Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Look How Far You've Come...

Junior celebrated his first hearing birthday a couple weeks ago. He's had his "ears" or cochlear implants for a full year now, and while there is still much work to do and milestones to catch up on, we are grateful every day for the gift of sound.

Not long ago, I was feeling discouraged at Junior's progress. In comparison to an average almost-two-year old his language skills are obviously at a deficit, and I was beginning to beat myself up for not being able to spend every waking second with him working on his speech. I was getting frustrated for his not being where I thought he should be.

Then, as I looked back on the last year, I realized that comparing him to his peers was not fair to him, and all the work he's put into using his new "ears". Instead, I started looking at how far he's come since surgery. In just one year's time, he's now able to say about 20 words (wow!), can understand a few phrases, and even responds to commands (at times...he is a strong-willed toddler after all :))

One year ago, Junior lived in a silent world. A world without music. A world without a mother's "I love you", or lullabies. A world without a dog's bark, a phone's ring, or a friendly "hello". And now, with his "ears", Junior taps on the piano in earnest, gleeful at the sounds he's created, smiles when he's sung to, yells "Daddy!" every time the phone rings, and says "hi" to just about everyone he meets.

I stopped comparing him to what I thought he should be, and stopped missing out on the miracle right in front of me. Junior will learn at his own pace, forge his own path, and I'm excited to travel with him on his journey.  I won't even bring a map, or ask when we're going to be there. I just want to celebrate each passing mile, and take the pit stops in stride. And, as we get to the end of the road, I'll look back and realize the joy of traveling with someone that wasn't ever expected to make the trip at all. That is a miracle nothing else could ever compare with.

Comparison steals the miracles from in front of you. Stop comparing, and start enjoying the beauty in your own life.

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  1. Comparing is rarely helpful. I find comparing my special needs 18yo child with those "less disabled" or her typical peers discouraging and depressing. Comparing her with those "more disabled" can make me feel grateful for what we don't have, but also guilty. With all of those bad feelings associated with comparing, what's the point of doing it? So, I'm with you. Get over comparing. PS - Love your last paragraph there! (Visiting from Love That Max LinkUp!)

  2. sara, that post is BEAUTIFUL. thank you!


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