Brynna has to have tubes put in her ears. Now, anyone who knows me knows that this is going to make me a nervous wreck until it's all over and done with. And then I'll be, "Oh, well, it's nothing to stress over." Because that's who I am.
It turns out that my little girl can't hear well. Which is weird, because she seems like she can hear well. She responds to wispers and doesn't like things loud and is always asking us to be quieter.
But anyway, this whole experience has got me thinking about all the little things that we don't know about our kids. When you really think about it, you don't know much about your kids. They could have whole struggles that you have no clue about: they could need glasses or have learning disabilities that you have no clue about. And it's not because you're not paying attention, it's just because they're...welll... they are kids.
I remember in college I had this piece for forensics about AA. (Don't ask, just wait for the relevance to reveal itself.) Anyway, one of the characters is talking about her first boyfriend. And the little boy came to the bus stop one day wearing glasses and it bothered her all day long. So finally, at the end of the day, she said "How did you know that you needed glasses??" and he said, "I didn't, but someone figured it out for me and put them on an now I can see. But I never realized that I couldn't until someone told me."
It's supposed to be inspiring, as in You can do anything as long as no one tells you that you can't. But for this main character, it's not inspiring, it's scary. Because he really couldn't see well and what if no one had noticed and he'd turned 16 and started driving or walked off a bridge or something. That's how I feel about it. It's not inspiring, it's scary. And what's scary is that I am no longer the person who needs to be told. I know my limitations and my strengths and I have really good vision, so I'll notice when it starts to go. No, I'm the person who is supposed to figure it out for someone else. I'm the one who is supposed t know that my kid can't hear well and I had no clue. It hit me like a Mac truck. I had no clue. Not an inkling.
What if she needs glasses, too. What if she is dyslexic or something. What if...
What am I not noticing? I don't feel guilty about not noticing, because really, I'm not sure that even super-mom would have. There's nothing there to indicate it. She follows complex commands, has an advanced vocabulary, has developed on or ahead of schedule, she watches tv and plays with other kids and doesn't go around shouting at people (well any more than any other 4 year old).
So I don't feel guilty or like I should have figured it out. But I do feel unsteady. Like maybe I don't know my pigeon as well as I thought I did. I guess that's a wake-up call that all parents get from time to time.