Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rapelling down the rock

Over the Christmas break,  we went down to see Chance's grandparents...they live south, which is always warmer than we are.

While we were there, we went to a park that is basically just giant red rocks, crevices, tunnels, and a crevice so narrow, that when you hike through it,  you are wedged in between two giant rocks that tower up above you and enclose you.  The man in front of me was claustrophobic and it was a slow go for him:)

One of the rocks was big enough that people were rapelling off of it.  Chance was walking along the top of this rock taking great interest in the men rapelling down when they made him an offer he could not refuse.

If he brought his parents over and they gave permission, they would let him rapell down.

Chance has been talking about this experience for a few weeks now.  He loved it.

I love that Chance has the ability to interact and communicate with people he just met .  The implants allow him to just be like any other  child.  He can talk to anyone and he has the confidence to interact with people he does not know.

You wonder how your deaf child will interact with the world when you first discover they are deaf.
We are very pleased about how the interaction thing is going for Chance:)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You can't shelter them

Chance is getting to a point where his friends want to go greater distances on their bikes etc.  This is all a part of growing up and it is both gratifying to watch Chance grow bigger and also a little sad.

I do worry a little more about Chance than I did his brother though at this age when it comes to riding his bike and having to cross major roads.

Chance attends a charter school thus some of his friends live farther away than our little neighborhood.  One friend wanted to ride to the local grocery store Macey's where the boys can get cheap ice cream cones and cheaper candy:)  This is of course a great activity as far as young boys are concerned.

But the boys have to cross State Street with cars whizzing by at what seems like 150mph sometimes.  There is a crosswalk and pedestrian lights and all, but it is still such a busy intersection.

My bit of angst comes from remembering the day I drove up behind Chance and honked and he didn't hear me.  At all.  Of course he had hearing aids then.

However, it is winter and Chance has both a hat that has flaps that cover his ears for warmth and a bike helmet.  Not ideal hearing conditions. I don't know what his hearing is with all of those contraptions on.  If a car decided to barrel through a red light, would Chance hear it coming as he crossed?

Perhaps if I hadn't witnessed psychotic drivers in my lifetime it would ease my worries.

Like the time I was driving up by a local university when a student started to cross the four lane road in the crosswalk.  I stopped, but the driver behind me, while letting me know he was highly annoyed, had swerved around me into the other lane and barely missed the student when he slammed on his brakes.  I thought I was going to witness a death that day.

Or the father of one of the families in our old neighborhood who would drive through way too fast, honking as he sailed through the neighborhood intersections so kids would get out of the way.

I think about these sort of things when my deaf son is up against a busy road where cars are whizzing by.

Then I remember the conference I attended seveeral years ago where a deaf man talked to us about letting our children do what any other kids their age do.  You can't shelter them, he had said.

I don't want to shelter Chance, I actually want him to be able to branch out and experience life.

I just don't want him to get squished by a car.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Our own Christmas miracle

On Christmas day, we attended our church for a service that included a few speakers and some beautiful musical numbers.  It was an uplifting meeting and a wonderful way to start Christmas Day.

The speakers were wonderful.

The music was inspiring.

The deaf child, my deaf child, rising from our pew to sing with the choir was a miracle.

When Chance was first diagnosed as being deaf, everyone was so leary to give us specifics on what he would be able to do.  I understand that, but I really wanted to know  if he would be able to enjoy music.  Would music just be something he never knew the pleasure of hearing?  Would his experience with it only be a thumping on the floor which he would feel through vibrations?

Chance had been the only member of the family able to attend choir practice and so it was that when they called up the choir,  Chance alone rose from our pew and headed up to the stand.  He stood confidently next to a brother who shared music with him.

At first, Chance looked around like he was assessing what exactly was going on.  The songs prepared for Christmas were more intricate, more challenging.  There were arrangements of several songs strung together and harmonies and solo parts.  Chance had not been able to attend every practice and had in fact pleaded with me to be able to attend practice when he realized a few weeks earlier that choir was in session after church.

Soon though, Chance was reading the music,  singing out with confidence, and by the end he was holding the music and turning the pages when it was time for himself and the two others sharing his music sheets.

It truly sounded as if the choir was accented by angels who joined in praise.  Along with the deaf boy whose voice helped uplift a congregation.