Alexander and Lily

Alexander and Lily

Saturday, May 15, 2010

When Lily Realizes She's Different

It's funny how many days I don't really think about the fact that Lily is deaf that much anymore. Obviously I think about it every morning when I put her CIs on and each evening when I take them off for bath and bed. However, most of everyday she is wearing her CIs and with them on she seems to be hearing and speaking as well as, or better, than other hearing children her age. So it can be easy to forget that she has a disability.

In the past few weeks though, I've been thinking a lot about Lily being deaf. First I read this blog post about a little girl wishing she weren't deaf and it made my heart ache. What will I say when/if Lily tells me she wishes she weren't deaf?

Then yesterday I had an experience with a child who has a different disability, but it made me think of Lily immediately. A little girl in a wheelchair was crying because she couldn't get in one of those big blow-up bouncy obstacle course things. Through her tears, she was telling her dad that she wished her legs were as strong as all the other kids' so she could play with them. It made me think of a time in the future when Lily might wish her ears worked like all the other kids she will know. Will she wish she could hear while going down the plastic slide on the playground? She has to take her CIs off to go down plastic slides because the static electricity could scramble her programs. Will she wish she could hear in the swimming pool and in the bathtub? At slumber parties will she be afraid she'll miss something if she takes off her CIs to go to sleep?

And then today I read this blog post that directed me to a video of some teen CI users. The teens in the video are advocating for themselves and telling the world how they hear. It touched me. I hope that Lily will have as good an attitude about her hearing loss as the teenagers in this video. You should watch it.