#Parenting a Child with Hearing Loss

Publishing a collection of stories about parenting a child with hearing loss was one of my "before I turn 40" goals. I'm still getting used to being 37 and haven't touched my guitar or studied ASL. I did, however, compile and edit the stories of my daughter's journey with hearing aids and add experiences from the school years. Magic Ear Kids is now available in print and Kindle editions!

From the back cover: “At least she can hear,” was one of the first thoughts Joey Lynn Resciniti had about her newborn. It was an accurate assumption in the hospital when her baby was startled by loud noises. Her pronouncement would prove ironic almost three years later, though, when her daughter was diagnosed with moderate sensorineural hearing loss in both ears.

The remaining time before kindergarten was spent in a frenzied sprint to catch up with audiology appointments, speech therapy, and all things “magic ears.” Joey was able to keep things in perspective by chronicling these everyday hearing happenings in weekly posts on her blog. Magic Ear Kids is a compilation of short stories from those early days and new, never before published tales of intermediate and middle school. It’s a book for anyone that’s ever worried that an ear infection might wreak havoc on a weekly spelling test or performed a late-night search for a size 13 battery in a twin-sized bed. It’s full of stories of frustration and triumph for parents at the beginning of their journey, those that are looking back, and anyone that cares about a kid with hearing loss.

#IWSG Looking Back on 2017

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group time again! You can sign up for the group here.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month's question is... As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

One New Year’s Eve about seven years ago, I started a new family tradition. On a few sheets of plain copy paper, I gathered the family and went through the past year. We used our photo albums as our guide and wrote down the highlights. Not everything is captured visually, but the exercise reminded us of other things: stitches and illnesses and odd triumphs. All of it went into a sort of chronological account. Each person made a list of favorite happenings. We made predictions for the coming year and sealed away our work in an envelope.

That was our first time capsule and we’ve kept it up every year since.

If I was to make a professional time capsule for 2017, there would be just a few things to include. My novel was well received (by a handful of people). In a few days, I will release a second book. I’ve posted new blog content twice weekly for more than half of the year. I’ve sent some queries and slowly chipped away at a foothold in the sort of obscure, unknown author life I’m after.

It was a good year.

There were things that could have been done better. I could have worked harder. I should have identified some sort of niche for the blog. I should still do that. Even the littlest decisions might have changed the trajectory of my writing life, but I’m not much of a backtracker. My way is more to forge ever ahead, hopefully having learned from past mistakes. If there was an option for a do-over, I wouldn’t take it. This is right where I’m supposed to be.

Waiting for Christmas

The period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was once the very longest stretch of time in the whole year. Waiting for Christmas was excruciating. As a kid, the prospect of a visit from Santa was so all consuming that it made every day drag.

Looking back, those Christmases are blurred into one big holiday jumble. Presents, big and small, roasting hot fires, live trees dug from the ground and replanted in our front yard, it’s combined into a sort of warm, celebratory feeling.

It’s not so hard to wait for Christmas anymore. It seems more like we’re trying to catch it as it speeds by. The fleeting nature of adulthood has led to some adjustments to the traditions. My pre-Thanksgiving trees and lights might annoy the neighbors, but lately I feel anything after Halloween is fair game. Holiday decorations multiply over the years. Getting the halls fully decked takes more than a week and the effort seems like it should be rewarded with more than just one month of appreciation.

And so, I’m trying to slow it down this December. Though I can’t remember what exactly made my childhood holiday season seem to take so long, I’m going to insert a few quiet, activity-free days into the mix. Take a little time to recapture the anticipation. Then I’ll feel that warm muddle of Christmas magic along with one of the few benefits of adulthood: time goes so fast, I really don’t feel like I wait for anything anymore.

The After-Christmas Shopping Miracle @Target

My house has one of those grand, two-story entries. Much maligned by anyone that enjoys heating and cooling efficiency, it really seems sort of pointless. Until Christmas. At Christmas, it's the best place for a really stunning, really huge tree.

Trees like that are expensive. And I am thrifty. Some might even say cheap.

Years passed with a very small tree in the soaring, empty space. I stalked Target in late December and January, year after year, hoping to score a deeply discounted evergreen.

My daughter and I popped into our local store to pick something up one such January afternoon. We didn't even get a cart because the item we were after was so small. We took a quick buzz through the dwindling holiday aisles, not expecting to find anything.

Looking up from underneath the Christmas tree. Sadly, not the amazing angle I thought it
would be.
The aisles were crowded with shoppers. Everything was marked 90% off and the shelves were being attacked like Pa's wheat crop in a Laura Ingalls Wilder story. We rounded a bend and there on a low shelf was a nine foot, pre-lit tree. 90% off of its original $299.99 price tag.

This was my tree! I had no cart!

I looked at Julia, she was something less than 10-years-old, and quickly realized that the cost-effective tree wasn't worth a disappeared daughter. We'd have to hightail it back to the cart corral and hope for the best. I explained the dire situation to her and the two of us speed-walked toward the front of the store.

"We should always just get a cart," I muttered as we huffed and puffed back to the holiday section.

An older woman greeted us upon our return.

"I hope you don't mind, I overheard you talking to your daughter," she said. "Someone else was going to take your tree. I told her I was just waiting for my niece to come back with a cart. I waited here for you to come back."

The tree in all its foyer glory. Truly the only reason for this two-story entry is to house a
ginormous tree.
Julia and I thanked the woman profusely, surprised by her unexpected kindness. The tree rang up $29.99. At home, we slid the boxed tree under the container for our living room Christmas tree, an after-Christmas Target find from years before. We waited over ten months to see the new tree for the first time. On it's first Christmas and each one after, I've thought of that lady, my adopted aunt. How nice she was to save my tree for me! And now, I always get a cart when I shop at Target. No matter what.