Son, I need to tell you that my heart broke today as I sat in a sound-proof booth with you and listened to the audiologist in the next room speaking to you through your special headphones, while you sat there completely oblivious, not hearing a word--or hearing, but in such a muddled way as to not be able to repeat the words back to her as she asked. I had to turn my face away. It was hard for me to watch. And, I didn't really want you to see the tears in my eyes. Moms are pretty fragile creatures under our ultra-tough exteriors. Your level of hearing is not good. But, as with almost every set back, there is a bright side. The nerves in your ears have the ability to hear at a normal level. You just can't hear at that level because of all the fluid you are stockpiling in your middle ears. And we now have a plan. A way to beat this. And for that I'm thankful. We have scheduled you to have tubes put in your ears to drain off the fluid, and simultaneously for you to have your adenoids removed. This will all happen on February 11. The draining of the fluid should help with the hearing, and the removal of the adenoids should allow you to breathe more easily. I will admit, the word "surgery" gives me pause (though that word means almost nothing to you), but I understand it to be a relatively simple procedure, with a fairly quick recovery time, and a low incident of complications. I am glad we have a plan. As far as you are concerned, it is an opportunity to eat all the ice cream you want. I think that's awesome. I feel like I'm being a bit melodramatic about the whole thing, especially when, for you, it all boils down to ice cream. Elizabeth Stone was right when she said, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." I guess I'm just writing this little note to you so that you will possibly catch a glimpse of what it feels like to be your mom. And, so you will remember that little set backs aren't the end of the world. There are almost always answers and solutions, and in your case, there is always a mom who cares. I love you so much!