Friday, October 19, 2012

Quiet Concerns

I hear a lot of stories about bullying. I have even reported on a few. Jason just read about a tragic story in Kelowna, British Colombia (his home town) about a high school girl who took her life because she had been bullied so much. In a world where Facebook and Twitter, even blogging is so prevalent, bullies have a new MO. It's a world our children will no doubt deal with. As a mom, it's very scary. As a mom of a child with some developmental delays, I AM TERRIFIED. Kids can be mean. People can be mean. One of my biggest fears is that Ella will have to deal with  some kid at school who teases her for walking a little slower than the rest of the group or mocks her because her speech might not be perfect. Right now she is so innocent and blissfully unaware of any of these differences. 

I have been thinking about this a lot this week. Ella had a follow up visit with the ENT where they checked her tubes and did a hearing test. She didn't pass the test. This isn't the first hearing test that has come back poorly. Before she had her tubes, we knew her hearing was compromised by the fluid in her ears. After the tubes, her hearing was better...she had a normal result on her hearing test. 
Right now she has an ear infection and a tube that is blocked. She can hear, it's just more like what she hears is like what you would hear if you covered your ears or put in some ear plugs.  The doctor said she may have some nerve damage and permanent hearing loss. First we must clear up the infection and then figure out our next step. I am trying to not get ahead of myself, but the "what if's", and "why's" are sometimes hard to keep from my mind.

We will do whatever we can to help Ella hear better. There are a lot of options and a hearing aid may be one of our options. I know hearing aids can be very discreet, but it's just one more "difference" Ella would have to deal with. It's one more thing for some mean kid to point out. I know that I can't protect her from everything. I know the wrong clothes or hairstyle can make someone just as much of a target to a bully. It still doesn't stop my worry. It is a concern I will quietly carry with me forever.

Our hope is to raise Ella and Avery with confidence and a relationship with Jason and me that will allow them to deal with whatever is thrown their way. We want them to be able to talk to us about anything. We will teach them to stand up for themselves. We will make sure they know the difference between right and wrong and that words can be hurtful...sometimes even worse than actions. We know we will never stop bullying, but we will empower our girls to be their best selves. 

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