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.
So hells yeah we were going to throw that kid a party.
I found a wonderful baker who was thoughtful and encouraging (and makes crazy good cakes!) who would bake an ear cake (complete with hearing aid!) for us. We bought little bags of treats for the kids – that included a whistle because we’re all about the noise these days. And we picked up a set of musical instruments for the class (more noise!).
Party may be overstating things a bit. My husband and I were at my son’s school for all of 15 minutes, but those 15 minutes are among the most meaningful ones I’ve had as a parent. I explained what hearing aids did. My son chose to take one of his hearing aids out of his ear and walk around the classroom showing it to each kid. We talked about how happy we were that sounds that were hard for our son to hear were now easy. The kids were curious and kind and interested. And then they all moved on. They ate cake, got on with their day and so did I. And that might be the most remarkable thing about all of this – we celebrated being a bit different and no one blinked an eye. Different may be the new normal. My current guilty pleasure is whispering in his ear because now he answers back.