Friday, July 27, 2012

The Wisdom & Confidence of Seven Years

I have a recurring dream about hearing aids. It starts with a shocking realization that I wear a pair of BTE aids just like Julia's. Then inevitably, I stress over getting them wet or losing them or some other tragedy.

This has replaced the "big contact lens" dream of my youth. Instead of a gigantic contact lens that couldn't possibly fit in my eye, I'm now wasting REM sleep dreaming about hearing aids I don't even have. Would it be too much to dream about basking in the sunshine? Or relaxing? Or just anything nice?

Even Tim had a dream one night. He was back in high school, he told Julia and I. A girl he was friends with had to get hearing aids. She was embarrassed. Tim knew he should talk to her, but didn't as so often is the case in dreams.

"Why was she embarrassed?" Julia asked.

Tim and I looked at each other. Julia is not embarrassed by anything. We've made a concerted effort to keep it that way. I had a moment of fear that letting her know a person might be embarrassed by hearing aids would make her embarrassed of her hearing aids.

"They shouldn't be," Tim said finally. "People are insecure."

"It can be hard to feel different sometimes," I added. "I remember being very embarrassed when I had to wear my scoliosis brace as a kid. It really hurt my feelings when people asked me about it in a mean way."

"Well, hearing aids are nothing to be embarrassed about," Julia concluded. "Besides, if you're a girl you could just pull your hair down over them or something. Maybe it's harder for boys."

That was it as far as she was concerned. Tim and I seized a teachable moment wherein we tried to boost her self-confidence by talking about how wonderful our seven-year-old daughter is. Julia doesn't mind when we do that. She already knows.

I hope she never forgets. That would make a nice dream.

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