In my daughters eyes, I can do no wrong. She looks at me with admiration, with no fear, with the sense that her mommy is the best mommy around. When in reality I struggle. I fear. I don't know what the future holds and that can be scary. But in her eyes everything is perfect.
703 days ago I gave birth to a daughter who was deaf. I think in reality it took me over 1 year to actually say the word deaf instead of hearing loss, or nothing at all. I remember the pain I went through the first 6 months thinking about her future and what opportunities I can give her. Doesn't every parent want this?
In my daughters eyes I know everything. She can come to me and I can fix everything. If she's crying, I know how to calm her. If she's excited, I know why. Lately it's been hard. I read other CI (cochlear implant) parent blogs and they assure me that one day your life begins to feel normal again.. When is that exactly? I still feel unbelievable sadness because I still wait for her to have a revelation and use spoken language to talk to us. Tell us what she wants; but she doesn't know how. Parenting to me involves therapy, learning to listen sounds, Ling 6, auditory sandwich, conditioned play and everything else that will help with her spoken language. Every book I read, gift I give her, or sound she makes has something to do with her development.
In my daughter's eye she is not different. She doesn't know what the world is like; How people judge and make assumptions based on appearance, monetary things and your successes in life. She doesn't know that she is special. I try to give her every opportunity she can and let her just be a child, but I can't. She is different and the harder I work now, the better her life will be later. Riley doesn't know that everyone doesn't have a CI. Every child she meets she's going to have to explain that she has a CI and that's how she hears. It's my job to teach her to be her own advocate and be proud of who she is.
In my daughter's eyes I am her main teacher. Through her eyes I give more when I want to give up. I break down sometimes and need a break. I shut my door and sit down and take deep breaths. I yell and get frustrated at the progress but yet amazed by her perseverance. I get back up, look at her, and in her eyes realize that she sees no wrong. I realize that we are the main piece in her success. That's not about having a deaf child; its about being a parent.
Through my daughters eyes I am her hero. The steps I take, she will follow. The heartbreak I go through, she will also feel. This makes me put one foot in front of the other and be the best parent I know how to be with the situation we have. In reality, looking through her eyes brings a little bit of me back everyday. I couldn't imagine not being Riley's mommy.
”Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~Linda Wooten