Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bigger Picture Moments: Loud and Clear

I call his name.

He doesn't look up from hammering his blocks into the spaces they fit.

Though my voice is filled with intent, uncertainty fills my heart, sits heavy in my throat.

I call him again.

He doesn't even flinch at the sound of my voice.

He's 16 months old, and he's barely uttered the sounds mmmm and aaaahhh together.

And I wonder, I wonder, if he's really heard me all the months of his life.

Or if he's been navigating in the silence, watching moving pictures with no sound.

We try simple tests, my husband and me.

We try sneaking up on him and making a loud sound to see if he snaps his head toward commotion.

Once or twice he does. Other times he doesn't. Mostly, he doesn't.

At 17 months, I wonder, again, if I've totally neglected a hearing loss in my youngest.

Is that why he's not talking? Can he just not hear us? How could I have missed something like that?

I chide myself for not having his hearing tested as a newborn, wonder what exactly he's been missing his whole life.


My mother in law, a speech pathologist, wonders, too, when he approaches almost 18 months and has said nary of a word and made very few vocalizations, if he's taking his time or if there's something we've missed in the hearing realm.

She suggests an audiology screening.


During the threes weeks until E's test, I ponder in my heart the implications of him, perhaps, being different.

The possiblity of never actually hearing music and feeling it in the deepest places of his soul.

The reality of being labled as impaired or disabled.

The complications a hearing loss could have on his life, his confidence, his opportunities.

John reminds me of a few of my favorite family members on his side of the family who have hearing loss and who are all {honestly} brilliant and successful and perfectly imperfect.

Perfectly imperfect.

I let the phrase roll around in my heart, like a seed tossed in spring wind.

It finds soil, takes root, begins to grow.

We're all perfectly imperfect.

Hearing or lack of hearing is just a detail of life. It's not THE detail of life.

Be it a hearing loss or being uncomfortable in crowds or being unable to walk or whatever -- we've all got something that could be considered a confidence drain, a hinderance for success.

But those perfectly imperfect details are not what define our lives. Rather, what defines our lives is how we take our building blocks and stack them -- what the building blocks look like just give character or style to the architecture.

{I won't even go into how our perceived weaknesses can actually morph into strengths.}

It's the morning of the audiology test.

I determine in my mind, my heart that if E cannot hear, if he has a hearing loss, he hasn't been missing something his whole life. I resign that if he's unable to hear or hear well, his life will be no less full -- of joy or understanding or opportunity or enjoyment.

That no matter the results of the hearing test or, well, really anything, he has always been and always will be perfectly imperfect.

Just like all of us.

{For those of you who are wondering, E doesn't have any hearing loss that's detectable at this point. He's just a master at focusing and ignoring the "noise" around him. Though, we will have to monitor the way his eardrum allows for movement as that could, for periods of time during fluid build up, affect the quality of what he hears.}

Simple BPM

Every Thursday, we share the harvest of intentional living by capturing the bigger picture through a simple moment {or series of simple moments.}

Alita, to share your own or read others.