Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walking the Marble Halls

I recently spent several hours on the campus of my state capital. That in itself is not too big a deal. but, I wasn't alone; I had five children with me, all under eleven. The day was wonderfully educational. I learned several valuable lessons (I'm sure the kids learned something, too).

First. I learned that our state capital is most definitely NOT family friendly. Parking is terrible. Any spaces relatively close to the building itself are reserved. Residential parking is available for an hour a day, and (if you can find one) visitor spaces are available for $1.50/hr. $1.50 adds up quickly (especially when it takes 15 min just to get unloaded), and an hour can be incredibly short.

Also, capital buildings are filled with very serious looking people (mostly men) who ave completely forgotten what it is like to be a small child. Not only have they forgotten what is like to be a child, I think many of them have forgotten that they were children, or that they are suppose to represent the children in their districts as well as the lobbyists in the marble halls.

Finally, I learned that the marble halls (which can be quite intimidating) are really not so scary. And even in such lofty places, filled with powerful men (and a few women), real people still walk. It was a truly amazing experienc; one I hope to repeat again some day. Next time, though, I want to do it on a sunny day (when I don't mind walking several blocks), before nap time, and with plenty of snacks; for my children, and for those who have forgotten what being a child is like.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learning Curve

My eleven month old son loves to climb stairs. Unfortunately, he is not very coordinated, so he is as likely to go down the stairs involuntarily as he is to go up. Consequently, we usually sit beside him as he crawls. Some of the time, however, we really don't have time to sit on the stairs while a not quite one year old practices his climbing skills. So, we push a stand-alone baby gate in the way.

This technique has worked quite well for several weeks. Today, however, our eleven month old made a discovery; the gate moves! So, he deftly pushed it out of the way and began to ascend the stairs without an escort. Life as we've known it is about to change; bummer!

On the bright side, our little guy, who has been plagued by so many struggles in his short life, is no dummy! I guess the change is good, in the end. I certainly don't want him stuck behind gates his whole life. I'll follow Ann VosKamp's lead and choose my son's mobility and ingenuity as something I can celebrate today.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Understanding and acceptance

It appears after almost eleven months of struggle, that we have some answers as to why our baby boy has struggled so much with life. He has some sort of brain injury. The specialist called it "static encephalopathy." In layman's terms; Cerebral Palsy. The reflux may be secondary to the CP and does explain the frequent sinus infections. JJ's fussiness/irritability can most likely be traced back to the CP, as can his thermo-regulation issues. Even his sensory issues can be traced back to the CP.

Though no parent wants to be told their child is less than perfect, I am very relieved. JJ's life will never be easy (whose is), but God knew that from the beginning. Like Bethany Hamilton, I don't need easy; I just need possible. Now that we have answers, finding ways to cope is very possible. And that is something I can accept and celebrate.

God's goodness isn't dependent on circumstances, and in these less-than-perfect circumstances, we choose to celebrate God's goodness, too. What a gift!