Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Hearing Impaired Hostess

On Sunday night, Jeff's parents, brother, and sister-in-law came over to celebrate Colin's 9th birthday.

It's always a bit chaotic- and certainly much louder- when company is over.  The control freak in me loves to be the hostess, the cook, and the event planner; in fact, I even planned a gala fundraiser in my professional life, and while I did a good job, the task nearly sent me into complete mental deterioration.  This is mostly because of the hearing responsibilities that came with the role- directing people to appropriate places, handling questions thrown my way, and being able to maintain a conversation while usually doing ten other tasks simultaneously, which is very hard to do, by the way, when you need to LOOK at people to understand them.  My at-home events are not as stress-inducing (I can sense my husband rolling his eyes).  Fine, Jeff.  I admit, once in awhile, my lack of hearing leaves me wanting to pull my hair out before a meal even begins.

Sunday evening's dinner was a typical small family gathering.  There were people around talking, or loading their plates, and Claire was coloring in the living room.  I was in the kitchen, the dining room separating our respective rooms from one another, when I realized Claire had not yet specified a drink selection.

"Claire!" I called.  "What do you want to drink?"

She responded, "Lemonade!"

I called back, "Lemonade?  We don't have any lemonade.  How about orange juice?"

"Okay!" she said.

As I went to get the orange juice, I paused.  I acknowledged the moment, just for a second, and I smiled.  Thank you.

She was two rooms away from me, and I GOT THE MESSAGE.  Our exchange was by no means a life-changing conversation, but this example is EXACTLY why I wanted the cochlear implant in the first place.

Being able to call to your child and receive a response is such a normal "mom thing" to do.  Calling out to your guests and being able to offer them what they need is such a normal "hostess thing" to do.  In the past, I've felt inadequate with my inability to do either in a simple manner.

In the spirit of Claire's drink order, you know the phrase: "When life gives you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE," right?  Well, the last few years with my deteriorating hearing, I've felt as though I was given a truckload of lemons.   And I've just stared at these rotten, bitter fruits, damning them, agonizing over what to make out of them.

I'm thinking my cochlear implant journey is my path to a refreshing glass of lemonade. Cheers!


  1. Even though I loved the "Barbie" post because it was so funny (happy to help, ma'am!!), this is your HAPPIEST post yet! I'm so glad to be reading it first thing this morning. Very happy to call you my friend!

    1. HAHA! I've received so many comments about that end-of-the-post picture of Barbie!

      Thank you again for sending your love and support. Please keep sharing your triumphs- big and small- with me too.