Friday, January 22, 2010

How did I get so lucky?

That's what I want to know.  I mean look at my three lads - they're adorable if I do say so myself (and I say so . . . perhaps because they slept in this morning and gave me an extra few moments to think).

Back in my mid twenties I lived with my cousin in the woods in Northern Saskatchewan.  She's a teacher, and her husband was a Band Counsellor at the time - helping to build a health center at the Reserve.  They needed a nanny to look after their two little ones until the summer holidays.  I remember Sharon looking at Bethany and Daniel and a look of pure love and wonder would be on her face.  I knew I loved her kids, Bethany and Daniel were amazing little people, who have grown to be amazing young adults, but I didn't feel the depth of wonder that Sharon felt. 

I feel it now.  I look at the faces of my boys in this picture:  I glimpse a bit of the teenager that Liam will grow into.  I glimpse Aidan in his school years, with lots of love and support from his peers.  I see that Kieran is finding his way, and will continue to grow and become an exceptional young man - who might look back at this picture and wonder why he gave a goofy grin.  And I'll tell him that it was a stage he was going through.

And finally, I see James and me behind them every step of the way.

Thanks to my friend Nancy who gifted us with the amazing family portrait at our local Down syndrome society Christmas party.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I can't stop thinking...

I can't stop thinking about Haiti.  My mind goes there as I'm making supper and I think, man, we're lucky to have food right now.  I'm washing the dishes, and I wonder if Haiti has clean drinking water.  I spill coffee down the front of my shirt in the cafe and I tell myself I've got nothing to complain about.  I think of Haiti. Of the devastation, and all the people trying to make sense of their lives and their new situations - all the while in varying states of shock and grief. 

I also think of one person in Haiti right now:  Jesse.  Our cousin.  He works there for the UN - and thankfully was not in the headquarters when the earthquake happened.  He knew something was seriously wrong when he was driving home from work and the road collapsed in front of him.

We heard from his parents that he was okay.  A few days later we got an e-mail from him.  He spent over 40 hours awake in the beginning - 31 of them helping in a triage unit.  Now he's helping with the bodies. 

I e-mailed him:  "you're doing heroes work.... Stay well, it can't be easy". 

But I don't know.  I can't imagine the trauma.  I can't imagine how life will ever be the same after living through something like this.  I just pray that he'll be okay.  And I pray that somewhere in this awful horribleness of destruction, that all of the survivors will be okay.  That they'll have strength and support to rebuild and keep living.

(Jesse kindly gave me permission to post about his experience.   He also set me straight about my facts...amazing how the facts get skewed as the story moves from one person to the next.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Glasses Day

Well, Kieran got his new glasses today, and he's so proud. They look a little big in this photo - but in real life they look better.

He showed us how he cleans them (which he did about 20 times already), and how neatly they fit into his flip-top glasses case. James and I were quite surprised at how strong the prescription is. Poor kid, we had no idea.

We took Aidan with us as we wanted him to get interested in putting glasses on his face. I have been carrying an order for his glasses around in my purse for over a month. Every time we are near a glasses dispensery we go in and I encourage Aidan to try them on. Today was the furthest we got with him. The young woman working with us was so good with him:

Aidan just loved her. So much in fact that he actually put them on his chin, which is a big improvement from throwing them over his shoulder.

I'm so grateful to this young woman for her help. We didn't order the glasses yet - she invited us to keep coming in until we find the right pair for him, and to help get him comfortable putting them on.

Maybe between Kieran (being so happy and proud with his pair) and this very helpful and friendly professional we'll get him wearing glasses before long.

A mom can hope.