Pushing a boulder uphill for a long time is exhausting. I go to bed every night saying to myself, “tomorrow, this will all come together, and I’ll be able to take a deep breath and rest.”

There is no rest.

Every morning I wake up, and face the work again. Is it supposed to be this hard? This all-consuming? Where did I go?

Why did I believe that all her teachers would fight with me instead of against me?

I tape her hearing aid to her head, because as it stands, the aid doesn’t stay in her ear without tape. I want her to have a chance of hearing what’s being said by her teacher at school. Without the aid, she’s missing so much.

“Have you noticed any changes since we’ve been having her wear the aid?” I ask.

“Well, she talks louder.”

How am I supposed to interpret that?

I remind her, “What’s the first thing you do when you get into your classroom today?” “Put on my FM system.” The FM system that, after weeks of phone calls home, dropping everything to run to school and troubleshoot, phone calls to the experts, and “in-service” days, finally works.

I wait for the phone call daily. I anticipate having to rush to school to troubleshoot something else. My phone is never far. The leash is on.

When she was born, we were told, “I know it’s shocking and frightening for you, but rest assured, kids with one-sided hearing loss do just fine. There’s really no difference, just make sure they are seated where they can hear the teacher.”

Why did I believe this? Was it because I wanted to so desperately? The complications have piled on over the years, so much so that I can’t see ahead very far. I can only see where we are right now.

“Have you ever grieved her ear?” My friend asks.

I burst into tears. “I keep thinking that I have, but situation after situation keeps popping up, preventing me from fully embracing where we are. I’ve long let go of what I thought would be. I just can’t seem to get ahead of what is right this second. I can’t see past the giant rock I’m pushing uphill.”

So I go to bed at night, and pray, “tomorrow it will all come together and I will be able to take a deep breath and let her fly.”

Then I wake up in the morning, and the work starts again, everyday renewed faith that somehow, someday, this work will have a reward.

There is no try. Only do. She’s my daughter.

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