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First Grade Show and Tell, Surprise!

posted Oct 4, 2013, 12:50 PM by Manny Wilke   [ updated Oct 4, 2013, 2:54 PM ]
Manny is transitioning into 1st Grade very well. He loves his teacher and is happy about his continuous Speech and Hearing therapies. Manny gets pulled out of class a few times a week to practice speech and increase his listening skills. Perhaps I should send his hearing brothers to join him.

Last week, Manny asked me a picture of himself without ears. Why, I asked? Because my friends don't know I was born without ears. So, why do they need to know? It doesn't matter. It does matter, mom, because they don't know. They think I was born with big ears like them, but I wasn't. So, why do they need to know? It really doesn't matter. BECAUSE, MOM, they need to know that I was born with one small ear and one medium ear. Ok, fine. Whatever you want to do is fine with me! Just please know that you are perfect any way that you are - big ears, little ears, medium ears, and you don't have to explain it to anyone if you don't want to unless they ask.

I don't know why but my gut reaction was to not have him feel the need to "showcase" his differences even more than they already are with his skull and cross bone stickers on his bright white hearing aids. To some extent I feel like that is our past, not our present. I did ask Manny's teacher if he had shown his classmates the photo of him as a baby and she said, yes, it was awesome. In fact, he politely said to her in the morning before school, "May I show a picture of myself without ears sometime today? If so, please let me know when it may be a good time." And apparently this is how it went:

"I bet you didn't know something about me. Did you know that I was born without 2 big ears? I was born with one medium ear and one small ear. I went to California and Dr. Lewin gave me 2 big ears! Now I have 2 big ears just like you. Only, mine aren't just like yours. Mine don't bend. See?..."

The more and more I thought about it, the more and more I began to see how awesome it all was. He is so comfortable in his own skin. He wants to tell his friends, so why should I stand in his way? It is his past. It is his present. It is his future. And mine too. You'd think I'd know that by now after almost 7 years.

That's right. Almost 7. In fact, it's only 3 days away. And do you know what he really, really wanted for his GOLDEN birthday? A surprise party.  "Mom, you can just plan it in front of me. I'll just take off my hearing aids, sit right next to you and I won't hear a thing. Go ahead! I'm waiting!"

We did decide to give him an early birthday present yesterday because it arrived via FedEx when he was walking in the door from school. "JACKPOT! Thanks mom. You are THE BEST! This is what I've ALWAYS wanted!" What was it?

2 shiny new cobalt BLUE BAHA hearing aid covers.

I love that my almost 7 year old continues to teach me about life each and every day.