It doesn't seem possible the boys will be graduating from Kindergarten. It seems like yesterday they were born. I remember so clearly finding out I was having triplets. The conversation Frank and I had will never be forgotten. We were filled with so many emotions: Fear..Love..Hope..Wonder... We left the doctor's office that day and we were is different cars. We were both supposed to go to work. I said "Well, I guess I will see you after work??" We looked at each other at the same time and said "I can't go to work." We got in our cars and met each other at home. We literally sat around and stared at each other for a while. We finally decided to call both our Moms and tell them the news.
We never knew the journey we were starting. We focused on milestones of the pregnancy. 24 weeks..28 weeks...30 weeks..32 weeks (we didn't make it). All while listening to so much doom and gloom of how horribly wrong things could go. The doctors NEVER sugar coated anything. Months of bed rest. A pump in my leg continuously releasing medicine to keep labor away. Many, many trips to the hospital. Scary times for sure.
Then it happened. Thirty one weeks and five days and Ciaran's water broke. I was so excited to meet them but TERRIFIED for how well they would do. We were so blessed. They all were breathing on their own and were "big" for their gestational age. We went directly to the NICU but we had a smooth ride. They were "feeders and growers". A term they use for babies born early who just need to learn to feed and grow. We knew each day could bring new issues but as the days passed we realized we had dodged a bullet and against a lot of odds these three little angels were going to be OK. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were told Cormac was coming home at 20 days. He just needed to have his hearing test........
At first it didn't even register. He was "referred"?? What does that mean? Can he or can't he hear? We were told "he was born early and might need some time to develop" or "he might have fluid in his ears" I am sure he is fine. "Lots of kids fail but they aren't really deaf" As a new Mom, I believed them. I took their word for it. BUT I did follow up as instructed. Four weeks later we went for an ABR. Cormac's age of listed as - 4 weeks because he still was not even supposed to be born. The results were the same. I was AGAIN given the same advice and told to follow up again in 4 more weeks. We did but I also made an appointment with an ENT. It went on from there and at just about 6 months they CONFIRMED our worse fear. Cormac had "profound hearing loss". (never said the word deaf but that is what it means)
Our lives were instantly changed. Things seemed so confusing. And you know what one of my FIRST thoughts was? When they are big enough for school how could I ever send one to school alone while the other two went to school together? I know it may seem like not a big deal to a lot of people but to me for some reason it was a huge. I could not bare the thoughts of it.
The next few years consisted of some serious decisions and lots and lots of hard work on the part of Cormac and our family. I was determined Cormac would start mainstream preschool with his brothers. Others told me I should be prepared for him to get mainstreamed by Kindergarten. That was NOT an option. I wouldn't do it. And Cormac did it. He worked so hard. He gave it his all. His brothers endured hours of therapy along with him. They drove the hour ride back and forth with me to Summit Speech School every day for months. They did their part by talking and talking and more talking. They were all troopers. Calleigh made the trip as well. I was pregnant for her the Spring Cormac aged out of Early Intervention. Then she was born and even with all she had going on Cormac finished up and he was ready.....mainstream preschool with his brothers. I cried so many times it was ridiculous. I still remember the conversation I had with him on the last day. I was thinking "am I doing the right thing? Should he go to mainstream preschool? Is he ready?" What does Cormac say to me in the truck at that exact moment? "Mom, look at the contrail coming out of that plane flying in the sky" Yep, he was only just three years old. I said to him "Cormac, I think you are going to be OK." He said "Don't worry, Mommy, I will be fine". That sealed the deal for me and I knew I was making the right decision.
This post is not supposed to be all about Cormac but it's hard to tell my feelings about Kindergarten without mentioning how we got there.
So, here we are. We are graduating mainstream Kindergarten. The boys have grown tremendously this year. They have learned so much. They LOVE school. They are excited each morning to go to school. They thrive in school. I was so upset they went to full day Kindergarten but it has been amazing for them. It also gave me some much needed alone time with Calleigh. Socially, the kids could not be better. We worried about Cormac and Ciaran and hoped kids weren't going to be mean. Kids can be mean and when you have two children who are wearing things on their ears it can draw some attention. We are blessed no one has ever said anything about them except to ask what they are. Ciaran and Cormac are both great at explaining their hearing aids and implants. It makes me proud to watch them tell kids on the playground about them.
Not only did we start Kindergarten but we changed schools. Everything was new to them. None of their preschool friends were in the class since we moved. Big changes for little 5 year olds. They have not skipped a beat. They made so many new friends who I know will be friends for life. They each have their "own" friends too.
I know I will cry tears of happiness when I see them graduate tomorrow. I know how much work it took to get them there. I know I will once again be overwhelmed when I look up and see three of those graduates are mine. I know it would not have been possible without the support of family, friends and not to mention Summit Speech School. We are forever grateful to all those who helped us along the way especially Joan, Cormac's TOD for three years. I saw her more than I saw most of my family the first three years. She was an integral part of his success.
You know what will always amaze me? Cormac makes it look effortless. He is just another kid. It's deceiving to others who don't understand how much hard work he does every second of his life to make it appear effortless.
So, Ciaran, Colin and Cormac. As you graduate tomorrow. Always know how proud I am of the three of you. Always know I love you more than anything. Always know I learn from you every day. Always know you inspire me. Always know I cannot thank you enough for getting to be your Mommy. The three of you and you amazing little sister are my greatest joy and the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Look out, first grade....here come the Lawrence Brothers!!