Taking the lead

In this photo, Amelia is doing her regular hearing test in the familiar sound booth at Australian Hearing. Normally, she’d have company at the little table with her; her audiologist, IS, helping to prompt her through the listening drills and me, her eternal cheerleader, wearing headphones and an encouraging smile, a poker face, whatever it takes to keep her focused.

But this week, IS decided that Amelia was ready to sit at that table on her own, to take the next step in the lifelong process of checking her hearing levels for change. As she gets older and more engaged with the tests, the need for hardworking mascots and helpers is receding. Amelia is not a baby anymore and it is time for her to rely on me less and less.

So here she is, my big girl all by herself at her little table. Without much explanation about this new set of expectations, IS kicked things off with me consigned to the back seat next to my Mum. Forever my supporter, she was as much a third wheel as anyone in that booth but I still held her hand like I always do.

Amelia simply took control and set about completing her ‘job’, looking up to IS for affirmation, but not behind her. She knew we were there but she really was ready for greater independence. I couldn’t have been more proud as I watched her back, her hands, her head – the calm language of her body – as she drove that test on home.

Next time, Amelia will sit with IS in her office at a much bigger, adult table and they’ll work on the test together. Like equals. Eventually, I won’t be in the room with her at all but I’ll be more than happy just to wait in the background while she takes the lead.


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