Christina's blog Live*Laugh*Love always manages to hit a nerve with me. She is just beginning her journey with Christian and her posts often echo my past experience with Jordan - one major difference being that she has managed to incorporate the use of ASL in her approach to her son's deafness. Not only does she seek resources by means of support groups and internet access, she actively investigates community events. When you read her post about how she loved her job before becoming a stay-at-home mom, you will realize that all of the energy she put into running a successful business is exactly what she is doing to identify her son's needs. Her honest and straightforward blogs full of hope, disappointment, frustration, excitement, ups and downs, mood swings, marriage and family are all only about one thing...her son Christian and the desire to do the right thing...without 100% knowing what that means.
It's Hard to Believe
I had to go into the city today for a client meeting. Ironically, their office is located directly across from my old job. Chuck and I carpooled together, just like we used to when we both were working. Even though we hated the commute, we always used to love the time together in the car. We'd listen to the radio, stop for bagels, and of course Starbucks.
Today, Chuck and I were laughing about our commutes together, and I started thinking back. It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I left my job for maternity leave (which ended up turning into a permenant leave). In fact, I worked right up to my due date-January 26th. Christian wasn't ready to come out, but I was ready to kick back and be at home. I loved my job. I loved my collegues. They were all so supportive of both my personal and professional endeavors.
I was so lucky to work in a place where I could call my collegues my friends. I was a Director of a department, and absolutely had the best team any Meeting Planner could ever ask for. My team was creative, forward thinking, and they also were my friends. I miss my girls...I miss how we worked together SO well. I miss our Starbucks runs, our team meetings where we would start to brainstorm and all of the sudden we had some major creative things going on. I miss our inside jokes, our quote walls, I even miss the hard times, when an irrate member would call and I would be on the phone for 46 minutes with them (ok not really). I miss being onsite, with walkie-talkie in hand, blisters on my feet, but knowing that I was responsible for managing and producing a successful show.
With all that being said, I couldn't imagine leaving Christian everyday. He needs me now more than ever. It has been very hard putting my career on hold. I worked so hard to get to where I was. I am working part-time from home, but I do miss going into an office and having an intellectually stimulating conversation. I miss sitting around our lunch table talking politics.
Things have changed, and I know that they aren't permanent. I see my job now as Christian's teacher. And in all honesty, being able to see my little man accomplish so many great things day in and day out is far cooler than negotiating convention center contracts.
Somewhere We Belong
It's so easy to fall in the "Let's go to the Mall/Target/Buy Buy Baby so we can get out of the house trap" when you have a little one at home. Alot of the Moms that I know take their kids to the various music classes, like Gymboree or MusiKids. I would get a little teary-eyed when I would hear them talk about how wonderful the classes were, and their kids were dancing to the music. I WANTED THAT FOR CHRISITAN!
When we started researching activities that we could do as a family with Christian, my good friend Erika suggested Imagination Stage. Eri actually teaches at Imagination Stage, and I always knew it was a real special place for kids and their families. What I DIDN'T know was that it was an even more special place for Deaf and HOH families.
We signed Christian up for a class called Just Imagine: Musical Journeys Together. Sure, it's a great class for a toddler--lots of activity, different songs and not too much structure. What makes it SO WONDERFUL for our little guy is that Imagination Stage has provided an ASL interpreter for Christian. How awesome is that? Sure, buddy only knows a few signs here and there. But the fact that he is EXPOSED to the signing is what I love. And what I absolutely LOVE even more is how WELCOMING and EASY everything has been at Imagination Stage. FINALLY....something is easy for us. Our good family friends also are taking the class with their daughter( who is the spunkiest hearing toddler I know!), and I am really looking forward to spending some QT with them!
It ends up that Imagination Stage has an entire program, called DeafAccess for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids and their families. After last weekend's class, I literally ran into an entire group of kids signing and laughing with eachother. It melted my heart. I had no idea that such a rich and amazing program was located literally right in my backyard. I am SO looking forward to having Christian take advantage of these classes and programs.