Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The girl with the things in her ears

We've never had anyone notice Julia's hearing aids. She usually wears her hair down or "straight" as she calls it. The over-the-ear part is flesh colored and she has clear ear molds. From a distance you can't even see them.

Ballerina hair styles, a bun today, and close proximity of dancers has led to some commentary on her magic ears during ballet class. After class her teacher told me that one of the other little girls addressed my daughter, "hey girl with the things in her ears." The kids are so innocent was the teacher's take on it.

In the car Julia told me that a girl asked last week, "what are those things in your ears." Julia told her they were magic ears and the girl didn't understand so she told her that they help her hear better. My pride in her ability to explain her disability is tempered with an annoyed worry for the future.

Perhaps my experiences of having a pair of really ugly eyeglasses in the first grade are making me think we'll have tough times over this in the future. A boy in my class, Matt, who incidentally did remain our school's resident hottie even into High School, said that my glasses were upside down. They had that kooky stem that is most commonly seen on old lady glasses. When he got over harping on them being upside down he latched onto them probably being my grandmother's glasses. Needless to say, I was more comfortable wearing my conformist wire frame glasses from then on.

By Middle School I was wearing a Milwaukee brace to treat my scoliosis. Kids weren't as mean as adults I encountered during that time.

Julia has no choice. She'll have to wear her hair up sometimes and innocence will soon be a word no longer associated with the kids in her class. I can only hope that her current sunny, resilient personality will carry her through those times when someone tries to make her feel self-conscious. And that kid in her ballet class better learn her name is Julia.

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