4 years old, sitting in front of the TV watching Jungle Book, my mom yells from the kitchen “Hunter come clean you your mess”, I didn’t respond. 30 seconds later”Hunter come clean you your mess”, again, no response. She walked up to me, picked up the remote, turned the TV off and said “ignore me one more time and you can’t go outside for the rest of the day, get over here and clean up your mess!”. I looked at her confused “ignore you?”. “I’ve told you twice to get off the couch and clean up the mess you’ve made in the kitchen”….I wasn’t ignoring her, I didn’t hear her. She had been noticing that I wasn’t hearing a lot of the things that she’d been saying for a while now. A few days later she took me to the audiologist just to make sure that everything was OK, but the results didn’t come back how she’d hoped. I had minor hearing loss in both ears, the doctor then informed her that my hearing would most likely get worse as the years went on. I didn’t notice, nor even care all that much in the beginning, all I remember was not being able to whisper in class because I could never hear the person whispering back. Then around 5th grade I went for my yearly checkup and found out that I’d lost 10 decibels in both ears in just one year. Then I was told that I’d reached the stage to need hearing aids. My mom looked at the doctor “alright” and then looked at me and smiled, “I promise you, no one will be able to see them” She knew that was the first thing that’d popped in my head. I could tell that she was hurting behind that smile though; she was made fun of in school and knew what was probably coming for me. (Oh, and by the way, YES you could see them. They were the exact same color as my ear so it looked like I just didn’t have holes in my ears haha.) I went to school with them for a while, and didn’t like all the “extra attention” they got me. Kids would come up to me and mouth words hoping I would turn up my hearing aids all the way so that they could scream, luckily mine didn’t have a volume knob, so when they would try to pull that with me I would just laugh and make fun of how stupid they were. One day in the cafeteria, a kid walked up to me and hit me in the ear and the hearing aid stabbed into my ear drum, and talk about pain.. that was probably the most painful thing that had happened to me back in those days. I got up and walked to the door holding back tears, thinking he had permanently caused me to go deaf in that ear because of the ringing. That night I told my mom and she was LIVID, she was at the school the next morning demanding a conference with the principal. I had always known that my parents were there for me, but during times like these I was especially grateful. When everyone else rolled their eyes when I would said “what?”, my parents always would repeat what they’d said as many times until I understood them. My mom was always at the school making sure that the teacher knew about my hearing loss and making sure that I was seated in the front desk closest to the teacher. My dad didn’t play either when it came to my hearing, I remember one time him losing his mind on one of my teachers for saying to him “Hunter hears what he wants to hear”… I don’t really know where I’d be without my parents and my family. They’ve always been there for me to make sure that I was the best person that I could possibly be, with never ending support and love.
I am truly blessed.