When Will was diagnosed as deaf, he was 6 months old. We’d gone through countless tests that he continued to fail and at no point did anyone say ‘he could be failing because he could be deaf’. They just kept saying ‘we still can’t get a positive result, we’ll have to try again’.
So I never really contemplated it. How could it be? Why would it be? How could it be? It couldn’t.
But then it was.
Profoundly deaf in his left ear, moderately in his right. Hearing aids fitted. Speech and language therapy. A teacher of the deaf. Sign language. Special playgroups. An MRI scan. A kidney scan. An ECG. Blood tests. Hearing tests for us. Blood tests for us.
Thrown into a distant and unexpected world. Far from where I wanted to be.
I cried and I cried and I cried.
Oh how I cried.
How will he survive? How will he communicate? How will he make friends? How will be fall in love? How will he ever be independent?
How will he be happy?
How. Will. He. Be. Happy?
Tomorrow he is being filmed by the BBC.
It’s a follow up to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39274661 about how to talk to deaf people so they are included.
He has three lines to say. To say. Three lines. To. Say.
He has been chosen because his speech is excellent and he is a good example of what deaf children can achieve.
All I want to do is go back to that mum. That mum standing in the waiting room of a hospital being told that life is more different than she knew it could be. That mum sobbing at the bus stop with a broken heart. That mum who cannot touch her babies ears anymore for fear of vomiting with raw emotion.
And hold her.
And tell her that it will be okay. It might even be more than okay.
It will be hard.
But you are strong.
And he stronger still.
If you are at the beginning of anything unexpected, know that it is just that, the beginning. And that it will not always feel as raw as it does now.
One day, it might even feel good.