I had been looking forward to this day! I can’t help but be completely honest, when I say the reasons why. Of course the day looked amazing- Hogroast, crazy golf, facepainting, magic shows, inflatable assault course, and much, much more, with the added bonus of the chance to meet other parents with children who have some sort of hearing loss too. I, on the other hand, had a completely different agenda.
I wanted to hear and see all the different children, their aids, and their implants. I wanted to see how these children played, interacted, and looked. How easy was it to disguise these implants? Do they come in different colours? Will Isla look like Robocop!?
I found myself fairly nervous on entering. A little bit anxious, we were the new kids on the block, and a few people knew we were coming. We were in this lovely enclosed garden, and I immediately felt the love and the warmth of all the people attending the event.
We took a seat, quite obviously so that we could see, everything, and most importantly for me, to see everyone. Ed asked Livi if she wanted to walk around and see all the activities that were available and to make some friends. Of course, she was well up for that- so off they trotted. They left Isla and I, relaxing in the sun. Like I said, in this beautiful garden, with all these lovely families. But suddenly- things didn’t seem so beautiful! And I have to admit, that this is probably the second or third time this has happened to me! I was looking around, and realising what a lovely event we were at, and how much support appeared to be on offer and how lucky we are to have such resources- when Aleesha did not want to be grateful anymore!
And the reality sunk in, yet again, that my baby is deaf! ‘We shouldn’t even be here!’ I can hear the little lady in my head shouting! ‘This is lovely, but not meant for us!’ ‘We’ve been cheated, this is B*ullshit!’ And just so you know, when the little lady (Aka my Ego) in my head starts kicking off, theres no stopping her. To say the least, I have a quite a big Ego, and its only at times like this, that I can realise how destructive that Ego can be- and how it can turn something so beautiful, into something negative.
So I quickly plaster this fake smile across my face, as people walk past introducing themselves! Im actually crying in my head, and hoping that the devastation is not written all over my face for everyone to see. I definitely do NOT want to be that mum, who broke down at her first deaf event! Im staring at Isla, infact, taking lots of pictures, and hoping people don’t notice that Im new, and if the ground could just, quickly swallow me up, and wake me up at the end, that would be wonderful! The picture below is of me desperately trying to distract myself!
Luckily Ed and Livi came back quickly- so my Ego had to have a little time out! Olivia then took me round to see everything- and by that I mean, she was secretly leading me to the face painting cue that Daddy had refused to stand in.
So I looked, listened, and practically stared at all the children. And what I saw was everything I needed to see. Beautiful, bright kids, engaging well with their friends, understanding and listening- what seemed to be, better, than a child of normal hearing. One girl was even bilingual. No one ‘sounded’ funny! Another fear that my ego kept insisting would be the case. What could I say?!
The event went on. We had a lovely hog roast. A few of the trustees introduced themselves, and ensured we felt at home! Olivia made a few friends, got her face painted. Had a little game of crazy golf- well Ed did, as Liv ran off and left him to play alone! Oh, and Isla, well she just slept a little, and looked around a little.
I thought- well this is Isla’s Gang. These will be the people that she makes friends with, and I couldn’t have been happier! The families were so lovely and the children, all so engaging and beautiful in their own rights! What felt so sad, and so negative, turned out to be the best day, since diagnosis for me!
Thank You Dorset Deaf Children’s Society!
And P.s- She won’t look like Robocop!