Sunday, May 29, 2011

You've got a friend in me

Chance has a good buddy that he has known since preschool. They are "two peas in a pod", a term both of them learned just this past week during their weekly speech session.

It just so happened that this friend ended up attending the same charter school this past year which both of them found most delightful.

Both boys wear implants...Chance has two, his friend has one. Chance is in fifth grade and his friend is in fourth grade. They were in the same grade until Chance bumped up a grade this past year and though Chance was happy to go up a grade, he really lamented the fact that he and his friend would now be in different grades.

Alas, the gods that be saw fit to place both of these boys at lunch during the same time and to allow them to spend afternoon recesses together. So it is only morning recess that they must be apart.

While talking to Chance's friend's mom about how cute they are together, she informed me that apparently a boy at school had been teasing and picking on her son. She then told me that Chance went up and set this boy straight, defending his friend, and now there does not seem to be a problem.

How great is that? Chance is nothing if not loyal and devoted.

So, don't mess with Chance's friends or you'll have to answer to Chance himself.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chance gets his purple, orange and white belts

Chance has been playing the recorder in his music class at school. He really enjoys it and his teacher has come up with a fantstic idea to motivate the kids. They earn "belts" like you do in karate, and you get colored strings tied onto the end of the recorder each time you pass into the next level. Chance now has several lovely colored strings hanging off the end of his recorder of which he is very proud.
His teacher told me that the kids get up and play songs in class and then get a new string when they pass off the song. He said that Chance has been passing off several songs and that the kids in class sit and cheer him enthsiatically when he is done each time. He says it is really neat.

These are some of the same kids who laughed at Chance when he sang to try out for a solo part in the program.
I think these kids have now earned some redemption:)

I love teachers at school who make learning fun and intersting.

Now, if we can just get Chance to put on his implants BEFORE he practices the recorder in the morning, all will be right in the world.

Yes, he actually did that one morning...get up and practice his recorder with out putting on his implants.

What a spaz. But a cute spaz.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You can count on me

Chance and his brother went camping with their dad to a camp that let the boys experience life as a civil war soldier. They were not allowed to bring any technological devices, though Chance did inform us that he would be taking his implants with him despite the rules:)

Snacks were forbidden since civil war soldiers were not wolfing down granola bars, M&M's or corn-nuts in camp.

The campers all slept in the type of tents that were used during the civil war and marched around with their "guns" doing drills as the soldiers would have done.

The leaders or dads were in one huge tent and the boys were all in another huge tent. Chance and his brother went with some boys they knew in their scout troops but they also made some friends in camp. It was Chance's first scout camp out since he just turned 11, and he was very excited. The boys were all talking excitedy and enjoying themselves and then the lights out at 10:30 call came out. When you don't have modern flashlights, it is not as fun to stay awake in a dark camp.

When the wake up call came at 6:30 in the morning, Chance's dad said that it was like the boys had all woken up in unison just before the official revelry call and were laughing and awake in the kids tent. He realized that Chance had probably missed both the wake up call and the interaction between the boys first thing in the morning.

He needn't have worried. When Chance's brother realized that the boys were all waking up, he woke up Chance and had him put his implants on so Chance was in on all of the action from the beginning.

It does my heart good as a mother to know that Chance's brother is watching out for him and helping him to be involved in the activities. I am impressed that he thought of Chance right off even when he was talking with his new friends. He could have just left Chance to sleep until the morning wake up call went out and then wake him up. But he didn't.

I really think that Chance and his brother were sent down to our family by God to be together. They are close and watch out for each other. They may have a few moments of discord every once in a while, but they are devoted and loyal to one another which does my heart good. They will have each other to lean on and confide in and that is a great thing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

No electronic devices

It is the time of year every child waits in anticipation for......year end testing in school.
Chance's class has been testing these past few weeks and some of these tests have taken place in the school library.
Before entering, the kids are admonished that NO electronic devices will be allowed and they are enumerated just in case someone forgets; no cell phones, no ipods no nothing.

