"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Monday, February 18, 2013

He Tells Me He Loves Me

 *This was written a while ago.  I just found it in my drafts. 

When my Parker was diagnosed with cerebral palsy so many things went through my mind.  Will he walk?   Will he have cognitive ability?  Will he get to play with his twin brother?  Will he be able to shoot hoops in the driveway with his daddy?  Will he talk?  Will he be able to say "I love you"?

Over the past two and a half years of his life I have come to realize that he will be able to do many things.  They may not look exactly like I had in mind, but he can do them.  He does not walk yet, but he is very mobile.  he crawls all over the place with the biggest grin on his face.  His "walking" may be a wheelchair, but I thank God that he will be able to move independently with a power chair.

He may not be able to show his cognitive level by verbally telling us what he sees on a flashcard, but he knows what is on it.  If you ask him "yes" or "no" questions, he can tell you.   He is one smart cookie.  (and one opinionated cookie)

 He does play with his twin brother.  Actually it has begun to be a more common sight in our household.  He will be on the ground heading towards the action (wherever Brady and Ryder are) and Brady will either bring him a toy and lay it out in front of him speaking to him using his soft voice, OR he will tackle him and roll over him with a roar of a lion.  Yes.  He plays with his brothers.

He doesn't shoot the basket or dribble a basketball, but  boy does he love it when his daddy does!  His dad also will help Parker do his own slam dunk, which makes everyone smile.

I think when I first knew Parker had CP, I was more worried about his physical mobility.  That was probably just something that stood out to me.  But now, what is really important to me is that he can communicate and be happy.  I want so badly for him just to be able to talk.  I know that someday  he will be able to form the words that he so badly wants to.  In the meantime, we will rely on his head shakes (for "no") and signing yes with his sweet left hand.  We will also rely on his communication devices.  We have just basic switches right now.  But  there are plans for much more complicated pieces.

 I remember saying to another mom how I wish he could just whisper "I love you Mommy".   Every night I rock him and Brady before I put them down to sleep and I whisper how much I love them.    And in my heart I am praying, "please God, let him say it back to me.  Just this once."  He doesn't.

But the other day, I am holding my sweet boy telling him how much I love him.  And he looks at me with those beautiful clear blue eyes and he coos / goos ( I can't explain the sweet sound) and touches my face with his hand.  HE JUST TOLD ME THAT HE LOVES ME!    I don't think anyone else would hear what I heard.  But it was as clear as day to me.  He said he loves me.

So my son may not walk...yet, and he may not be able to show exactly how smart he is...yet, and he may not get to run around with his brothers...yet, or dribble the basketball yet.   He may not be able to talk yet...but did you hear? 

He does tell me that he loves me!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Slow Down!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to slow down and be in the present.  I have found, especially more so this past year, that I am so incredibly preoccupied that I am missing what is going on right here an now.  My mind is going 100 MPH every minute.  I am constantly thinking about all 3 of my kids and everything in their lives.  (what parent isn't, right?)  If I am not thinking about how messy my office at home (and work) is then I am thinking about the many emails that I need to respond to.  I often think about work because this year has been extremely challenging.  I think about the many medical bills that I am ignoring in my bag that I take to and from work every day.  I am thinking about the fact that we need to find a one-level  house, soon.  I am thinking about Parker's ABM therapy and how we are going to afford it for another year, and how we are going to get down to California for more sessions.  I think about who will watch him next year while I am at work.  I think about what we are going to do for a communication device for him.  I think that we need to somehow fit some aquatherapy back into his life.  I think about how his preschool might not be doing everything I had hoped they would for him.  I think about the fact that we need to start looking into a wheelchair for him, which comes with it another laundry list of items like getting a van so we can transport him, getting a house that is accessible, dealing with insurance, etc.  I think about Brady and if we are providing enough extra opportunities for him to develop into a well rounded young man.  I think about Ryder and how fast he is growing up and wonder if there is some way I could just "freeze" him just like he is.  I think about how maybe we are not teaching our kids good table etiquette because we rarely have "family meals".  (we tend to eat after they go to bed)  I think about how I can't seem to keep up on my household chores and that each week I decide what I am going to skip because I can't possibly fit it all in.  I think about the fact that I need to plan some better/healthier meals.  I think that I need to start running or getting some type of exercise in so that I can be happier and healthier.  And the list goes on and on...

And all of this is going on in my head all day long, unless I really make a meaningful attempt to stop it.   How do I know this is affecting my life?  I often walk into another room and can't remember why I am there.  I often have to ask my mom to repeat what she said because I "missed" it.  I rear-ended someone because I wasn't fully paying attention.  And last, but certainly not least, I ran a red light which I wouldn't have believed even happened if it wasn't caught on video.  I do want to explain here, I didn't run straight through an intersection.  I was actually turning right, and so I did look to my left, but instead of truly stopping at the red light and then proceeding, I did a "California stop" and kind of rolled on through.  One of the pictures is of my looking for cars, so it wasn't totally unsafe.  However, this is an intersection that I drive through 4 times a day to take the boys to daycare.  I KNOW it is camera monitored because I watch the flashes go off all of the time.  I am EXTRA cautious here to always stop because I don't want a ticket.  So, how I actually ended up getting one, is beyond me.  I don't even remember rolling through the red light.  That is scary. What if it was worse and my kids were in the car and I didn't look for oncoming traffic?  I don't talk on the phone while driving, but driving preoccupied is just as bad.  

So, my mantra to myself in this new year is going to be "slow down."  I know, not very creative, right?  I am not nearly as innovative as some, but this works for me.  I might even add an expletive in there like, "slow the hell down," or any other word depending on the occasion. 

This is what I am going to do.  Slow.  Down.  Be in the present.   Will this be easy?  Nope.  When I want to pull my hair out and scream because it is like herding cats to get just 2 of my kids out the door and into the car in the morning so I can get to work on time, I am going to have to slow down.

When I get  home from work, am unloading 2 wild children while greeting another wild one who is already home, trying to get dinner going, and bring in everything from the car, I need to slow down when my mom is telling me about her and Parker's day.  Slow. Down.  (It would  help if my kids would slow down too.) 

When I am at work and I have teachers pulling me one way, a student pulling me another, many emails to reply to, meetings to coordinate and phone calls to make, I am going to slow down. 

When I have Brady screaming at me from the bathroom that he "went poop" or "there's poop in my bum bum"  and Ryder is clinging on to my leg while screaming "mama!" and Parker is vocalizing and reaching for a  toy, I am going to slow down.  I am going to slow down and watch the miracles unfold.  

I will listen. Breathe. Take it in.  Recognize.  Appreciate.  Love.

And Slow the hell down!