The minute my 5-year-old put his hearing aids in, my outlook changed. Any sadness or apprehension I felt for him or for me was tossed out the window (I’d like to use a football reference here because I feel like they throw things really really far, but I’m Canadian). I did cry, but it was pure joy. I cried because my kid walked around the audiologist’s office tapping on the walls, the floor and the chairs because suddenly he could hear tapping. And it didn’t end there. He’s tried out snapping his fingers, rubbing his feet on the carpet and whistling. All because he can hear stuff now. Lots of stuff.
This isn’t a push to get you to join Facebook (though if you haven’t yet really what are you waiting for). This is a story about everything that is lovely about ChallahCrumbs. In fact, this might be my love letter to our readers.
I recently (and by recently I mean right at this very minute) traveled all by myself. I said goodbye to my 5 children (2 cried, 1 was stoic, 2 are just waiting for the guilt presents on my return) and to my wonderful, inexplicably patient husband and got on an airplane. In fact, I am still on the airplane as I write.
I have a lot of very ugly pictures of my son. He was born much too early. And even though you love him, he wasn’t looking his best.
I grabbed my daughter’s iPod as I left to exercise the other day (for those of you who know me and my mostly lax exercise regiment, feel free to smirk now). I figured her nano would clip on to my shirt easily and I’d be able to find some music to keep me distracted. What I found was an homage to all things Disney — starting from The Little Mermaid and straight through to Camp Rock. As I flipped through looking for something that crossed the 26 year age divide and veered more into my music taste, I noticed someone else lurking in my daughter’s musical choices: my father.
There is a scene at the start of It’s a Wonderful Life (shocking that I couldn’t find it on YouTube – what else is YouTube there for?), where the girl leans over and whispers into Jimmy Stewart’s deaf ear, “George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die.” In the past week, that scene has replayed itself in my mind a hundred times.
As I have mentioned before, I have four sons and one daughter. Our daughter is our first child followed by a small rugby team of boys. And today she is 11. As I sneak off to write this, there are 22 girls sitting in my living room, watching a Disney movie (so adorable that they will still watch Disney!), eating truckloads of popcorn and forests worth of cotton candy (so fabulous that they still eat!). With a promise that all children will eat vegetables when they get home, I plan to serve cupcakes as they leave. I am fully aware that most parents will hate me as I send their kids home full of nothing of any nutritional value (fiber in popcorn?).
I remember when my babysitter used to sing to my children. To my daughter she sang, “you are a pretty girl” and to my son, “what a strong boy.” I was frustrated that the adjectives chosen were so clearly gender-biased. All girls should be pretty. All boys should be strong.
I have a collection of some lovely children. They are bright, curious, rambunctious, vibrant and in general delightful. That in no way negates my desire to climb into bed at 8:30 each night and sort of collapse from riding the roller coaster of many small children all day.