Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Music and My Deaf Kid

My Uncle Pete, teaching my little man everything there is to know about Dylan, McCartney, and Lennon. 

3.5 years ago when we found out Christian was profoundly deaf, one of the greatest losses that I grieved was his love of music. I assumed that due to the severity of his loss that he would never be able to enjoy music. I cried for days. Music is EVERYTHING to me. I grew up in a musical home, exposed to all genres from Chopin to Joplin. I grew into the girl who can hear a song and remember exactly what I was doing 15 years ago when that song was playing. I remember wondering how my little boy could grow up without knowing The Beatles or the soft lullabies of Simon and Garfunkel. I was devestated.

Hearing loss or not, Christian was going to know music. As a little baby with hearing aids, he was sung to CONSTANTLY. As a toddler with a new Cochlear Implant, even more. And now as my preschool little dude, he's singing to us. On key. In tune. And clapping out the beats to songs. And requesting his favorites (Currently, anything by Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Band, and The Beatles). And amazing us everyday.

Christian goes to music class at his school once a week where he learns about music terminology---can you believe he told me what vibrato was?-- is exposed to all sorts of different musical instruments (his favorite is the tuba), and learns all sorts of new tunes. His teacher has expressed to us before that he truly LOVES music class and is a musical little guy.

Is that a miracle or what?

The musical authority in my family is my Uncle Pete. I treasure our relationship, and many of the memories I have growing up with him are centered by our mutual love of music. When we are together, I still feel like that 14 year old girl who JUST discovered Bob Dylan tapping into his never ending knowledge and passion for music. Christian loves his Great-Uncle Pete, especially his guitar. Imagine my Uncle Pete on the guitar singing and playing Bad Moon Rising as Christian plays the tamborine. It was such a sweet scene, I couldn't help but think back to all those times I worried that he would never know music. I wish I didn't cry so much back then.

Uncle Pete is convinced that Christian has music in his bones and urged me to get him lessons in SOMETHING. Beaming with his signature Uncle Pete smile, he told me how he saw how Christian can find the beat and rhythm.

My deaf kid. My musical deaf kid.

Is that a miracle or what?


Jodi Michelle Cutler said...

Loved this...amazing picture...keep going girl.

leah said...

This is so touching. I think music lessons are in order! I wonder how young kids can start piano? I know violin can be started at a young age... we're thinking of starting Matt in piano lessons next year (he'll be six and in kindergarten).

Lone Star Family said...

It is an amazing miracle! Music was one of the things I grieved about too when I found out my son was deaf. When we were going through the CI process I came across your blog and saw the video of your son talking about how he loved Dave Matthews ( I'm a HUGE fan too), I cried my eyes out! It gave me so much hope. Now almost a year later after CI's my son is singing and dancing and loves music. I agree it's a miracle!

Christian and Lily's Mommy said...

Thank you Jodi and Leah! Leah, I think I'm going to look into violin and guitar for him. He just LOVES it, and of course, loves the violin thanks to Boyd from Dave Matthews Band.

Lone Star--thank you for your comment and following our journey!

tammy said...

Love this. and I can very much see Christian in a band some day! ; ) I grew up singing next to my grandpa "Pete" (from Grand Rapids) as he played his guitar - it was his passion. Music was huge in our family, so like you, my heart was deeply saddened with just the thought of Aiden not hearing music like I do. Although he's not big into singing (yet), I have to say how amazed I am on how he ho hums throughout the house all day, to what tune, no clue, but it has a tone to it and it makes me smile.

PS - I LOVE the pic! Priceless!