Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ode to Kindergarten

Tomorrow Lucas starts Kindergarten. I've been doing a lot of reflecting in the past few weeks leading up to this day. 5 1/2 years ago, I never would have dreamed that Lucas would be attending our neighborhood elementary school like a typical kid.

I have a busy week ahead, starting my own school year and making sure that his begins successfully. On Tuesday, I will be in-servicing all of the supporting teachers he will work with (gym, art, music, library, speech, etc.). On Thursday, I will be reading Let's Hear It For Almigal to his class. I'm really looking forward to both times to help make his transition smooth.

At the beginning of August Nate and I attended the PA Low Incidence Conference in State College. We attended some great workshops, networked with other parents, and both kids got to attend a "camp." During that time, I was able to reflect a lot on our almost 6 year journey of being Lucas's parents. As I have some attention issues, I decided to write my own "'Twas the night before Kindergarten" to sum things up and bridge the next stage of Lucas's life.


Ode to Lucas on the Night Before Kindergarten

‘Twas the night before Kindergarten,

And as I think back, over 5 ½ years have already passed.

Those first few days, months & weeks were uncertain and uneasy,

But everyone hoped and kept on believing.

Hours of therapy, thousands of miles,

Schreiber, JTC, CHOP, Clarke, EI.

Philadelphia, Lancaster, even Los Angeles:

Over time it became clear success was evident.

Advocacy, support groups, Facebook & Blogger:

New friends in our backyard and even the whole world.

NICU, MRIs, even 6 surgeries,

All before you were too big to get upset and worry.

Tomorrow you head to your neighborhood school,

Although you might rather be swimming in a pool.

You'll use your voice, your smile, and your FM system

And all of those self-advocacy skills you’ve been practicing.

Your first long term goal is about to be met,

And now there are new ones that need to be set.

Doctor? Teacher? CI Audiologist?

First deaf president of the United States?

Cochlear implants have forever changed your future

And now we can’t wait to start some new adventures.

 © Jennifer R. Campbell                      6 August 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Check out this new(er) blog!

Please welcome my dear friend, Jillian, to the CI-mama blogosphere! Both her husband and her son are implanted, and she has a lot of great things to write about. Check out her blog!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

On this, the first day of 2013, I find myself looking ahead to the new year and wondering what it will bring for our family. Hopefully more blogging.

Lucas just celebrated his 5th birthday. The weekend of his birthday fell exactly the way it did at his birth, so I did a lot of reflecting - the crazy blur that was his birth 5 weeks too early, and of course, all the health issues in the days and weeks to follow. If only I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself so much heartache. The only word I can use to describe my feeling of understanding is perspective. Five years have brought me a lot of perspective when it comes to parenting and hearing loss.

I was home to celebrate with him on his big day (because it was on a Sunday!), and celebrate we did. We spent the afternoon at Dutch Winter Wonderland, with our dear friends who live down the street.

Nora is 14 months and is a really sweet little girl. I'm having so much fun watching her grow! Her natural language milestones are also incredibly fascinating to me, along with her acquisition of Spanish. We're teaching her ASL signs with Spanish, and she uses quite a few already: milk, water, cheese, grapes, eat, daddy, cat, more, bath, sleep, all done, please and monkey. She doesn't talk much, but says mama, dada, "ga" (for gato = cat), up, hi, uh-oh and tickle. She growls for a lion, and quacks like a duck. She waves hi and bye, likes to give butzers (raspberries), LOVES to read books, and is obsessed with our cats. She just started walking (as her chosen means of getting around) at Christmas, although she's been knee walking for about 2 months. Check it out... it's pretty amusing:

We had family portraits taken at the end of October. Here she is at 12 months:

Lucas celebrates his 4th hearing birthday in just 8 short days. I haven't decided what we're going to do yet, but something fun. I don't know why, but I'm even more excited for his hearing birthday than his real birthday. It makes me almost giddy just thinking about it. Lucas continues to progress beautifully. He was tested this fall and is scoring at and above age appropriate levels in all areas of language. He will start Kindergarten in the fall at our local elementary school, and will be completely mainstreamed. This is what we've been aiming for for the past 5 years. 

I would really like to blog more this year, and I'm going to try and find time to do so. I want to chronicle Nora's bilingual journey, as it is almost as fascinating as Lucas's hearing journey. Lucas is learning Spanish too, just not the same as Nora. In the middle of the night the other night, he asked me for "más agua" (more water). 

May your new year be blessed with new experiences!