Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Removing the "I"

Easy.  You know, it’s that word that everyone says in phrases. 

I wish ____ was easier.
I just wish it was easy.
Why can’t it be easy.
It was so easy for so-and-so. 

I think it is human nature for us not just desire, but take the easy route.  To want the easy route.  Humans-well, let’s face it.  We are sorta lazy.  Most of us do not need to hunt and kill our food.  We’ve got comfortable places to call home and lay our heads to sleep.  We’ve got the easy.  But yet, we always want it easier.

A friend and I were recently having a conversation when she shared that she would like things to be easier for me.  Bless.her.heart. If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have jumped all over that.  Yep, I want it to be easier too. 

But that is not my answer today. 

The conversation was in regards to AJ being non-verbal.  I am not going to lie-it is difficult.  It was and has been tremendously difficult.

But it is my normal. 

Sidebar: What in blue blazes is normal anyways?!

In a broad definition, it is my easy.  Because it is what I know.  I don’t know any different.  I know my story, my family’s story, my son’s story.  Those are normal stories to me.  I am less judgmental of other’s easy. 

AJ has and is making tremendous strides with his communication.  As in, every day in the last week he’s made my jaw drop to the ground with something new and exciting.  I mean seriously kiddo.  Rockstar.  Did it sadden me AJ wasn’t talking?  Yes.  Deeply.  Does it sadden me AJ isn’t talking?  Yes.  Sometimes. 

But who am I to say that AJ speaking would make life 100% easier and better.  His life or my life? Life is pretty good with AJ making progress in his communication.  He has what I call a knuckle sandwich of language.  Lack of language exposure early in life, hearing loss, speech & language delay, apraxia.  Basically, it’s a big hoagie of obstacles.  But, AJ can totally overcome it.  In his way.  I think it is often difficult for those looking in to understand that AJ has many, many challenges before him.  When one area soars, another falters.  That’s just the name of the game.  And you plug along.

It took a really long time to remove the “I” from AJ.  Meaning, what I wanted for him. My plan.  My way.  My convenience.  My wants. We wanted to give him the very best life possible.  He didn’t argue. When we said, you’re going to do this, this, this and this because we want you to… He countered with, here’s how this going to go.  Jeremy wanted a child who played sports.  Lots of sports.  He wanted an ESPN buddy and Brew Crew cheering mate.  I thought I didn’t want much.  Just the mom experience with a healthy child so I could follow everyone else’s lead and do the normal mom things.  AJ challenged both of us.  Our dreams were not shattered, they were simply altered.

It was not, by any means easy to let go of our own selfish wants and desires.  But, its not about us.  It’s about AJ.  Looking back, spending summers in therapy appointments yielded no outside therapy for my almost 7 year old.  Spending hours and hours putting his implants back on and encouraging him to listen and enjoy the world around him yielded a very inquisitive little boy who plays with his ability to hear and takes his coils off when he wants to ignore me, just like any other implanted kiddo.  Caving in and moving forward with PECS has lead to AJ navigating the iPad on his own, making choices, increased vocalizations, and clear communication.  Waiting for him to naturally fall into loving sports is happening before our very eyes.

“I” really can’t ask for much more.  Right this second, I’m ok with AJ not talking.  Because he speaks in so many other ways.  And functional ways.  Would I love (beyond the moon love) to hear his sweet voice?  Absolutely.  But for now, he tells me things in his way.  Just because he isn’t talking now doesn’t mean I think he never will.  It doesn’t mean we stop working on speech. It doesn’t mean we stop working on anything. But, I hear his vocalizations changing.  He’s getting closer.  And we’ll keep adjusting to the new normal as needed. 

We’ll just keep the “I” at bay.

1 comment:

  1. You are a mother in every sense of the word and then some! There is nothing more I can say--verbally or otherwise...except, love you.


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