He had on his new suit and shiny shoes. The card and gift were packed, and so were the earplugs. He was heading out the door to his first fancy school party. For weeks we had discussed the appropriate outfit to wear and the fact that he would need to use earplugs when the band played. Given my genetic hearing loss, I won’t take any chances with my children damaging their hearing. They need to have as much of their own hearing left in case problems arise later through no fault of their own.