The marching band practicing at the high school down the street.
The whisper of the ceiling fan.
The dog barking.
His cousin asking for another piece of cake.
His mother's voice.
His father singing.
These are things my nephew, 4 weeks old, cannot hear.
Today, my brother and his wife were told that their adorable, wonderful, otherwise-perfectly-healthy son is nearly deaf. "Profound hearing loss in both ears," is what the doctor actually said. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it's certainly not good.
He will likely be a candidate for cochlear implants, and he will have a very good life. He will be able to hear some things, eventually.
There are far worse things in life. We know this. On the other hand, there are better things too.
Sometimes you forget how fragile life is. Infertility teaches you this, and pregnancy does too, but most of the time you can only manage by ignoring this fact, because if you let it all the way into your heart, you will break into a thousand tiny pieces.
And then you begin the work of putting the pieces back together, one at a time. That's where we are today.