Thursday, March 12, 2009
Kickin' Off Parental Support Week: Don't Hide the CI!
Okay, it's Thursday, and I don't think that a real, official Parental Support Week exists, but what the hell, we bloggers are CREATIVE!!!!! And I have a survey to push, so the Week starts now- never did like Mondays!
One person who completed the GPOD survey wrote:
...I could write a book. My daughter, now 18, was born before the age of the Internet. Even so, I am convinced that facilitated group parent meetings (with child care for siblings), and other opportunities to interact with other families (i.e., family sign language classes, again with child care provided) were the most empowering for me and made me feel connected (not isolated). Deaf parents were also well represented in our group parent meetings. We shared a common bond of parenting, but they were also positive role models for me to envision my daughter's bright future.
Please take ten minutes of your time to take the survey here:
As we all know, I get my support from yahoo groups like Listen Up, Learn2Hear and the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle.
This week on the Circle a mom wrote:
Mia is having her first communion in about a month. She has been home and I have been homeschooling her...due to the stitches(it's actually been fun ad easy...makes you wonder what they do at school with all their time?)
So my mom calls to talk about Mia's communion and asked me if I bought her anything for her hair...like a veil...crown etc. I told her i do NOT want her to look like a MINI woman who is getting married but a little girl.
To which she says,
"I hope you will keep her hair down at least for that
one day ...with the pictures and all she might not want to see those things!!!!!!"
I could not belive she said that. I am not shocked as she raised my brother who is now an adult...he is very self-concious about his hearing aids.
I told her she will have her hair up...in a high ponytail...with beautiful
diamond hairpins.... and I will make sure to get a LOT of bling bling on her cochlear implants and the coils just to bring even MORE attention!!
My mom just stayed quiet.
I mean GEEZ - wonder who is in denial and still embarassed here?!
You have to understand that this is Mia's Mom's Business...a business created with love and passion based on her experience with Mia.
There were many responses to Eva's post, here are two of those responses...
...Forgive me if I offend, but it's this kind of mentality that breeds more discomfort than anything. I may only be 43 years old, and my parents may come from a different generation, but it has been my enthusiasm, comfort, and positive outward processing that has helped the older folks let go of that old-age mentality. Embracing yes, their feelings, accepting it as their norm. Absolutely not. It's been that positive mentality that I have seen with not only my own child, but many parents who also provide encouragement to their children even when their child may be stared at, or even treated poorly.
It's the parents who try to work on both sides of feeling okay, a giving up to
those who can't seem to grasp the realities who have bread long term feelings of
not just them being okay, but the kids not being okay, and kids not able to
adapt to various situations, and then truly adopting that something must be
seriously wrong with them personally, not that they can't hear. Not hearing, and feeling like something is wrong are, in my opinion two different things. So the reality is my child is deaf, but he's a terrific kid and because someone does not get that he's deaf, wears a device that sticks out is not to be embraced by the naysayers so to speak. I will again apologize if I offend, but however this line of thinking that I see and hear drives me nuts.
(Elizabeth writes a blog that you can read here.)
I don't write much anymore, but do still read all the posts, and I felt compelled to reply. You have always been there for me, so I wanted to just let you know that I support you too!
I have often thought about my daugter Sophie's First Communion Day, dances, proms and even her wedding day, and how she will wear her hair, what about her processor/HA-will she even go to dances?, will boys be afraid of her because of them:, etc.
Then I look at how beautiful, fun, smart and sweet she is, and I don't worry about it anymore. We are fortunate because Sophie's CI doesn't really seem to be on anyone in our family's radar; but I completely sympathize with you and dealing with your mother's feelings. It sounds to me as if she is still in denial.
She needs to look at how gorgeous Mia is, how fun and smart she is and how hard she works and how far she has come, and not worry about something as stupid as processors. We were in a restaurant the other day and the waiter had some hearing/communication thingy on. Sophie got all excited and started rambling to him about his CI and her CI. Of course he was just a kid and had no idea what she was talking about, so we of course took the oppourtunity to explain.
As I look at pictures of Sophie when she was little, I am a little mad at myself for not having more pictures of her wearing her hearing aids as a baby (denial at the time...) as they are just as much a part of her as the outfits she wears. And with her own First Communion a few years away (they do that in 2nd grade here and she may be repeating Kindergarten) I feel quite confident in putting her hair up. Girls here
do wear veils or wreaths on their heads if they want to (Pre-Vatican II cover the head in church out of respect type modeling), she can if she wants, but doesn't have to.
Her hair looks really cute up and I have no qualms about hiding her CI/HA. They are just a part of her and she is who she is. We tell her all the time that God made her special and she accepts that (at least for now...). You should tell you mom that Mia is learning all about tolerance, diversity and acceptance at school, and SHE(your mom) needs to help by being a good role model and get over the petty concerns about how Mia's processors will look.
Sophie and Clara's Mom.
*In the end, we are all parents who live similar experiences...and who better to help us through raising our children, than other moms and dads just like us?*