Friday, May 09, 2008

Conscientious and Compassionate Kids

My kids are always ready to give me a helping hand, especially in the dark. (Though they do need firmness when it comes to household chores, but that's a different story.)

If I am in an unfamiliar, darkened area, one of them will grab my hand and lead me a designated spot (chair, bathroom, car, etc.).

It's like they are on autopilot. It's second nature to them. They know Mom doesn't see that well in the dark. If there's a lamp that offers some visibiity, I will only see what's right in front of me.
It will be similar to this:

Everything else around me will be non-existent. I won't see it.

In familiar surroundings, I know where everything is. The brain has this great capacity to fill in the blanks so that you think you see more than you really do. I could move my eyes across the room and I would know where everything is. I might not see it, but I know it's there. All I have to do is dart my eyes back to that spot. That picture will still be there. My bottle of water will still be to the right of me. The person I am talking to will still be there (unless, of course, he/she moves away and I find out I am talking to air). The snapshot in my mind will give me, for lack of a better phrase, a false sense of security about my surroundings.

The girls are really good about it. They both understand it, yet I feel like I am making them grow up too fast.

With hearing loss, I guess I have many ways to make up it, such as watching facial expressions and body language. I don't always pick up on tones of voices, but the facial expression will make up for that-to a point. I have had hearing loss all my life. It's always been a part of me. I am used to the frustrations of not "getting" everything. This, I could live with.

My youngest will, as kids do, try to find a way to use it to her advantage. If I say "no" to something, she'll ask me again, over and over. Some kids may do this to wear down the parent. Some parents may break down and say, "Okay, fine." But, I take it in a different context. To me, it's like she's repeating it because she doesn't think I heard her right. "Mom, I said...." This is supposed to make it "okay." Is that going to get the"yes" answer she seeks? Nice try.

It's taking me a long time to accept visual impairment. I always look back to the days when my vision was better. When I was a child, my siblings and I, and the few kids we had in the neighborhood would play Hide and Seek. Or we would go swimming after dark or walk around the quiet country roads in the dark. I was able to see stars in the night sky. I remember hunting for nightcrawlers at night after a rain.

I was able to read for long periods of time without missing a line.

I dabbled in tennis, I enjoyed it. Now I would not play tennis. I can't keep my eye on the ball. It disappears from my line of vision and I can't find it.

Parenting is hard work. With a dual sensory disorder, I always hope that my kids will not take advantage of that. "Mom won't hear it or see it." They have on occasion tried to get away with things, but then again, what kid doesn't? There are times when I do not see or hear what they are doing, but again, what kid doesn't try?

I hope that they will have enough conscience to know what's right and what's wrong.

I know that my kids will be more sensitive and compassionate towards others who are "different."

And that's okay with me. :)



At Fri May 09, 10:57:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have been blessed with two beautiful, intelligent, daughters with good common sense and sensitive to your needs. HUGS to you and your daughters for me, Molly CC

At Sat May 10, 09:17:00 AM , Blogger Amrita said...

You kids a re so wonderful, so caring.
Happy Mother 's Day to you.

At Sat May 10, 02:29:00 PM , Blogger Kami said...

I think all kids try to get away with stuff that mom can't see or hear, and despite your reduced sight and hearing, I doubt they will go beyond the norm.


They sound like great kids and I know it's because they have a great mom!

Happy Mother's day Shari!

At Sat May 10, 03:23:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Molly-Will do. :) (Sometimes they do drive me batty...but they're worth it.)

Amrita-Thank you. They have their moments. :)

Kami-You, too. Happy Mother's Day.

You're right. Kids do try to get away with things. I get more upset about it, though. I don't want them to take advantage of me like that. I am hoping they don't go beyond the norm. They are pretty good about it most of the time, though....that I know of. :)

Thank you. They are pretty good kids-most of the time.

At Sun May 11, 02:23:00 AM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

Don't worry about them growing up too fast in this direction. This kind of growing up is good--makes you more sensitive. Added to that is the loving, caring Mom they have and all round family support (from what I read on your blogs). I'm sure they'll never go over the norm. Happy Mother's day Shari.

At Sun May 11, 06:27:00 AM , Blogger Abbie said...

Happy mother's day Shari! I got a kick out of reading this because I would play the opposite role, "I didn't hear you!"

I am reading a book called Cockeyed where the author Ryan Knighton talks about going through RP. He really does a good job detailing what a person goes through with RP. Have you ever heard of it?

At Sun May 11, 05:57:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

Happy Mother's Day, Shari! You have raised two beautiful, thoughtful children. I, too, have children (and a husband) on autopilot and they can always sense when I am not "getting the message" or need help.

My children have also defended me when people were rude to me or said unkind things behind my back and I couldn't hear them.

But, my children have not always been perfect, either! I have plenty of stories where they would take advantage of my not being able to hear them when I took my ears off or couldn't hear what they were saying. . .

Blessings to you on this day!

At Sun May 11, 10:07:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Hillgrandmom-I try to post positive things. I don't want to get into the details about their stubbornness and "selective hearing" when it comes to cleaning their rooms or eating leftovers. LOL. Kids are gonna be kids. I guess if they grow up to be productive citizens, then my job as a parent is done. It's not always peaches and cream here. Some days I feel my family are not supportive and understanding than others. It's human, I guess. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. :) Do they celebrate that in India?

Abbie-I've done that, too. Pretended not to hear something. My kids are hearing and they still pull that stunt. :)

I've first heard of Cockeyed a few months ago and wanted to read it once classes were over. I just checked the local library's website and the book is available. Guess where I am going tomorrow?

Laurie-Thank you. You, too. Happy Mother's Day. There are days when I feel that they aren't on autopilot and I get mad, but most of the time they are thoughtful and considerate. My oldest has defended me at times. When she was younger she "blamed" me for making her stand out with her classmates. They singled her out because her mom was "deaf." Now she doesn't care.

At Wed May 14, 08:20:00 PM , Blogger La La said...

I love that your children help you!


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