Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chaos Is Beautiful In The Form Of Family

I have always loved the feeling of immersing my ears under water.  As a child I would float for hours in the pool perfectly content.  There was something so magical about blocking out all of the external noise and finding my center and peace among the in and out sound of my breath.  I remember also finding comfort in the "dead man's" float even though your face is completely submerged.   Something about the stillness of it relaxed me. 

In some ways, I have that ability now as my hearing deteriorates.  You see, each time I remove my hearing aids the sensation of blocking out the sound gets stronger.  I used to describe hearing without help as a cotton ball feeling over my ears but now I would say more of a conk shell covering.   I truly believe that ever so slightly I can hear the crashing waves of the ocean.  It truly is the absence of sound.

I thank God for the peace in it though because I personally love nothing more than the sound of the waves.  In fact, I crave everything about sitting on a beach feeling the breeze, smelling the salt water and looking out over the vast body of water.    Many times I envision myself resting there in more ways than one.  Sometimes I am alone other times my family is with me playing silently beside me happy and content.

Cater, my oldest loves the beach as much as I do and the two of us actually start to get antsy if we don't get to go at least once a year.  Our ideal vacation we would sit all day in the sand and only break to eat a picnic lunch.  The last time we were in Florida he expressed an interest in learning to surf...poor child living in the middle of the United States that might prove that to be tough.  I chuckled but was proud as he said it because it is a part of me as well.

Today when I took my bath and submerged my ears under the water it was panic that struck not contentment.  I was instantly unsure if I remembered to remove my hearing aids.  They have truly become something that I forget about when they are in.

After realizing they were removed I rested my head and listened to the sound of my heart.  The rhythmic beat was soothing and I allowed my mind to rest and wander.  Silence in my house is ironically hard to find with an eight year old and his friends romping through the house and an almost two year old learning to talk and vocalize.  So this is a rare moment even with my hearing issues.

I breathe deep thinking about the new baby that will enter our lives soon.  I am excited and scared for the challenge.  One of my most largest worries is over the extra noise.  It is just so hard with low hearing to focus on one sound when there are many traveling across the air.  When kids are screaming it is almost like it scatters my brain and any hope of carrying on a conversation with me is lost.  Shoot - if I am on the phone and someone else is talking around me I lose focus within seconds.  So adding the third child will in turn make my house that much louder and harder for my ears and mind to navigate. 

I still feel peace though and gratefulness over the addition of this little one as well as thankfulness for my other two.  Despite the frustration that sometimes arises over not being able to keep up with the noise I would not change it for anything.   My life is full of riches and blessings.

It hits me as I am resting there that I need to work on letting go. 

One of my normal personality traits is the need to control.  I like to know things in advance, plan and re-plan to ensure that everyone gets input and is happy.  Losing hearing makes me want to try and control situations even more.  I seek a certain level of comfort that comes from smaller groups, brighter areas and lower volumes of outside interference.  Realizing that this is most definitely not always possible has already forced me to stretch way beyond what I thought capable.  Very slowly this change in my life is teaching me step by step that some of life's richest happiness comes out of chaos.  I think that possibly the only way to make it through this time is to just allow the noise to wash over me much like the water is doing now.  

My hearing loss has increased over the past few months, most likely due to the pregnancy, but I have chosen not to adjust my hearing aids yet.  I want my hormones to settle and hopefully my hearing to even out before I go in.  This time I know it will not be a small change.

This time I am confident in what I know to be true which is that:

When I watch TV alone I use the close captions.  

When I go to the movies I need to keep my hearing aids in.

When people are talking to me even in one on one quiet situations I must ask at least twice for

That without the baby monitor volume on by my bed I do not hear my two year old crying even in the silence of the morning hours.

That items of importance are slipping through the cracks as I do not remember them even though I am told I had a conversation about said topic.

When I am carrying on a phone conversation any outside noise makes it almost impossible to hear.

If I am talking to someone and I am holding Chase while he is talking I cannot keep up with my own conversation.

I knew this was coming.  In my very first post I mentioned that having another kid would most likely change my hearing again.  And so, I am not surprised nor worried.  I will continue to adapt and adjust as necessary to this ongoing  trial.

I've decided that chaos is beautiful in the form of family and I pray for the strength and grace to embrace it with every twist and turn.  May God grant me the gift to be able to be surrounded by the noise of my life and within it find my underwater breath and peace.