When your babygirl’s got the *ThingYou’veGot*

Tomorrow, my six year old *babygirl* gets her hearing aids.  

It’s fine- it’s all good! It could be ten thousand times worse! I consider myself lucky. Hey- she’s going to be learning to deal with it from none other than ME. Mama. Mama love. Mama who’s spent my life learning about it and understanding it and teaching others about it. The thing- the hearing loss thing. The hearing impairment. The dis- you know, you know, the thing! The… The Disability.

The disability. 

The thing I’ve wrestled with my whole life. That longing to fit into a world that hears. That pretending to understand the words I missed. That showing up to every new situation with the absolutely insistent internal drive that THEY SHALL NOT see me as… dumb.

As disabled.

As incompetent. 

As unfunny, because I didn’t laugh at the joke, cause I’m funny as all get out. As unempathetic, because I didn’t catch all of what they said, because lawd, I’m nothing if not empathetic.

And now. Now I… have to pass the torch… this it’s really not-so-bad, You can still do anything!!… torch. Onto my baby girl. My everything. My mini. My bonus heart. My tiny turtle. My baby bean. My nemesis.

But it’s fine! Because guess what, life’s hard! And you gotta suck it up! And it’s better when you learn those lessons early, and well, so you can thrive! And endure! And prove them wrong! And that zest, that internal power has driven me my whole life. And I can teach her. 

I can show her. How to do it.

But.

It hurts. 

Cause I know what’s coming. 

I know people sometimes won’t get it. And you know what, it isn’t even those with the worst of intentions. It’s those with the best meaning at heart, they just didn’t realize. They mean well most times. 

They’ll mean well most times for her too. People are good. And I’ll show her that sometimes people can be rotten, but they’re rotten anyway. And it has nothing to do with us. And this disability. They just have their own battle, yadda yadda.

*Our disability.* Used to be “my disability.”

Now it’s *ours.*

That’s weird. 

It’s… sad, truly. It’s beautiful too, in a way, nature and genetics. Mother and child. Inevitability.

But, it’s sad. 

I don’t believe that we can protect our kids from pain. 

I don’t believe we’re supposed to.

I believe we teach them everything we can, and then we push them off the branch. 

I just wish that the end of her branch didn’t start with this stupid, no big deal, could be so much worse, absolutely life-altering and isolating…. disability.

So, go fly, off your branch. Just… sometimes you aren’t gonna know what’s going on. And you might not know that you don’t know what’s going on, and you might say the wrong thing and people might look at you funny and you might misinterpret that and think they don’t like you. Or something. But, I’m here. I’ll be here the whole time. And there’s nothing you can say that’ll shock me. Cause I know all the things. And the things I don’t know, I research. So, I guess, go to first grade. With your fresh pink on pink on pink glitter hearing aids… and stand proud that you’re carrying out a tradition of brilliance. And fortitude. And knowing the power of thinking and writing, cause we can’t count on the speaking and hearing.

Oh, my baby girl. 

Imma try to stop projecting on you. It’s why I’m writing this out. I gotta stop. You’re fine.

You’re freakin’ alright. In fact, you’re a freakin’ gift.

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