There were quite a few reasons Grace was determined to go to W___ High School. She was excited about the opportunity to play on the lacrosse team. She was really excited about enrolling in the biomedical pathway of the Science, Math and Technology Academy there. She was also looking forward to shifting foreign languages from Spanish to American Sign Language (ASL), which we had heard was offered as a language option at W___.
This past Sunday, Grace turned fourteen years old. That day, she had a lacrosse game (her team won, yay!). That night, we got to dig in to her birthday dinner: she requested steak, pierogis, potato latkes, avocadoes, and, for dessert, eclairs. This list of items makes me smile, as it wraps up both sides of her family heritage, as well as her now-favorite pastry, the preference for which was locked in on our recent trip to France during spring break.
At the end of her fifth grade year, Kali learned from her language arts teacher about a city-wide essay writing competition for DC students. Kali decided to enter. The subject of the competition that year was to write about “something unfair that has happened to you.” Kali’s essay was called “Being Heard.” Here’s how it starts...
Last spring, Grace came down with a stomach bug. Or, that’s what it seemed like at the time. It started with a headache, and dizziness and nausea. Then she got sick to her stomach. It didn’t last too long, so we assumed it was a 24 hour thing. We all waited to catch whatever it was that she had. But none of us did.
This just in. Here is One Of Those Moments. It is a sort of epilogue to the piece I wrote many months ago, called Knowing Grace. Grace is studying genetics (my favorite subject!) in science class. She went in a little over-prepared, because in my geeky excitement over the years I’d already taught her about Punnett squares, and basic concepts like the differences between recessive and dominant genes.
Grace and I were watching The Voice the other day. She loves that show. During one of the performances, she saw me wince. “Why’d you do that, mom?” she asked.
“Because,” I said, “He missed a note.”
After a pause, she whispered to me, like she was letting me in on a little secret, “I can’t hear the difference.”
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to imagine how much more potential cochlear implant (CI) technology had to offer than traditional hearing aids for a severely or profoundly deaf person. But the access to sound offered with a cochlear implant is orders of magnitude higher than with hearing aids. Especially when that person is profoundly deaf; most especially when it is a profoundly deaf young child.