Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Thursday, January 30, 2014

CAN! Not can’t.

I think when you have a child like Jackson you become accustomed to hearing and saying the word “can’t”.  I know for myself I have used it a lot when describing him.  I will say “Jackson can’t walk, Jackson can’t talk.”  It has become a part of my daily vocabulary.  But the last couple of weeks have proven to me that while there are some things Jackson can’t do, there are some things I can cross off that “can’t” list.  And I couldn’t be happier about it.

When I took the leadership class at the Arc last year part of the program was learning about resources in our community.  When the Spokane Parks and Recreation woman came to talk about the Therapeutic Recreation Service for people with disabilities she mentioned adaptive skiing.  As soon as I heard about it I had a new goal for Jackson.  I grew up skiing the great ski resorts in the mountains of Colorado.  In my teen years we only went to school 4 days a week and had Monday’s off.  The local resorts would let us ski for free on Monday’s.  If you weren’t skiing, you were missing out.  I love skiing.  When I was pregnant with Jackson and dreaming of all the things I would do with him, skiing was on that list.  So when I heard there might be a chance for Jackson to ski, well it was a no-brainer, my kid was doing it.  I could hardly wait for this winter to arrive.  When I finally got that registration, I cried when I filled it out.  Jackson was going to ski!  As that first ski day quickly approached I went shopping for ski necessities – gloves, long underwear, fleece pants.  I had him all lined out, now the big test – would he like it?  

The first day of skiing arrived and it was as if Jackson knew something great was about to happen.  He woke up in the best mood.  The whole drive up to the mountain he was squealing with delight, laughing, wiggling around in his car seat.  He was excited.  Despite being in so many layers he could barely sit up, he was all smiles as they put him in the bi-ski.  Before I knew it he was on the chair lift heading up the mountain.  His instructor said he was a bit nervous on the lift that first time.  He was holding his breath and laughing nervously.  But after that, nothing but happiness on the chair lift.  Watching him come down that mountain for the first time is something I won’t forget.  Needless to say both Kevin and I cried.  As for Jackson, well I don’t know why I was even worried.  He loves the outdoors, he loves cold weather, he loves going fast, and he’s my kid.  He absolutely loved it!  Not only did he love it but he lasted the full 2 hours!  He doesn’t enjoy anything for 2 hours!  I was shocked and elated.  He again surprised the hell out of me, one of my favorite things about him.  Jackson CAN ski!

As if the skiing thing wasn’t enough, the next day my sister took the kids to see the movie Frozen.  I knew there was no way he would last through a movie.  But I thought it would be a good way to find out how long he would last in a movie.  Something I hadn’t wanted to figure out on my own.  As I am sure you can guess by now, he made it through the whole movie and was as happy as can be.  Proven wrong again by a 5 year old.  Jackson CAN go to a movie!

This time I end my post with a quote that fits my beautiful little boy who is continually teaching me life lessons.  When I read this quote I imagine the words as Jackson’s own.  “I am only one.  But still, I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” (Edward Everett Hale)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home

You never appreciate being home until you can’t get there.  That is exactly what happened to us when we made the trek towards home after our Christmas trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Southwest canceled our flight home from Denver because they didn’t have a crew for our flight and then wouldn’t fly us home for 5 days.  After taking matters into our own hands (which apparently you have to do because Southwest is not only unwilling to help their passengers, but are downright nasty about it) we managed to catch a Delta flight home 3 days later.  This of course meant the kids missed school and Kevin missed work.  But there is nothing like walking into your house after being gone for 21 days.  Home sweet home has a new meaning to me! 

As an update to my last post let me say that once Christmas was over the kids’ behavior became much better.  I think the whole unknown of the holidays just had them out of their minds.  As for me, my first Christmas as a mom of 3, and of 2 who believe in Santa and understand the whole Christmas process, I will never be able to express my delight and relief that Christmas is over!  For someone who hates shopping, the last minute gifts, stocking stuffers and taking the kids shopping for each other made me want to jump in the ocean and swim to the Bahamas.  Truly.  I will say that it was fun to create some new traditions for the kids.  Their favorite was snack-a-rama - no real dinner on Christmas eve, just a lot of crackers, cheeses, meats, veggies, fruit and cookies to snack on all night while watching movies and playing games.  It was one of my favorite traditions when my nephews were little and now there are others in my family who love it too!  Somehow we all survived the holidays and have a house full of toys to prove it.

After our visit with Kevin’s parents we headed over to Sarasota, Florida to visit more family.  It was a great chance for the kids to see the Gulf of Mexico and to experience white sandy beaches.  When Daniel first saw the white beach he said “Is that snow?”  He had to go feel it to believe it was actually sand.  We also got to go visit the Big Cat Habitat and Sanctuary that had bears, goats, monkeys, lions, tigers, ligers and birds.  We loved it!  It was fun for the kids to see another part of Florida and to visit Pat, Dave and Sam who we love so much.  And to eat Pat’s to die for homemade mac and cheese!  Before we knew it, it was time to leave our beloved Florida and head to Denver to visit some of my family.  All of whom hadn’t met the kids yet.  We got visits in with my 91 year old Grandma, my best friend Tami and her mom, my aunt and uncle, my cousin and her wonderful little boys who I adore, and my stepbrother.  It was a great trip and I was so happy everyone got to meet the kids. 

It’s fun to watch the kids meet their new family members.  At first they just kind of sit back and take everything in and after a little bit it’s as if they have known them all their lives.  It is also awesome to watch our family members embrace the kids and welcome them into the family.  When you think about it it is really kind of a weird situation.  Just out of the blue getting a couple of kids, raising them and being responsible for their every need and want.  Then introducing them to your loved ones who are virtual strangers to them.  Everyone trying to get to know everyone.  But in the end it’s just the simplicity of family. 

Our 3 week trip was full of adventure.  Our first Christmas together, me forgetting to pack enough seizure medication for Jackson, seeing a new part of America, meeting new family members, lots of rental cars, 86 degree weather in Florida, snow in Denver, and a canceled flight.  Agatha Christie summed up our trip when she said “It is astounding in this world how things don’t turn out at all the way you expect them to.”