Wednesday, November 18, 2009

dinner, dancing & deafness

(ok, no dancing, except by little m in the on)

on saturday night matt, my mom, my friends amy & nancy, and i all snuggled into my car and headed to the annual benefit for little m's school. i didn't quite know what to expect, as it was our first year attending even though little m was going to the school last year too. (how amazing to think that she has now been in school since she was 6 months old!)

(my handsome husband and pretty mommy)

(my beautiful friends nancy & amy)

there was the usual benefit fare: 
a theme 
(in our case, "the love boat" even though there was no boat to be seen. in fact, we were quite landlocked, which especially when the promotional postcard has a big boat in the water on it seems a little misleading...but there was nautical stuff galore to make up for it), 
a silent auction, a live auction, people who you usually see in jeans dressed up in fancy clothes, some casino night action, thematic centerpieces on all of the tables, and so on.

(crowd shot,
the nautical centerpiece + 
sidenote, also the piece of chocolate cake, 
which was so so yummy 
{it kind of exceeded my low expectations})
our dear friend mary claire, who used to teach at little m's school, jean weingarten peninsula oral school for the deaf, was volunteering at the event, so we got to hang out with her for a few minutes while she wasn't working. 

after the food, and milling about the silent auction, the head of the school introduced the evening and a video about the school. the theme of her short speech & of the video was "a journey of hope." as she spoke, i found my eyes filling with tears- the kind that just come even if you will them not to. 

she talked about how when one normally goes on a journey it is something planned for and anticipated. the families at little m's school didn't plan to be on this journey. we didn't plan to be at a school for the deaf with a child who was born deaf, with hearing loss, or with a syndrome. 

and yet, her words rang true. the last year and a half has been a journey of hope for us. here i was surrounded by people who i never would have met otherwise: audiologists, teachers, therapists, surgeons, other families from the school. my heart just swelled in gratitude for these many individuals who have been a part of our journey- friends, professionals, professionals who have become friends.

as we watched the video, narrated by a graduate of the school who is profoundly deaf, in the 5th grade now, and who has bilateral cochlear implants, more tears came. half-way through the brief video was a clip of our little m at morning music, dancing and laughing. what a joy she is. what a gift we've been given. and what a journey we are on.

my tears turned to laughter when nancy and amy decided to bid in the live auction. let me remind you: we have no money. notice how we are in the back row? that's where they put the people who don't bid on anything. just saying.

i half expected nancy to accidentally end up with a $4000 weekend in napa. (it's for the kids!)
but luckily they were just instrumental in starting the bidding, 
and they escaped with bank accounts intact.
(and without inciting the wrath of their husbands for bidding on a personal chef or house in hawaii)

my awesome friend hannah, whose daughter viv is the cutest thing maybe ever besides little m, raised $750 by putting 6 months of her fabulous baking up on the auction block!

so thankful for each person at little m's school - 
for the other kids who little m learns from and plays with, for fellow parents, and for the staff who gives so much so that our children can learn to listen and talk.

and thankful that we have had dear ones on this journey with us.


  1. i probably shouldn't be reading your blog at work. crying at my desk it slightly embarrassing.

  2. Absotively, 100% with you. So glad you had a great night to reflect on the journey and celebrate.

  3. Wow, wow, wow. I feel the same way towards all of our Kaiser angels as we approach Alex's eye surgery in 3 weeks. It's a scary thing as a parent, but yippee....for the ways it teaches us to trust more and expands the community.

  4. I totally agree! What a journey ... and therefore my mom and husband receive many phonecalls at work throughout the week all starting with ... "Guess what Aiden did!" What a great event!

  5. What a great event, and what a wonderful school! I would have dissolved into a puddle of insanely happy tears watching that video. Definitely a night to celebrate!!

  6. this event has been added to my annual traditions. love you friend. thanks for the ways you have modeled a sacrificial-hopeful-super-mom.

  7. so glad you were able to go...doesn't help to know we are not alone.

  8. Such a fabulous night...made all the more awesome by the reminder that people like you are in my life because of being on this road with our little ones. (So thankful.)

    And I am loving these photos of nancy and amy bidding. LOVE IT!

  9. just like your blog, your journey is hard but GOOD :) your daughter is truly just about the only child i even like, and actually love (don't tell amy)...


  10. lydia - do you think your messages are invisible? I'm right here! look, now you made judes cry.

  11. Did you make any money for the school from your fabulous nesting boxes? And this looks a whole lot better than the idea you were giving me...Glad it was so awesome.


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