Eight years later, I still carry in my mind’s eye the sight of my red-haired two-year-old struggling up the stairs with her arms CHOCK FULL. I don’t remember everything she was carrying, but I can testify to the fact that, somewhere in the overflowing bundle, there was a toothbrush, a stuffed gorilla, her small handmade “Loopy” blanket, a tiger figurine, and a copy of Sandra Boynton’s Doggies. Every treasure was important, and none could be put down. Obviously. She grunted with each step, and I stood behind her as spotter for what was, from my perspective, a rather excruciating self-inflicted toddler workout.
“Would you like Mama to help you carry some things, sweetheart?” I implored.
“No! I hold it. I hold it.”
With full determination, she did hold it. Step by wobbly step. All of it. Well, almost all of it. I think it was the tiger who suffered a fall. Or maybe it was the book. But the majority of her precious cargo made it to the tip-top of the staircase, at which point her chubby arms gave way and she let out a weary sigh as she dropped everything onto the landing.
I bet you as a parent or caregiver of a deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) little one can relate to this image of my little one.
...how many responsibilities, decisions, appointments, bits of expert advice, uncertainties, considerations, opinions, and emotions you carry in your arms.
…how many demands weigh upon you.
…how often you think, “I am overloaded, yet I CANNOT put any of this down!”
….how frequently you wonder, “Am I doing any of this right?”
Does your heart cry, “I hold it!” while wondering if you truly can?
Light for your unique journey…
A dark, untraveled road can feel daunting, and few of us would choose to walk down it. We prefer what is familiar, comfortable, and clear. Sadly, life doesn’t always give us the option to traverse such well-lit paths.
You may be feeling that now as you walk the confusing pathway that came with the diagnosis of your child’s hearing difference. You may feel tossed about by the swirls of emotions and concerns for your child’s–and family’s–present and future.
I want to extend to you an invitation to lighten your load by lighting your journey. I want to offer you small “candles” of information and resources, daily life considerations, and warm encouragement as you start out on the road of nurturing your young DHH child.
As you seek to build for your precious gift a strong foundation that leads to a life of love, connection, belonging, and fulfillment, look toward this LIGHT:
Even when the road is dark and uncertain, we can gather our courage and collect support in order to move forward in sustainable hope and joy.
We both know that every D/HH child is unique, as is every parent, caregiver, and family. The choices each family makes are very personal to their visions and their child’s strengths, needs, preferences, and abilities. No “right answers,” three simple steps, or quick-and-easy solutions exist for your unique journey with your beautiful DHH child.
While no one can control the unexpected cracks, bumps, potholes, hills, cliffs, and wear-and-tear along the road, we can choose “candles” to light the path and ease our way.
You are holding a lot.
You are also holding on.
At Little People, BIG Feelings, we are holding light for you, step by step, all the way to the tip-top.
We are glad you are here to hold the light with us.
For your consideration:
What are you holding that is weighing you down at this moment in your journey?
What might putting it down for a bit–or asking for help holding it–look like for you?