end of year thoughts

Wow, another year has gone by. Don't we say that every year? We had a very busy 2010 with 3 surgeries, spending July in LA at the John Tracy Clinic, and selling and buying a home. We celebrated Lucas's 1st hearing birthday in early 2010, and he's had a variety of other great experiences throughout the year. He has made great progress, and I came to terms with one very big part of this big hearing journey... Lucas is going to be okay.

I know it sounds silly, because obviously I knew that before now, but I'm not sure I believed it with all of my heart and all of my soul. I do now. Maybe it's the transition from birth-3 to 3-5 with early intervention and the stellar results from his multi-faceted evaluation (more on that later). Maybe it's the anecdotal stories I hear about his success in mainstream preschool. Or maybe it's just his zest for life and his natural, creative way of interacting with everyone he meets. Whatever it is, it no longer feels probable, but rather definitive that he will be a successful, independent part of society. And I feel free emotionally.

In the early days of his diagnosis, it was all about the unknown. We didn't know whether his hearing aids would work... we naively waited for that magical moment. It never came. Then we started from scratch at 12 months. He'd lost over a year of hearing, including his time in the womb. We wondered if he would ever catch up. But, he did and he has, and now we have a glimpse of what his future path will look like. It's bright and hopeful.

It's certainly not time to sit back and assume that his development will progress as normal. We remain vigilant and proactive. There will be bumps in the road. But we have a sense of normalcy, even with the new access to sound that he has with his left ear, and the feeling that we're starting over again. Maybe it's just our sense of normal, but it feels great.

2010 was a year of progress. Lucas made the language and hearing progress that we always dreamed he would, and we made lots of progress in our goal to have his 2nd ear implanted. There were times when I thought we would never get there, ever. But we did, and I'm so glad it's behind us. We only have the future to look forward to, with all of the benefits of having two ears. It can only get better from here.

What will 2011 bring? Many new adventures, I'm certain. Hopefully Lucas will stay out of the operating room, and will fully embrace his new ear. I really hope that I'm able to report next December that he loves his 2nd ear, can't stand to be without it, and can discriminate speech like he can with the 1st one. We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm up for the challenge.

Wishing you much peace, joy and prosperity in 2011.