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.
I grew up on a steady diet of old movies and musicals. And while there were many actors and actresses that we loved, I have always had a thing for Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy was always down to earth, always just that little bit shy and always got the girl.
My four-year-old son was just diagnosed with hearing loss in one ear. It is all very new to me and I’ve spent the past week wondering how my always down to earth, always a little bit deliciously shy little boy could go from being flawless to being faced with a challenge. I like problems to have a clear end goal – a cute little lisp, let’s head to speech therapy. No fine motor skills, let’s work on that. Tubes in the ear? Ok. Vision therapy? Ok. Bring it on. I’m not sure what to do when there is no solution. I am not good at knowing that I cannot fix something.
To be sure, we are just at the start of this process. We know we’ve got lots more tests and evaluations to do. I’ve got a whole new list of vocabulary words that connect to hearing loss. And my adorable little son is still just that, adorable. This diagnosis explains his speech delay. It explains the great way he reinterprets words. And he will be ok. I have wonderful friends who know stuff and are sharing advice or offering support. And after a few days, I know I will be able to put this in the proper perspective and recognize that not all problems get clear-cut solutions. Sometimes we roll with the punches and do the best we can – which may be the best advice to give any parent.
And, I’ll be honest, I’ve been leaning over and whispering into my son’s ear just how much I love him, too.
Any advice on how to overcome life’s challenges?