Another year has come and gone, and I can hardly believe it. Is my son really two years old? That’s what he’s saying when we ask him, so it must be true. This year was such an important year, not only for Grayson, but for my family as well. We finally moved into our own place after moving to Tennessee from Washington. That struggle seems so long ago now, but in some ways it’s still so fresh. I remember his birthday last year, and where we were–emotionally, financially, physically…and thinking about it still breaks my heart. I’m proud of how far our little family has come in such a short amount of time. I can only hope that we are able to grow and change for the better even more this year.
As most of you know, after months of struggling to figure out what was going on with him at home and going back and forth with doctors, we finally received the diagnosis of Grayson’s hearing. He suffers from Mild-Moderate Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss (BLSNHL). You can read more about our journey with his hearing loss here. In June, he was fitted with hearing aids (finally!), so this will be his first full year with his hearing properly aided. The progress that he has made so far, in regards to his speech and communication skills, has been shocking! So, I’m ready to see all of the progress he will make this year.
He was also accepted into, and started, a group speech therapy program last month. This is in addition to his individual speech therapy. The group therapy is in a preschool setting, so I’ve been calling it Toddler Preschool. He’s been going to that twice a week, and having individual speech therapy once a week. It’s been really great for him because they keep it pretty structured, which allows him to get used to routines. There are also 4-5 (depending on the day) other children in his class, who all have either hearing aids or cochlear implants–and that’s been a great way for him to experience other kids who are just like him.
I’ve spent the week reminiscing, remembering every minute of his birth (and those first exhausting few weeks of motherhood), and looking through old photos. The bond that I have with him is indescribable, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure we would ever get there. There are so many days that I’ve felt like I was failing. Failing the stereotypical image of what everyone tells you motherhood should look like. I vividly remember days where I would look at him and think “Does this kid even like me?” or “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Now, when I look at my beautiful and perfect son, I am overcome with emotions–pride, joy, disbelief, and most of all love.
Motherhood changes you in such a profound, from the inside out. It’s deep, and it’s real. Trust me, I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record when I say how thankful I feel to have him in my life. But, when I think of how much being his mother has changed me, I can’t help but be thankful.
His birthday this year, just like last year, was pretty laid back. It fell on a Thursday, which is a school day. Ever since his speech pathologist mentioned that I could bring in a treat for his birthday, a month ago, I’ve been all about it. My first “School-Mom” activity! I picked out the cupcakes, and we got them the night before. The kids devoured them after lunch time, and I made sure to send enough that the teachers got some too.
While he was at school, my husband and I rushed home to give my mom our house key, and we booked it to Target to get in some last minute shopping. Thanks to gift cards, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on some new books for him. We absolutely love reading books around here, and we needed some fresh ones.
My mom went to our apartment and decorated it while we were picking him up from school, so he would come home to a surprise!
And, it wouldn’t be right to not share this one. All the toys he could ever want, and he needed the Thomas toy off of his birthday cake. Oh, Two, you’re going to be a fun age.