I ask this question of myself as 2012 draws to a close. January can be a time of promise. The year still stretches out before me – the squares on my 2013 have yet to be filled in with competing after school activities, speech therapy sessions, and doctor’s appointments. For now my calendar sits there with a bounty of white space. There is room for change, for new routines, for new goals, for new connections. All my faults and shortcomings of the previous year can now be wiped clean and I can start again.
But before I can start trying to move forward, I need to figure out where I have been.
I feel that I often become so focused on where I think my son should be, that I don’t notice the bigger picture of all the progress that he has made as an individual with hearing loss, and that we have made as a family dealing with hearing loss.
Sometimes my focus is more on what goals my son still needs to cross off his IEP, instead of the ones he has already reached. I focus on trying to find time for my son to play with others to help with his social skills, instead of finding moments in our day to model social skills. Sometimes all I see his gaps in his knowledge and what I can do to fill them, instead of acknowledging all the connections and ideas that he has on a daily basis.
Sometimes I forget that he is only a six year old, and that hearing loss has only been in our lives for the last three years.
So I promise to be kinder to myself, to keep realistic expectations, and to celebrate those small everyday moments that are so easy to overlook.
Where do you want your family to be a year from now?