Sometimes Christmas is not some Norman Rockwell-like fun and relaxing family get together. Sometimes it involves caring for your child who has a medical issue. In the end in my case I was given a wonderful present that transcended mere gifts.
When you were little, we took you to physical and occupational therapy because of your early birth, in order to catch up your development. You also saw an eye doctor and other specialists, too; plus, you had eye surgery and wore a patch over your eye to strengthen its muscles. But the one treatment I maybe remember the most was the treatment for your hearing.
Based on a variety of things, we were sent to an audiologist by Dr. Scroggie, who was your doctor. A new and different type of treatment was recommended to improve your hearing. Plus, it was not a one-time procedure, like a surgery or a weekly trip like your OT and PT. Instead, you had to go to an office twice a day for a week to get a one-hour treatment using sound. The treatment played back sound with varying tones to make your ears respond, exercising them in a way, which would improve your hearing and cognition. Your mom and I discussed this technique and agreed to have it done.
Since your mom and I both worked, we decided to do the treatments over Christmas. I had some spare vacation days, so we decided I would take you over to Addison twice a day for the period prescribed. So it began, one weekday after Christmas.
We would get up, your mom would head out the door to work, and you and I would pile in my car and drive over to Addison off of Beltline Road, near where I then worked. We would arrive around 9 or 10AM, after rush hour. In we would go. Since I could not be in the room with you, I would go back to the car and read or listen to the radio. When you were done, we would drive home, have some lunch, and turnaround and go back there again. In the afternoon, I would do the same thing: take you in, go back out and read, get you after it was over, and drive back home before the tidal wave of cars flooded the roads during rush hour. So it went for many days.
It was a less than relaxing Christmas break since commuting twice a day was not much fun. But that was okay; merely having you around was the biggest present one could have. If you had not been there, Christmas would have not been the joyous time it is now when we are together and can loudly and clearly hear each other’s words. Your “new ears,” as your mom called them, seemed to work just fine. That was a precious enough gift for me.