Thursday, 17 July 2014

Strawberry Festival

Strawberries and ice cream. YUM. What more can a girl ask for?
One of my favorite fruits!

A few Sundays ago, the three of us went to our first Strawberry Festival, sponsored by our municipality. The main attraction? Cups of French vanilla ice cream with a strawberry compote for sale for 50 cents! With only 3500 tickets, we managed to get 4 cups of this delightful treat. We saw many families getting 5, 10, and even 20 cups to fill up! Thankfully, we were blessed with pretty amazing weather - not too cold, and not too hot. It was like a perfect cross between spring and summer, typical Vancouver Island weather... another reason why we're so thrilled that we moved over almost two years ago. 
Eating my Strawberries and Ice Cream in peace while baby girl naps... a RARE scene.
Contrary to popular belief, the Island isn't just for newlyweds and the nearly dead. At the festival, we saw hundreds, if not thousands of young families just like us. What a breath of fresh air! As we found a nice, shaded spot to eat our ice cream (baby girl fell asleep in her stroller while we waited in line), I noticed an Asian couple sitting behind us. The woman was visibly pregnant, exhausted probably - and the man looked tired, but content. Shortly after, their three other children arrived. What caught my eye about them was that their oldest daughter had not one, but TWO Cochlear Implants! (Jealous!) Talk about serendipity. After making eye contact with them, I went over and introduced myself, pointing to my ear (because hearing loss isn't easily identifiable, unless you're looking for it!). Their daughter immediately beamed, but she didn't say much - so I spoke to her parents, and quickly learned that they had just moved to Victoria only two months ago, from South Korea. What a major change for them (and I thought moving from Vancouver was tough!).

It is wonderful to know that there are other families in our area who deal with hearing loss, even if indirectly. Just from our brief exchange of words, I could tell that there was a sense of community, appreciation, and gratitude between us. My husband and I are very fortunate to have each other, because there's very few people that can relate to us when it comes to having a hearing loss. When we can't understand something (we can hear noise, but we can't discern what is being conveyed to us), we automatically know that deep, sinking feeling that comes with the territory. In my younger days, whenever I had to ask someone to repeat themselves, it felt like I had to pull up my socks, suck in my gut, take a deep breath and pray that someone would be willing to repeat (or rephrase) themselves. If it didn't work, then cue that crazy cycle all over again. There were times when I gave up. After all, I'm human.

Taking a deep breath and going for it - in Ochos Rios, Jamaica
For Rachel, since she is unable to verbally express her needs and wants yet, it's actually sometimes easier! Surprisingly, we've learned over the months to observe her cries (her 'I want my toys' cry is the most obvious one!) - using trial and error to assess if she's hungry, had a pee, or just needs attention. At 8 months old, she's already babbling words like ba, ba, ba or awah, awah, awah, and more recently, a clicking sound coming from her (I guess she figured out how to play with her tongue!). It makes me wonder what my own parents must have felt when I didn't even reach these milestones when I was the same age. All I can say is, whenever we hear noise coming from Rachel, no matter how awful it sounds (trust me, the screams can be pretty ear piercing), I'm just thankful that she won't have to go through what mommy and daddy did as children.

No comments:

Post a Comment