Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Monkeys and Interviews



Ethan has a new backpack that he and I both love. He loves the monkey face and I love the monkey tail because I carry it like a leash and he can't get away from me! It's an Eddie Bauer product we found at Target. Thanks for the suggestion Aunt Audrey!

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I participated in an interview meme, thanks Kyla for the questions! If anyone would like me to interview them, just leave a comment and I'd be happy to nail you with some questions!

Are you a night owl or early bird?
I’ve always been a night owl, even after several years of teaching and getting up at 5:30 a.m.; I continued to be happy late into the night. Ethan is threatening to change that.

What is your favorite time of day with Ethan? Why?
Mornings because they are the only time of day Ethan will cuddle, or stop moving for that matter! He is generally in a better mood in the mornings as well, so that makes it an obvious choice since his mood sort of sets the tone around here.

If you could vacation in someone else's life (famous or not, living or not) who would you choose and why?
I was truly stumped on this question for a day or two. I couldn’t get my mind off of George Bush. If I could vacation in his life for a day, maybe I could do something in that 24 hours that made a difference. He is, after all, the most powerful guy around. I imagined myself repealing a veto or two, such as the stem cell research bill or the bill he vetoed last week that would have provided health insurance to a few million children whose families cannot afford private insurance but who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. After all, that could easily have been Ethan, and it still might be someday.

But instead, I am going to say that I’d love to spend a day being Ethan. (Thanks for the help here, Kyla!) I’d love to know what it’s like to be deaf. I’d love to know what the world sounds like through a cochlear implant, or how having vestibular issues dramatically affects the way your body moves. I’d like to know what he’s thinking when table food is presented, or when it’s bedtime and his body can’t seem to unwind. What does he think of all the therapy he has? How is the acid reflux doing these days? When does it hurt the most?

It would be an illuminating experience, to say the least.

How did you meet your husband?
A mutual friend introduced us in 1995. I was in a relationship (that was on its last leg) at the time, so the sparks didn’t necessarily fly immediately. Once the ball got rolling it was a whirlwind of sorts that I think took us both by surprise.

What advice would you give to a parent who had recently received a diagnosis similar to Ethan's?
First and foremost, I would remind them that regardless of the diagnosis, their child would grow up and be a happy person with a high quality life. Someone told me early on that Ethan would have many accomplishments and do whatever he set his mind to doing. They were right. There is no need to lower your expectations; you just have to forge a different path to reach them.
I would also encourage them to find other parents that have walked a similar path. One of the hardest aspects of parenting a child with difficulties is the feeling of isolation; it’s so helpful to share your fears and concerns with people who have walked that path. Support from family and friends is enormously helpful, so don’t be afraid to bend an ear or ask for help when you need it. I’ve found that most people want to help, but they don’t know what to say or do; you’ve got to let them know what you need when you need it.

8 comments:

Kellan Rhodes said...

I love the backpack! And I loved your answer, "Bush and then Ethan" - both answers extremely perceptive!!! I enjoyed the meme and learning more about you.

flutter said...

Oh my gosh he is so precious

KC said...

I love that you would choose to be your boy, to know. Totally love it.

slouching mom said...

Jack has a backpack that's very similar!

I liked your answers. I think your empathy is so strong -- to choose to be Ethan (and by implication, to be able to parent him with more awareness as a result) is just so loving.

Kyla said...

KayTar has the dog version of the backpack. She loves it.

Loved your answers. KayTar and BubTar would thank you for the SCHIP veto repeal. LOL.

Beck said...

Great answers - and how beautiful that you would choose to be your son.
I love that backpack - so cute!

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I really loved your responses. In particular, your "vacation" response.
My first response was much less utilitarian. I would want to go inside the mind and body of one of the world's best dancers. I long to know what it feels like to have that kind of kinetic brilliance; to almost fly; to know more about my mind through an interactive relationship with the elements; pushing through space/ embracing it.
Your comments dramatically expanded
my list of places (people) in which I would love to "vacation". There are so many. Ethan would be on the top of that list!
Thanks, Misha

Eileen said...

Heather,
First, the pictures of Ethan are beautiful. I say this every time, but I feel like I can't say it enough. Loving the curls!! His face is so adorable.
Second, the backpack is perfect. I can see why he loves it so much. When Melanie was little she had a simlar one, but a ladybug. We never left home without it. Very cute!! He looks like he is ready to go to school.
Finally, I LOVE this meme and your answers!! So insightful and perceptive. I especially love the GW one (GO HEATHER) and the one about Ethan. What a special and wonderful mom you are. You really are the best!
XOXO