Working with children for many years helps develop an incredible immunity to noise. Having run camps for over 20 years, I come to expect an enthusiastic group of kids in the cafeteria, swimming pool, playing fields, gym, and virtually any place that excitement grows. Kids respond honestly with great enthusiasm to seeing friends and things they like.
As parents, we try to keep our kids behaving well and under control. This seems like a never ending task. At times it may feel like our children are the loudest people any place they go. This was not always the case for one of my daughters. My wife and I have twin 5 year old girls. Our one daughter, Caroline, was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) before she was 2 years old. Her twin sister’s speech and language developed quickly, while Caroline could only manage a single word and rarely a sentence. Caroline has been in speech therapy for almost 4 years, and PT/OT since she was 9 months old. She is an amazing young person and I am taken back by her positive attitude and unbridled enthusiasm. While her twin sister continues to expand her vocabulary and develop ahead of her age norm, Caroline has made slow progress and remarkably began this school year in mainstream kindergarten. Three years ago, I’m not sure my wife or I would have ever thought this possible. The sounds of her voice, and her words feel incredible as a parent and unleash childlike emotions in me.
I was moved by something I saw on a social media feed recently as well. I remember seeing a youtube video of a woman in the audiologist chair hearing for the first time after hearing implant surgery. Seeing the genuine emotional response of this woman connected me to our feelings for Caroline. This same woman went on The Ellen Show to share her story and the extended narrative was inspiring. You can see the full video here A Deaf Woman Who Can Finally Hear Meets Ellen.
Noise can be wonderful. When I travel around campus in the summer and hear the sounds of our campers, it energizes and stirs emotion. Noise embodies friendship, enthusiasm, fun, and interaction. Noise develops relationships, and can be a catalyst for great experiences. I appreciate sounds and noise in ways I never would have imagined. Sometimes the simplest things in life can be taken for granted. Hearing your daughter say “Hi Daddy” for the first time means something to any father. Hearing it from a child you were not sure would ever be able to talk is something I have no words for myself.