I was driving in the car with Cormac on Monday. We were off to do some grocery shopping. He is always the one who will go do errands with me. We enjoy a little alone time. I like to talk to him one on one and see how he is doing. We talk about all different things. While we were driving a song came on the radio we both liked. I turned it up and we both sang along and had some fun. While we were rocking I thought about what it might sound like to hear music through his "ears". I guess I just take for granted it must sound like what I hear because he really enjoys music. He loves to sing (and he is pretty good) and he has a good sense of rhythm.
When the song was over I turned down the radio and said "Cormac, I wonder if music sounds differently to me as it does to you? I would love to be able to hear like you so I know what it is like". His response stopped me in my tracks for a moment. He said "I wish I could hear like you". I wasn't sure if this meant he wished he didn't have cochlear implants and wished he was like me. He has never in his life ever said anything negative about his hearing. He has never asked "why me?". He has never considered himself any different than the rest of us. Was this the conversation I was dreading when he tells me he wished he wasn't born deaf and didn't have Cochlear Implants?"
Keep in mind, the entire conversation I had with myself took place in about 10 seconds because I had to say something. I had to answer him. I had to dig a little deeper and see where this conversation was going.
I said back to him "Do you mean you wish you could just see what it is like to hear like me or do you wish you didn't have cochlear implants and could hear like me?" He quickly responds "Oh, no, I just want to know what it is like to hear like you. I love my cochlear implants and am happy I have them. I just wanted to know what it sounds like just like you said you wanted to know what it sounds like to hear with Cochlear Implants." Whew...all that thinking I did was for nothing. The 30 second panic attack was for nothing. I shouldn't have been surprised or shocked. I know Cormac loves his implants. I know he would never change anything about himself because when it comes down to it his implants are part of him. They are all he knows. He knows nothing different. He can't remember life without them. I clearly remember the first year of him not hearing and still can cry thinking he never heard me whispering in his ear. He didn't hear my voice to comfort him in the dark. It was not upsetting for Cormac. He was a happy baby. He is a happy kid. He loves life and always has loved life.
Will I someday have a conversation with him and he will feel differently? Perhaps. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it. For now we will continue to rock out in the car and listen to the music and not worry if it sounds different. We enjoy it all the same.