Monday, May 2, 2011

Love bugs can't ruin my sunshine

The outdoors have been calling our names. The hot, humid Florida outdoors. Which usually leads us to places immersed in water or shaded by royal palms and man-made havens. We are sun-kissed, refreshed but tired in only the way the sun can drain your energy. Neither the sticky heat nor the pesky love bugs could stop us from getting our fill.

I have been making small changes to insure the good times keep rollin'. Tackling house projects that have been screaming at me for months ( my arms feel like jelly from scrubbing the walls and bases boards for the last half hour.... and that was just half of one room), working on maintaining my cool as the two hellions battle my patience with their whining, getting some much needed me time, even if it meant that I would have to function on a little less sleep. A night out with an old friend- priceless.

 I bought a book today. I can't remember the last time I read an actual book. Really, I can't remember the last time I read something that didn't involve celebrity gossip, Down syndrome or God's word. I am drunk on the thought of snuggling up with my new book and getting lost in descriptive language and enticing characters.

I see it. Its becoming more prevalent. On paper, its not noticeable. On paper, all the boxes are checked off. She's right were she should be. But she's not. At almost 9 months, I feel like I have a four month old. According to the check list, she is ahead of a typically developing child, but I look at her and I know she is far behind. We conquered a huge battle this week. After three months of trying and teaching Fiona, she started eating from a spoon. This milestone was bitter sweet. I was ecstatic, like jumping up and down happy, that we had finally crossed that hill. But it was a reminder that its going to take her a lot longer to learn simple things. "I'll do as you do, just at my own pace" unknown. And as I watched my daughter attempt to feed a small yogurt drop to herself, she starred at her little hand holding the prize as her arm awkwardly jerked around, failing to find her mouth. My heart broke for her. I wanted to place it in her mouth as she grew frustrated. Her thoughts were clear in her eyes, she was telling her hand to come to her mouth, but her brain was unable to coordinate the message down through her arms to her hand. I let the yogurt fall from her frustrated fist, and picked it back up again for her to grab. Again, her hand floated inches from her face, unable to find her mouth. Her eyes pleaded with me, "Mommy, why can't I do this" and I just kept prompting her, "Baby, you can do this".

Tomorrow we will work on it again. And the day after that. And we will work on it until she proudly and easily can feed her self and looks at me with eyes that say, "Mommy, I did it!" Each milestone is a mountain that we will conquer. Because when it boils down to it, it doesn't matter when it happens, but just that it happens.( Note to be thankful for- she can get large items to her mouth, such as the chalk pictured above! That is worthy of praise!)

After my big speech about giving, I am going to test your selflessness. (Completely joking!) But I do have another important and inspiring cause that I would like to bring to your attention. Megan Walsh, Mother of the Year (in our book) and my sweet friend, is Streaking for Pediatric Stoke. And so am I. Her daughter, Piper, had a stoke before she was born. Talk about a little fighter, this girl has jumped hurdle after hurdle to show the world that she can over come this. Children's Hemiplegia and Stoke Association is challenging people to start a streak this month- to choose a positive thing to do every day for the month of May, causing a streak of positiveness to celebrate all the hard work these kids do to overcome the many challenges a stroke causes. I have chosen to take my kids for a walk every day- a small thing- but those walks are my way of honoring Piper. Join in and start a streak of your own- spread the word- let  Megan know what you are doing to support the cause- and help the Walsh's raise money for this Association to research and lend support to families that are affected by this scary thing. Remember, everything is welcome.

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