Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back to the Star

My last few blog posts have been mostly about the two new little grasshoppers who have entered our life.  I think it is about time I spend a little time writing about the star of the blog – Jackson!  With the addition of a brother and sister, his life has been turned upside down and around.  Factor in the daily happenings in his own little world and it adds up to quite a lot of busyness, for him and for me. 

Adding two kids into our home has made it difficult to focus on Jackson and give him the attention he once had.  I miss it.  I’m very conscious of the fact that siblings of children who have special needs often get overlooked and don’t get all the attention they need.  I don’t want that to happen.  To make it not happen I have to make sure that my attention is equally distributed.  Impossible.  No matter what, Jackson requires more care and attention.  This balancing act is proving to be more challenging than I imagined.  I have found that the attention I give Jackson is more focused and centered.  With my limited time I have to make sure every second counts with him.  There is a part of me that feels guilty though.  I know having siblings will be the best thing for Jackson.  He seems to enjoy having the other two kids around.  He smiles at them as they walk by or when they stop and talk to him so I know he likes them.  But part of me worries what he might be feeling.  I wonder if he feels like I have abandoned him a little.  If he misses the attention, if he is jealous, if he is mad at me.  It makes me sad to think about that and I hope he understands.  A mother with guilt is what I am.  So basically I am a regular mother.

Jackson has had a few seizures recently.  The seizures he is having now are different than the ones from before.  For starters, they last a long time.  One was approximately 7 minutes long.  He is exhausted after them and typically pretty cranky.  They are hard on him and take a lot out of him.  It’s difficult to watch.  We’ve increased his medication again so hopefully that will help.  Every time he has one I find myself going down a deep hole.  I hate the seizures so much.  Watching him have one sucks me dry.  Afterwards I can’t focus, I often cry, I go down that “Why Jackson?” road, and I want to scream and throw things.  We’ve been so lucky the last year or so having him seizure free.  He’s made so much progress and is finally a happy little boy who interacts with us.  I live in fear that the seizures will return and we will lose Jackson again.  That all this progress he has made will be lost in the flurry of electrical activity of his brain.  It’s not a good feeling to live like that.

Being a parent of a child with special needs is a wonderful, emotional journey.  It has taken me a long time to focus on the good things and not the bad.  The other day a song came on the radio that reminded me of the journey.  2 years ago I put up a post called Hello World, based on the Lady Antebellum song.  It was during a difficult time that I wrote that post.  When I heard it the other day I started reflecting on how far I’ve come as a Mom.  How I’ve come to accept Jackson for all he is.  How he’s motivated me to be a better person and help others.  Then he started having seizures again and it threw me back to those difficult times.  I could feel myself turning down that dark road.  It takes a lot of energy to try and pull myself out of the car and not drive down that road.  But I have to.  I know that there are always going to be challenges in my life with Jackson.  There are challenges with every child.  How I handle and respond to those challenges is what shapes me.  I can go down the dark road or I can stay on the road we are on.  I want to stay on the road we are on, I just wish there were a few more palm trees on it.

And speaking of palm trees….we are home from our 2 week vacation in Florida.  Jackson loves Florida.  He loves the pool, he loves the beach, and most of all he loves his family.  His teenage cousins dote all over him.  They only get to see him once a year so they focus their time and attention on him and Jackson loves it.  Not to mention the aunts and uncles coming and going and the Grandma and Grandpa who think he is the best thing in the world.  He is not without love in Florida that is for sure.  Despite the bouts of diarrhea (and the dreaded BRAT diet) he had in Florida, he managed to have a great time and was happy as can be.  That kid doesn’t let a little poop stop him from having fun. 

This time I leave you with a quote that seems fitting to remind all of us to stay on the right road.  “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Adventures

The Klim family has had an armload of adventures this past month.  There were the chaotic last days of school during which I found it important to volunteer for field trips and field day.  I have no idea why.  Nor do I know why schools pack in all that stuff at the end.  Don’t they know Mom’s want to spend the last few days of school napping to rest up for the summer ahead?  These days were then followed by the end of the school.  Such happy children, such distressed moms.  Ultimately that all lead to three children at home all day long, an adventure I think is fairly unnecessary.  I would just like to put in a supportive plug here for all schools to go year round.  Please!

So here we are 3 weeks into summer break and what are we doing?  Vacationing in Florida!  And to get here we flew on a plane, which is something 2 of our children had never done before.  This was a grand adventure that I enjoyed thoroughly.  It entailed tears and laughter on my end.  We had to get up at 4 a.m. to get ready and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever seen the kids move so fast – eat breakfast, put on clothes, brush teeth, comb hair, get shoes on, get backpacks – this all happened in nearly a blink of the eye.  Their excitement was overflowing.  Everything was so new to them and they just took it all in with wide eyes and wonderment.  The best part was taking off in that plane.  I couldn’t count how many “Whoa!” I heard.  Or “Look at that!”  It was so much fun.  Watching their little faces made me tear up.  To be a part of that is something I will never forget.  We of course had to take off and land 2 more times so it was quite the exciting day.  Jackson was a traveling champ as usual.  The kid is an old hand at traveling on the plane.  My only regret is that I didn’t get him a frequent flyer number when he was born.  Ten trips to Florida, one trip to Connecticut, and at least 5 trips to Denver could have added up to some good flyer points! 

Last month the kids took swimming lessons in preparation for our trip to Florida.  My husband’s parents have a swimming pool and I wanted them to have some experience in the pool before we came here.  When we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s, at 10:30 at night, the requests to get in the pool began.  A week later they are still going strong.  They are barely awake and out of bed when they ask “Can we get in the pool?”  Whenever the answer is no they get the most deflated look ever on their face.  You would think I just took Christmas away.  The great thing is that they are getting so confident in the water and learning to love being in the water.  They both failed their swimming class because they weren’t confident.  Progress is being made!   Jackson on the other hand loves the pool so much and is a giggling mess whenever he gets in.  He loves the water and he especially loves being around all the other kids in the pool.  Lots of splashing, moving around and laughter is what you experience when you walk outside here in Vero Beach, Florida! 

The next big adventure was watching the kids see the ocean for the first time.  Another tearful moment for this mama.  Their screams and laughter said it all.  They love the ocean, sand and “treasures” (i.e. seashells).  Endless fun abounds when we head to the beach.  The beach and ocean just happen to be Jackson’s favorite place on earth so there are no complaints from him when we are there, only pure utter joy and the salty taste of the grand old ocean.   

Most people who come to Florida come for one main attraction, Disney World.  That was my destination on my first visit to Florida.  I thought it would be awesome to surprise the kids and take them there one day.  Sadly, Disney must feel their 2013 first quarter profit of $383 million is not enough so they have outrageous ticket prices.  Ultimately making it unaffordable for regular folk like us.  Just to get into the park would have cost us $454!  That’s a bit much for one day of entertainment.  Shame on you Disney!  It definitely is not the happiest place on earth.  Instead we surprised the kids by taking them to Lion Country Safari, an outdoor drive through safari in West Palm Beach.  The kids loved it!  Who doesn’t love seeing monkeys, giraffes, lions, zebras, hippos, camels and African deer.  Since Sylvia loves animals she was in heaven.  It was a great day and another first – exotic animals.     

Oliver Wendell Holmes said “One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”  My kids have had their world opened up to them on this trip.  I don’t think their minds will ever regain its original dimensions and I think that is awesome!