The teacher that goes around with Chance's class through out the day told me that Chance made him crack up the other day as they entered the library. Chance walked up and said slyly,
"Mr. Nixon, I have electronic devices."
Then he tugged on his implants and laughed.
Indeed, Chance does have electronic devices and no one can do anything about it:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chance at speech fair

Chance performed at the annual Alexander Graham Bell Associations sponsored Speech Fair again this year. Only this time, he played the guitar and sang,"You Are My Sunshine". He was excited to play and even ran into school to perform the number for his guitar teacher the day before since he was not going to be able to make it to the annual event.

The Speech Fair is always a bit of a walk down memory lane for us. It is a sort of "This is Your Life" scenario where we relive the years that Chance learned to hear and talk.

First, there are the preschoolers all tiny and a little nervous to perform. Their teachers have been working with them on their pronunciation for weeks leading up to this event. Whatever they end up singing or reciting is adorable. Parents get a little weepy thinking,"My deaf child is up there singing...look what they can do!"

Then the kindergartners get up with a little more confidence than the preschoolers and perform and parents sit in awe at the progress their child has made in pronunciation in just one year.

Then the first graders get up all confident and sing practically like pros. Parents beam in their seats as they marvel at the singing and talking abilities of their blossoming deaf or hard of hearing child.

Then there are the older kids who perform by themselves singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument. It is miraculous to behold how far these kids come in just a few years.

When Chance was really little, we would watch these older kids and get emotional wondering if someday Chance would be doing as well as they were. We would sit riveted in our seats as the kids introduced themselves and talked about how they were on the dance team or soccer team at school. Watching those older kids gave us hope and faith that someday Chance would be integrated into his neighborhood school and do things like join the local cub scout group and go to church with us just like any boy his age.

That day is here. Chance is thriving and completely integrated into local activities, be it church, cub scouts, or the city league track team. And one of the most touching things for me, were the parents who came up to me and told me how well Chance was doing and how they watched him and it gave them hope for their child.

The process continues. We watched other kids and got hope for Chance's future and now other parents are watching Chance and furthering their hopes for their own children. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this process, to walk down this road with Chance and to have him in our family. We love him.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

When you can't hear the jack hammer, deaf is good

We have men jackhammering through concrete in our basement. It is for a good cause in the long run, yet quite loud. The baby has not napped on the days the jack hammer has been going. I guess that is not a sound conducive to napping.

All of us deal with the sound in different ways. Such as not even attempting to perform a task that requires concentration and not talking on the phone. You can't hear what the person on the other end is saying anyway unless you go to the very end of the laundry room, turn off the washer and dryer and then you can hear some but not all of the converstation on the other end.

Chance we discovered however, is not bothered by such little nuances such as jackhammering when his implants are not on. This became apparent when the jackhammering started fresh and early in the morning for the rest of us, but Chance woke up and asked us as he sauntered to the kitchen,"Are the workers coming today?"

We all looked at each other in amazment.

"Don't you hear that noise?" I asked Chance as he faithfully watched my lips so he could see what I was saying.

"What noise?" Chance wanted to know.

Well then. The baby may not be able to nap through the jackhammering, but I think Chance wouldn't have a problem if he takes his implants off.

Sometimes, I kind of wish I had implants.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Chance knows his composers

We were sitting Sunday morning watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform a song for their "Music and the Spoken Word" program when Chance asked,"Is this music by George Frideric ? It sounds like his music. He used to write and conduct music for the queen of England."

"Where did you learn about George Frideric ?" I asked.

"Mr. Imler's class at school." Chance replied.

We looked up the composer and it turns out it was George Frideric Handel.

"Oh, I forgot the last part Handel." Chance replied.

Mr. Imler is the music teacher at school. Apparently, Chance has been paying attention in that class. AND hearing enough to be able to differentiate between composers to be able to know when music sounds like a certain one's work. Chance was right. The music the choir was singing was composed by George Frideric Handel. My deaf son picked that up by listening to a choir sing. I believe in miracles, and my son's hearing capabilities fall into the miracle range on days like today.

Thank goodness for miracles, Chance, and his music teacher Mr. Imler.