surgery and treatment it required. I do remember sitting in the hospital looking at him with his head completely wrapped in bandages, a small section by the left ear blood tinged, thinking…what the F_ _ _ is going on here.
He was just finishing preschool and I discovered that he got by during his last year by reading lips. His teachers would say he was extremely bright and successful. But as I observed him I realized that for 2 years straight he had the exact same routine (circle time, bathroom, snack, recess, work time…) and he could follow it in his sleep.
He couldn’t hear ANYTHING.
He became the leader on the playground, always organizing all the games. Why? Because he couldn’t hear what anyone else was saying. If he was in charge then he knew what to do. Every time I uncovered something else my heart sank.
Fast forward two years later to today…Is he a different person because of it? Absolutely.
And he’s only 7.5.
We keep hitting road bumps where he is thrown back into a 2 month period of infections and not hearing. I have driven all over LA trying to figure out the root cause. The best surgeons tell me they don’t know and they hope he will grow up with no long term damage but we don’t know for sure.
Jen, my heart goes out to you. I watch Jackson on the soccer field after the coach tells him to do something… he immediately looks over at me with a look of pain. It doesn’t matter how many times I talk to the coach they still get in his face and say, “Jackson! Why are you not listening to me??!”. If I were him I would run off the field crying. But he swallows hard and keeps going.
If only I had that perseverance. Jen, I admire you deeply for your ability to keep going.
You see hy teaching is so comforting to me? Why standing up in the front of the room is so much more empowering for me than when I am in my teacher’s class and I cannot hear a word and I feel lost and disempowered?
I am so grateful for this 7.5 year old to remind me of who I am and why it’s so important to keep going.