I find it interesting the random places you meet people that you share such huge commonalities with.
My family and I are still out of town; first visiting my parents and attending a family reunion, and now following my husband to his out of town jobs and camping in nearby campgrounds, as we did last summer. While this is definitely not a vacation for him, it is a way for William and I to see different places and have new experiences. This week we are camping in Kingston, Ontario, and decided to run some errands in town and then drive down to the waterfront for some shopping, lunch and ice cream.
Despite the construction downtown it was a beautiful day for sightseeing and shopping, and it was nice to see the historic limestone buildings and the harbour front that Kingston is known for. We stopped at MioGelato- such a cute shop- for a treat, and ordered a large cup of raspberry and stracciatella gelato; delilicious. As I was paying, a family walked by and the dad asked me a question that shook me out of my dreams of sweet gelato: Does your son have bi-lateral implants? It took me a second to realize what he was referring to, but once I snapped out of my oblivion and replied that, no, he has one cochlear implant and one hearing aid, we had a short but encouraging chat about our children.
Their son was implanted uni-laterally (one side only) when he was a year old, and they really noticed a difference upon activation of the implant. He is now 11 they said, and fully conversational, and to my ear possibly bilingual, as the mother had a French accent. I had to really look closely to notice the translucent earmould in his ear, and the ear piece of the cochlear implant was hidden under his sandy brown hair. They seemed like a really nice, normal family and it really meant a lot to me that they would engage in a brief but encouraging conversation with a parent earlier in their journey of having a child with a hearing loss and speech and language difficulties. I wish we could have sat and had coffee and talked about their story up to this point. I would have loved to hear about their son’s trials and triumphs, his struggles and successes.
I hope I am able to provide this encouragement one day for someone, just as this family in the gelato shop did for me.