Happy 1st Birthday to Lucas's ear!

Dear Lucas,

One year ago today we turned on your ear. You loved and embraced your bionic ear starting on that very first day. Now you get very upset when you don't have it. You will never remember that day, but Mommy and Daddy sure will, and we have some video for you to watch too.

This past year has been nothing short of miraculous. You began that first day just hearing beeps and buzzes. A few weeks later you started turning to your name, then to "meow". Shortly thereafter you started babbling and even said "mama". You were stuck on the same 10 words for a few months, although you seemed to understand everything we said. Then, when your hearing age was about 9 months, your expressive language just took off. You now consistently put 2 words together, have at least a 150 word spoken vocabulary and there's little we say that you don't seem to hear or understand, as far as a 2-year-old goes! You have caught up to your hearing peers in terms of age appropriate language milestones. The challenging part of the coming years will be keeping it that way.

We never fathomed that you'd hear this well. Never ever ever. Sometimes, when Mommy's trying to put you to bed, a truck drives by and you yell "uck". You're always the first to hear airplanes in the sky too. Today you heard someone say the word "baby" across a restaurant and you repeated it (because you have a slight obsession with babies). We definitely have to be careful about what we say, and we often spell things around you too, or just speak Spanish. Yeah, your bionic ear works REALLY well.

Today we really wanted to celebrate, so we took you to see Sesame Street Live. What joy it brought to us to watch you listen and DANCE to Elmo, as you clapped your hands excitedly and yelled "elmo". Everyone around us commented on how precious a site it was to see your excitement. And they had no idea how exciting a day it really was either. Mommy cried way too much during the show, but she was just happy for you and couldn't help herself.

Tonight we sang to you and got you a first hearing birthday cake. You will probably now ask to eat cake every day for the next month, like you have since your birthday. I promise, we don't always have cake in our house, contrary to popular belief.

Although you are technically bimodal, you have no interest in wearing your hearing aid. You made that very clear a few weeks ago, when you threw it in the trash can. Maybe we will explore getting you a second cochlear implant this year. Mommy can't make you any promises, but maybe the surgeons have changed their minds. That new N5 looks pretty exciting.

We can't wait to see what the next year of your hearing journey will bring. We are certain that it will be filled with many memorable experiences. We continue to have so much hope and many high aspirations for you! We are so incredibly proud of you!

Love, Mommy & Daddy

p.s. What do you want to do next year for your hearing birthday? You will be able to milk this one for many years to come.