Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Processing Perfect

April 7th, 4:00 a.m., awake in bed. My six-month old sleeping next to me, peacefully. My mind wrestling with the news we just received. One night. Just one night separates me from the hope that this baby might still be perfect. Two nights back, still hope. Tonight, no hope. The procedure “didn’t work.” The words of our ENT doctor. Hearing loss, still present even after tubes. Not perfect. Not perfect. Not perfect.

I remember the night we spent in the hospital together after this dear little love was born. My baby next to me in the hospital bed, I stared in awe at his perfect little ears. Perfect in every way. Before we left the hospital the next day, I heard it for the first time, “he didn’t pass his newborn hearing screening—but maybe it is fluid.” Not perfect. Not perfect. Not perfect.

Many tests over next six months. Hope, then no hope. Hope, then no hope. Grieving then hope returns. Maybe it is still fluid. Maybe we can put in tubes and drain fluid. Maybe then. End of February. Hospital. Anesthesiologist with my baby’s same name takes him away to surgery. Tubes go in. ENT comes to talk to us. Left ear, “abnormal anatomy.” Not perfect. Not perfect. Not perfect.

April 7th, 7:00 a.m. Baby awake, playing next to me on floor. Sitting up, playing with toys. Getting into crawling position, back to sitting up. Looks up at me and claps hands together, fists still not completely open; clap making no sound. But he smiles at me. He is proud of his achievement. He looks perfect. No one around us would know. But soon there will be hearing aids. And then he will be seen as disabled. He is disabled. Not perfect. Not perfect. Not perfect.

*Here's the part where I get preachy, at least to myself.

But who is perfect? Who is without challenges? Who is not given teachers in this life? We all need and receive grace. Without grace we perish. We are nothing. We are all so imperfect. I send love and grace to my baby’s ears. I love the little guy he is, right here. Right now. I grieve. I anger. I rage against the imperfection. And then I turn back towards hope. Yes to hope. Yes to faith. Yes to love. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

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