Conversing? With MY child?
Here we are. It's happening. It feels like yesterday he started signing, but it's been awhile since our last post. I can't begin to describe in detail the changes.
First, Quinn is attending and participating in swim lessons.
To be frank, that's not something I deemed a possibility on our journey yet.
We lacked the language, communication, and patience on all ends.
Also, the fear.
Quinn IS different.
People treat him differently.
The swim instructor was incredibly nervous, and since all of the instructions were via the voice, there were adaptations made along the way.
By the end of the class, the instructor was comfortable with Q.
I remember the waiting room where we were told that Quinn was deaf. I remember that night I didn't sing to him or hum to him. I quit talking to him for awhile.
The FEAR. Not knowing.
My fella always LOVED to snuggle up against my chest and close to my throat. He was always putting his hands on my cheeks, chin, lips, and neck.
The vibrations. He couldn't hear it, but he could feel it.
He could feel my love, always.
That's been my guiding star and what I remembered after that first dark week that turned into months and years of fear.
When we encounter these folks, my initial reaction used to be anger.
Fierce, burning, hot anger.
It's been tempered.
Mostly, it's been tempered thanks to Quinn.
He is a brilliant little human. He has changed our world, and the people in our circle already. And he does it through his love and joy of life, his zest, and his amazing belly laughs.
Saturday morning as Quinn snuggled with me in bed, he pointed to my wedding ring.
The following conversation, in sign.
Q: Momma, you are married?
Me: Yes (also completely blown away that he knew what my ring signified, and his perception in asking me!!!)
Q: Who is momma married to?
Me: Your Daddy
Q: (Big Smile) YES!
A pause and some thoughtful face expressions
Q: Quinn wants to get married
Me: Who does Quinn want to marry?
Q: (after much pondering) I want to marry big water!
Me: Big water like...the ocean?
Q: (thinking) yeah
Sunday evening, as we snuggled to sleep:
Q: Mommy, I need a bottle (milk)
Me: Quinn, who drinks bottles?
Q: (heartmelting grin) My baby cousins have bottles (milk)
Me: Quinn, are you a baby?
Q: (thinking) I am a big boy
Me: Yes, Quinn is a big boy! Would you like a drink of milk from your cup?
Q: (lip starting to poke out and eyes welling just a bit) No, Quinn wants a bottle (milk)
Me: Are you hungry?
Me: Do you need a hug?
Q: Yes please
Me: Would you like a yogurt drink?
Q: (thinks for a bit) Ok, that's fine
- I get the yogurt drink, and grab a flex straw
Q: Thank you, mommy for my yogurt drink
Me: Welcome. I have a straw, you want to relax against your pillow and drink it?
Q: (eyes lighting up, realizing he can KIND OF lay down and drink it, and therefore is getting the comfort he needs) Yes please mommy, thank you mommy, love you mommy.
- Q takes a few sips and rolls over, gives me the best smooches, and goes to sleep.
This might not seem like a lot for a four year old.
But for OUR four year old (who turns 5 in April!) this is beyond incredible.
He has exploded. His play is expressive and imaginative, he is able to communicate his needs, he is communicating his emotions and feelings.
I know plenty of adults than can barely do that! (haha...but really!).
He seeks out knowledge, and Monday when his cousins were over and playing with him, he walked up to me and signed, "Mommy can you interpret me to cousins".
I was floored. First, I'm thankful that I KNOW the sign for interpret. Second, Quinn is seeking vast relationships; the complexity of it doesn't daunt him or limit him.
And I'm learning along with him, and I don't want to limit him.
I've had moments in my life where I've felt accomplished. Where I've been proud of myself. And the bursting and crippling emotions that go through me when Quinn's exquisiteness shines are beyond any emotion I could have comprehended before he came into my life.
Everyone has challenges. Life isn't fair, nor is it easy.
But, if you are fortunate enough to know Quinn, he will teach you that the Moon in all her effervescent glowing glory surpasses the hurdles we might let our doubts build before us.
Be thankful for the little things, and if your kid asks you to go out in jammies in -12 degrees to look at the moon - DO IT.
You won't be disappointed and your heart will delight in wonder.