Julia's hearing aids had their second birthday on Friday. This time of year makes me think about the time right before she got the aids. We knew our lives were about to change. We didn't know how.
I'd taught Julia a few signs in an attempt to ease our communication. She knew "more", "all done", "eat" and "loud".
In the beginning of April 2008, we had carpet installed in our townhouse. Julia and I spent two days trapped in the top part of the house with a lot of extra furniture and the dog. Below a couple of carpet installers chatted in Spanish and banged around.
We signed "loud" a lot during those two days. She could hear the boom of the installer's big stapling contraption. She was fascinated to the point that when the carpet was done and the men left she signed "more loud" and told me in her very best approximation, "want more loud".
That day has always weighed heavily on me. She wanted to hear and couldn't. I didn't know.
I try to focus on the past two years. We've had loud and quiet. Even whispers. It's better than I could have imagined.