Julie Lyles Carr: Uncharted Waters

Friday, May 14, 2010

Uncharted Waters

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4 of 8.

Almost twelve years old now.

Nine years in hearing aids. Miles into our journey.

And now embarking into new territory.


A few months ago, 4 of 8 began going to youth group. Because of where her birthday falls, Michael and I had to make a choice in our homeschool planning if she would be one of the 'oldest' in her 'class' or one of the 'youngest'. Four of our kids have birthdays that bring us to this kind of decision. So far, we've opted for the kids to go the 'oldest' route, meaning that we hold off formal instruction for a bit.

And so we did with 4 of 8, giving her a little extra time.

But regardless of academia, she's maturing fast.

She's my earliest bloomer and is wise beyond her years. And we decided that it could be to her benefit to interact with older kids and all the verbal gymnastics that are required.

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Which made this mama a little nervous.

But so far, so good. She's picking up on the nuances of teen talk and is keeping up with the drama pretty well. She has a little posse of buddies who love her and who she loves and they giggle and chatter and stay thick as thieves.

I've come to realize in the last couple of years that these transitions are the ones with 4 of 8 that make me a bit edgy. When we were so focused initially on choosing therapy modalities and in immersing her in language and in researching hearing aids and curriculum choices and vocabulary lists and all the rest, we could see our goals and hurdles via charts and lists.

But the category of General Growing Up is far more vague.

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2 of 8 and 4 of 8 are now sharing a room, a den of teenage girl-dom. They chose modern prints and colors and have set up their space like a college dorm room. They blast their latest music selections, duel over Facebook and borrow each other's clothes.

There are still conversations that have to be repeated. There are still idioms and analogies that get lost in translation.

And 4 of 8 has moments that the enormity of her hearing loss leaves her a bit weepy.

But she sails on, navigating the waters, pressing through the storms, following where the Lord has charted her path.

And we continue to learn from the ripples of this course's wake.

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