Why is it that I can’t shake this feeling of needing just a few more days? A few more days to savour and process this year…Instead I am rushing around, taking overdue DVD’s (R98 fine!) and books to the library, checking in at the office and rescuing a bloated and injured squab (baby dove) from foot traffic – only to be told by the vet that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize.
Actually, just another day in ChevsLife!
Some of my friends have invited me to spend New Year’s Eve with them, have a few drinks and just let my hair down. I’ve declined these invitations.
My plans for today? Write this blog, read a book, read a book to my son, watch Scooby Doo and Mom’s Night Out while drinking sparkling wine (the non alcohol kind) with my son. Climb into our wetsuits and spend some time on the beach as the sun sets. Watch more movies, listen and dance to some good music while drinking our sparkling wine. And first thing tomorrow morning we will head down to the beach and watch the first sun rise of the first new day of 2015; together!
Today I want to share with you my top 10 moments, achievements, events, etc. of 2014.
- Reintegrating my son from a special needs to mainstream school for Grade 1 and preparing a resource guide for his teacher. And establishing our own “Team Kai” – Audiology, OT, Speech & Language Therapy and the best Gr.1 teacher ever!
- Founding Decibels of Love – and hosting our first family resource morning in April. I was blown away by the support we received! We hosted the following monthly mornings:
April: Incorporating Speech & Language into a Busy Family Life
May: Perception is Everything – My Journey in a Mainstream World
June: Understanding your Child’s Sensory World
July: Pushing the Boundaries – Advocating for your Child
August: Supporting & Including Siblings of Children with Hearing Loss
September: Silent Walk of Gratitude
October: Partnering with Educators
November: Sister’s Journey to Sound
A big thanks goes out to everyone who participated, presented and supported these mornings! Check out our Facebook page, we regularly update it with useful information and encouraging thoughts.
- Celebrating my son’s 7th birthday and giving him new personalised, blended red and blue, ear molds as a gift. A first ever in South Africa -I think! He was so chuffed! We are so lucky to have an audiologist that understands us and is prepared to try new things. Amplification technology and accessories can be exciting! We pimped his ears to the max with his awesome new ear molds!
- Attending the Ndiyeva Conference (Paediatric Hearing Loss) in June and being invited to sit on the panel for “Preparing the Child with Hearing Loss for the Road to Independence”. A definite highlight at this conference was the key note address by Prof Anu Sharma “The Impact of Deafness on the Auditory System” and key note address by Prof Todd Houston “Telepractice – Using Distance Technology to Connect, Communicate and Enhance Language and Learning in Children, Parents and Professionals”. It is one thing reading about their work and then having them stand up in a crowded room and present their research, share their experiences and thoughts on the future of paediatric hearing loss management!
- Initiating and Coordinating a four part series; “The Silent Ability” for the Cape Times’ Health Times. All contributors volunteered their expertise, this was a significant opportunity to raise and educate the public about hearing loss in South Africa. The June edition focussed on hearing loss in adults, July featured hearing loss in children, August saw an introduction to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder and more information on cochlear implants. Our final edition in September celebrated success stories and awareness on sign language.
- Having the courage to squeeze into a wetsuit (absolute agony and exhaustion!), grab a 10 foot board and learning to surf with Mom’s on Board! It was exhilarating, everything that I’ve always imagined it to be and so much more!!
- Taking Kai to join Nippers and moving him to a younger age-group, allowing him to become more confident in the water and watching him enjoy the ocean. I still get butterflies remembering him exclaim, “That was so awesome!” with each wave he caught on the boogie board. Watching him wipe-out, be crashed by a wave under water and going back in with me tailing behind him for that added sense of security as they ventured deeper into the ocean.
- The Junior Cycle Tour with friends and Kai winning 1st runner up in the best bling boy for Casual Day Theme “bring out the bling”.
- Working with a small boy in the final term of the school year, watching him go from reading Binky and gradually growing his skills to read Janet and John with more confidence! Looking into his bright blue eyes and seeing the infinite potential and eagerness to learn.
- Throughout point 1 – 9; the support of friends and family, making new friends and the phenomenon of some professional relationships morphing into friendships.
My biggest challenge in 2014 has been financial security. Being the main bread winner can be quite stressful. Even more so when you’re a single parent raising a child with special needs.
I look forward to tomorrows’ sunrise and know that 2015 is going to be an epic adventure of note!
Thank you for reading my blog! What has been your top 10 moments in 2014?