Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Even in Imperfection, There is Perfection

I'm not usually the sentimental type. I hate getting all mushy and ooey gooey and sappy. I save that for the King. He's the one who cries at Hallmark commercials. Me? I like to think I'm tough. But, sometimes I let my guard down. Sometimes I really do take the time to put aside the sarcasm and silliness and think about things at a different level. Don't get too used to it, though. It won't happen much.

This time of year is one of those times. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to forget the true miracle that happened, which is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. We forget about that tiny baby, born to a virgin mother, laying cold in a manger. We forget what purpose he would serve during his short life on the earth.

Instead, we worry about buying just the right presents, hanging the lights, sending out the cards, baking the cookies, and planning meals. I was that way, too, until about four years ago. The Christmas of 2003, The Beast received a gift. It was something I'd always had, and didn't think much of. Number One and The King had it, too. In fact, I didn't know anyone who didn't have it. It seemed like such a simple thing. It was something I suppose I'd taken for granted. That is until the day I realized that my sweet baby didn't have it.

The Beast was born with a very serious hearing loss. At the time he was born, his hearing loss was moderate to severe, meaning he couldn't hear my voice or the beautiful voice of his father as he sang. He couldn't hear the rain falling, the phone ringing, the dogs barking, or the church choir singing. He was so perfect, though, as he laid in my arms calmly sleeping. He was oblivious to the world around him, and seemed to be just content in his imperfection. It was perfect for him.

That Christmas, just after he turned three months old, The Beast got his very first pair of hearing aids. I remember how much the words to the song, "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" suddenly meant to me. I wanted my perfect little baby, even with his slight imperfection, to hear the bells, too. And he did. When The King and I took him to the audiologist so she could give him his Christmas present, we were so worried that he'd hate them, or that they wouldn't work or...oh, I don't know. We just worried. But, as we placed those great big hearing aids into those tiny little ears, he opened his eyes and looked straight up at his daddy...and he smiled.

That was four short (and VERY long) years ago. The Beast eventually lost the rest of his natural hearing and has since received a cochlear implant. Again, he was given a gift that I'd only ever taken for granted. His implant gave him even more sound and clarity and independance. He reminds me every day to take NOTHING for granted. Each and every morning, when I place his aid in one ear and his cochlear implant processor on the other, he says two tiny words that remind me of what I should be saying, too. He says "Thank you".

Four years ago, when we first learned that our tiny little angel couldn't hear, it was such a shock. How could something so perfect, so peaceful, and so pure have any imperfections? We know the answer to that question now. There is no imperfection. It was because of what he didn't have that we learned what we do have. And that is pure perfection in my eyes.

I hope you enjoy these little videos of our angel now. He's all "grown up", at least as much as you can be when you're four.

And This is Why Some Halos are Perfect Just the Way They Are

The Reason Some Angels Have Crooked Halos

This White Boy CAN'T Dance...But I Love Him

This White Boy Has NO Rhythm

Can you see Number One? He's the short kid between the African American boy and the other tall boy. (Both kids next to him seem to have some sort of idea of what is happening).

The King, as many of you know, is a VERY musically gifted man. He has this gorgeous tenor voice that makes me swoon every single time I hear it. He can sit down at a piano and play gorgeous pieces of music causing me to stop what I'm doing just to listen. His musical gifts were one of the many things we'd hoped to pass on to our children. The worst case scenario was that they'd get my genes. I can't carry a tune in a bucket. It's bad,VERY bad when I sing. Even The Beast will ask me to stop singing when he's got his hearing aids out. That is BAD. So, Number One is finally old enough to join the music clubs at his school. He got a head start this summer when we signed him up for an enrichment program taught by his teacher at school. He has really enjoyed drumming, but we've never really gotten a chance to see him do it. (Well, we did once over the summer, and he did okay. But it was a VERY small group). We did get to witness his lovely talents this past week at his school's performance for the holidays. Look closely at the video. The short kid in the front who just really not keeping up, even a little, is my little Number One. He works so hard and is so focused. He has a passion for it. As for skills? Well, maybe they'll come. Until then, I think this is proof that he has inherited some of his mother's genes. It also goes as a fabulous example of the fact that some white boys just have no rhythm.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And still MORE pics of the new guy

We got him blessed this past Sunday because the King's parents were in town. I didn't realize how much work it really is to go to church with two kids who are too young for nursery, and one who thinks he needs to be the social butterfly in the middle of services. I'm so not going back until Pretty is big enough for nursery and Snort learns to nurse without having it spray all over everyone there.