When Harriet was just a few hours old, she failed her newborn hearing test. Shaun and I sobbed. We held each other, cried until we ached and then said, at the same time as one another “they are going to run rings around us”. We talked and laughed and cried some more about what a special bond our kids would have; two deafies in a hearing family. We knew straight away how much William would teach Harriet, how much he would look out for her. We knew how much she would adore him and hang off his every move, word and sign. We took solace in our hope that they would be the best of friends and that in this world that they are part of, and that we know nothing about, they would have each other.
And it has begun. Their bond is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, they beat the crap out of each other. They poke and pull and push and pinch and punch. But then they laugh. They laugh so, so, so hard at one another it makes my heart ache.
And they COMMUNICATE. With each other, with us.
Harriet has started signing. She can sign yes, no, ready, food, bottle, please and thank you. She can sign SEVEN words. Seven! Technically please and thank you are the same so six, but still, SIX!
They sign with one another, Will talks to Harriet.
At this point with Will I felt so lost, so out of my depth. I was so angry, so frustrated and so
utterly drowning in guilt. With H it is different. I feel proud, I feel happy. I worry, of course for the future. But I see Will now, talking in sentences, signing at the same time. I see a wonderful, intelligent, happy, loving little boy and the best role model a little sister could ask for. I see Harri, already asking for her bottle, or signing ready at the top of the slide in anticipation. I see a super smart little girl ready to absorb world of language in any way she can.
I see the future and it scares me but it also excites me. For the first time I truly believe they can achieve anything and I cannot wait to see what they become.