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Aug 23, 2010

What a Life! What a Job!

I've now got almost a full month under my belt, working in our Parent Infant Program with babies and toddlers from 0 to 3 and their parents.  I can't believe how I feel about this job, and how my life has led me to be able to even do this. 

If you see my "Before" picture on the side of this blog, you might have imagined this is a woman who couldn't sit on the floor, or at least couldn't do so easily.  Well, I'm so grateful I lost all that weight and changed my perspective.  If I hadn't undergone all this change, I don't think it would have been remotely possible for me to do this job.  At 387 lbs, falling on the floor was a nightmare.  I couldn't get up.  Fast forward 5 years, and here I am sittting on the floor playing with little babies and toddlers.  This job has been a little slow to ramp up, as I've had difficulty getting ahold of all the parents to schedule my visits.  However, my very first toddler is a little 2 1/2 year old cutie.  During my first visit where I worked with her, it was pure delight to be down on the floor laughing and playing with her.  At one point, I actually laughed and said, "I can't believe I get paid to do this!  What a job!".

Not only do I get to play with the kids, I get to sing with them too.  It's actually funner than I thought it would be.  What a way to teach.  This little toddler is way behind due to being recently adopted from another country where there were no hearing aids and and auditory stimulation AND being profoundly deaf.  I had a lot of trepidation because I don't know 0 to 3 age group yet.  However, much to my amazement, I actually know a lot more than I think.  Not only that, I could see what hasn't been happening that needed to happen.  The mother is "thirsty" for all the information I feed her and takes my suggestions and runs with it. 

Tonight, I sit and reflect on this child, with whom I'm starting my 3rd week of working with.  I'm all smiles as I reflect.  Why?  I can actually see progress!  I've made a difference.  Her mom and I kept being excited and celebrating today at the things that she was doing.  She's got a lot way to go, and needs that cochlear implant sooner rather than later.  However, how rewarding it is to be new in a job and feeling I have so much to learn, but at the same time seeing what I do makes a difference!  How exciting to have a mom who prior to my visit has felt alone without the support she needed, actually be excited at the progress her child has made in the last 3 weeks.

The coolest thing was at only my 2nd visit, the mom said to me, "I'm so sad that I'm going to lose you."  I was puzzled and confused.  I had JUST started working with this little child.  I'm not going anywhere.  I asked her what she meant, and she says, "She's turning 3 in February and you'll be gone when she goes to preschool".  I promised her that we could still be friends after her child leaves my caseload and enters preschool.  It's so rewarding to have such immediate feedback that I'm important to this family and to actually see a difference in this darling little girl. 

Five years ago, I couldn't have ever seen my  life the way it is today.  I decided to renovate my life, one step at a time, without a real clear picture of how to do that, other than to start losing weight.  All the other steps after that unfolded bit by bit.  I'm so grateful for the journey.