A Piece of Him

Henry in the Sand NSTOne morning in Rodanthe I walked with Henry.  We collected shells and held hands. 

It was windy that day, and the waves roared, but he didn’t hear them. 

I wondered what that is like — not hearing the waves.  What it is like to walk onto the beach and not hear the gulls cry, or the wind gust or the sea crash on the shore. 

What is that silence like — you can feel the spray of the water, you can see it crest and watch it’s momentum heave it onto the ocean floor.  You can watch the wave dissolve into soft, swirling foam.  But you can’t hear it.  You have never heard it.  To you it is not a wonder.  To you, is does not roar.  It is a silent, sparkling, tangle of water.  And to you, that is normal.  I wondered what that silence is like.

And among all that wondering my mind found the place that is always there, but that I keep closed up most of the time.  The long-hidden disquiet resurfaces, ever so slightly, every now and then.     

Now, like I did when Henry was first diagnosed, I worry that he will feel isolated. 

But I don’t think he does. 

I worry that he will struggle. 

But I don’t think he will.

I worry that he will regret what he doesn’t hear.  That he will be angry that he doesn’t hear well. 

But he is so wonderfully perfect, just how he is.  I want him to grow up knowing that. 

I worry that he will be teased, or taken advantage of.  I worry that he will feel different. 

I hope he won’t.  But I don’t know… 

What I know is this boy.  I know he is happy.  I know he is confident.  (And he has the best freckles.)  I know I love him.  

And that part of him that doesn’t hear…it does not define him.  But it is a piece of him.  It is a piece of who he is. 

A piece of my Henry.  A piece of his wonderful.

A Piece of Him

10 thoughts on “A Piece of Him

  1. Oh, I am bawling now.

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. That boy of yours is very blessed indeed to have a mommy like you. I just know he’s going to be fine.

  2. Your words sound just like a mom – any mom, not just a mom of a boy with hearing loss. And for that, I am grateful for you. (And if you don’t believe me – just read your worries without the references to hearing loss, they are the worries of any mom of a child.)

    And if I may offer, these feelings are coming back possibly because of the big step Henry has coming up – Kindergarten. Each ‘next’ step is likely to cause the worries again – and each time, you’ll find new ones too.

    I’ve said it before, but it can’t be said enough – Henry is a blessed, lucky boy to have you and David for parents, he is the boy he is because of you both!

  3. I have worked with many children who are hearing-impaired, and I must say that you have impressed me. You are educated about Henry’s hearing loss and I am sure that you do amazing things while spending time with him to make sure that he doesn’t lack in any area of his life… hearing loss or no hearing loss…

    It’s awesome to hear your perspective.

  4. What a great post. Henry is going to do wonderfully, but I know those feelings of disquiet that can surface from time to time. Especially around “milestone” events.

  5. That’s what we do as mothers, worry. You are doing a great job raising this wonderful boy. He’s a joy to be around and has such a spirit that you can’t help but want to be his friend. I am proud to know this boy and he’s going to do so well in kindergarten.

  6. I feel you on this one Kristen. I’m glad I waited to comment though because your other readers are so right. You are doing what Mom’s do-worrying. Your Henry will continue to achieve greatness because of your wonderful support and love for him.

  7. You made me cry. One of my favorite sounds in the whole world is of the waves crashing. God seems so powerful in those waves that He ordained to go just that far! Reminded me that God speaks so differently to each of us. He will hear God in different ways- God is so good like that.
    You are a good Mommy to realize these things and not just let it go.

  8. I love that you said he is not defined by that part of him that doesn’t hear. Truer words were never spoken.

    Reading this, my heart leaps and weeps all at once. I’ve been there too. Sort of.

    You are amazing. And so is he.

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