Sunday, April 22, 2007

Comments to the Comments

I have received so many responses to my "Perfection" post, both in the comments posted and in emails. I am amazed and truly humbled that I "speak" for so many of you. I was actually hesitant to post the entry because I thought some people might see me as this horrible mother who doesn't love or appreciate her children. But, as most of you have hopefully figured out, the issues I've had to work through reside with me, not my kids. Thank you to those of you who shared with me that you too have the same struggles.

To my friend Kerry . . . filet mignon, eh? Funny thing is, I can't stand red meat! (but, I do appreciate the analogy.) As for not being "happy enough" -- that's a tough one. There are those who will tell you that happiness is a choice, that all you have to do is choose to be happy and voila -- Happiness! However, I know better. It's exceptionally difficult to be happy when you are living with chronic exhaustion, worry and stress. For myself, I'll settle for contentment. Contentment is good . . . albeit transient. As simplistic as it sounds, it really is about trying to live one day at a time and enjoying one moment at a time. Anything beyond that is just too overwhelming. It's the moments of contentment that sustain you. If it's any comfort Kerry -- most of my days are sloppy joe days too :-)

To Jen - who left a comment asking if I've ever written about my journey with Hilary. In so many ways, my journey with Hilary ended when Jack was born. 100% of my time and attention turned to Jack and, for the most part, remains with Jack because his very life depends on my time and attention. Ironically, the year Jack was born was the year Hilary started talking. Up until that year, she hadn't made much progress and it was suggested that Hilary might not make any further progress and she might be better off in a total communication environment. However, the year I was completely out of the picture (literally) was the year Hilary "took off" with her speech. Okay, what does that tell you? Without question, Hilary's early years were a journey worth writing about. We experienced all of the same challenges and dilemmas that parents of newly diagnosed deaf children encounter -- total communication or oral? Mainstream or school for the deaf? Hearing aids or cochlear implant? Interestingly, we've tried every one of the above .... so, I guess, we do have a lot of experiences to share. The biggest and best decisions we ever made were to give Hilary the cochlear implant and to move to St. Louis. Today, Hilary is 16 years old, she is completely "oral" - she communicates by talking (although she is difficult for many people to understand) and she relies on her implant and lip reading to understand her speaker. Hilary is a sophomore in high school, she is fully mainstreamed without any support services and she just started her first job. Yes, Hilary is doing okay! Hilary's success is due in large part to the incredible teachers, speech therapists and audiologists at the Moog Center for Deaf Education* in St. Louis, which Hilary attended for five years. It is a remarkable school that achieves remarkable results with deaf children. As we sit here today, I'm not sure there is much about Hilary I could journal on. However, I am always willing to share our experiences with other parents of deaf children whenever asked.

(*long story short - we moved to St. Louis to attend the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID). Two months after Hilary started attending school there, CID fired the Director of Deaf Education (Jean Moog). It was a huge fiasco and the bottom line is that Jean started her own school and took with her the majority of the teachers and therapists from CID. We made the decision to leave CID and follow Jean Moog.)

Okay, I've rambled on long enough. Until next time . . . ENJOY THE MOMENT.


julie worthington said...

filet mignon - that had me laughing, its not the way I imagine you at all - and I certainly don't imagine Kerry as a sloppy joe. I'M the sloppy joe (or probably bag lady) hehe.
Thanks for sharing some of Hilary's story. She has done great and you should be proud. But Jack needs you more and that has probably helped Hilary gain some independence.
Ann - you rock!

Love Juliexxxx

kristy said...

I appreciate whatever you share. I think what impresses people is how articulate you are when describing your life. You have done what I hope all of us with disbled chldren do--fight,fight, fight--for your child(ren)! You are an exceptional mother!

Anonymous said...

I'm just "catching up" with you...and like the others, I'm speechless. Your words, your heart, they move me to tears. I feel so blessed to know you and your beautiful family. Hearing you talk about those first few years with Jack brings me right back to your living room when I was there...caring for Jack, witnessing what you were all going through...or what I "thought" you may be going through. You have come such a long way. You have definately become a "glass is half full" mother. Is it ok if I tell you that I'm proud of you? Thank you again for sharing your heart! Give everyone of the Schrooten's a big hug from me...and Jack gets a big kiss from me!

Love you -

Sarah said...

I realized I hadn't been on to check out Jack's blog in a little while. You had me feeling so much for you and for myself. So much of what you said resonated in my own was as though you were in my head. I think you are the most amazing woman! BTW, I love Jack's shirt too! I've seen that one before on the website. Keturah has a few.