I didn’t realize the last time I sat down and wrote a blog post that it would be my last for two months. Life got crazy and time got lost. In the blink of an eye, lots has changed for the Klim’s. From my working to Jackson learning math to Sylvia being in a play to Kevin finally having time to just be home instead of spending all his free time at our old property.
You might remember that I received a Fellowship through the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council for Public Policy. I spent two days a week during legislative session over in Olympia trying to learn as much as I could about our legislative process and advocating for people with disabilities. Then working from home the rest of the week trying to keep up with what was happening on the other side of the state. Three short words describe my experience – I Loved It! It completely affirmed my suspicion, I need to work in public policy. While I was basking in love with being able to work again, Kevin was realizing how much he loved staying home with the kids. Just to clarify though, he was still working while the kids were at school and coming home early to take care of them. There is no way I could have done what I did for those two months without his support. I think we both realized that changes need to happen in our family. I desperately want to go back to work, we just need to figure out how to make that happen. My Fellowship is ongoing until June so I have been working on follow up work from the legislative session and tackling some problems locally around special education while making new connections with community organizations. One highlight is that I went to Washington D.C. earlier this month for a Disability Policy Seminar. It was a great conference and I had the opportunity to meet my Senators and Representatives. Kevin let me stay a few extra days to see the sights (did I mention he was rocking it at home?). I saw everything on my wish list and more. If you’ve never been to D.C. – GO! The city is filled with American history, buildings you can’t imagine, and an overwhelming sense of pride in our country. It’s a trip I’ll never forget.
Sylvia is busy preparing for her Broadway debut. Ok, well not really Broadway, but she will be performing on the stage at a big high school. She got the part of Mrs. Teavee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Yup, she’s playing a mom and one of her best girlfriends is her “son”. This play should be fabulous and entertaining! She also won the T-Shirt design contest at her school (shhh, she doesn’t know yet). So hundreds of little kids in Spokane will be running around with a T-shirt that bears her drawing. I’m so proud of her. If you don’t know, Sylvia is really an amazing artist. She’s got talent! Sylvia is turning 12 in a couple of weeks. I already feel like I am running out of time with her. Soon she will be in high school and I will become so uncool. I always wish we had a few more years of her early childhood. It seems like just yesterday she came over to our house for the first time, totally unaware of our plan/hope to adopt her.
Jackson turned 8 last weekend! 8! Every year on his birthday I dig out the pictures of his birth and the first few weeks of his life. I wish I could turn back the clock and have my little baby back. (Who am I kidding? That kid was never little. 32 pounds at 9 months old. He was a mini sumo wrestler.) I always reflect back to that day sitting in the doctor’s office getting his diagnosis and fearing his future. Looking at him now, I couldn’t be happier with how far he has come. He busts around the house walking on his knees almost as fast as we walk. At school he is doing addition and patterns in math, word recognition in sentences and next week will receive the “Citizen of the Month” award at his school. He’s not the child I thought he was going to be, that’s for sure. He’s so much better. My cup runneth over.
One of the biggest changes in our life came in March. We FINALLY got our wheelchair accessible minivan!!!! No more lifting Jackson in and out of his wheelchair, in and out of the car. Now, the side door opens, the ramp comes out, I wheel him in, lock his chair, and off we go. It has changed our life in so many ways. Jackson loves riding in the car, Sylvia loves having her own seat (which as she likes to show everyone, has 2 cup holders and a drawer where she can put her stuff), and I love the rest my back is getting.
Looking at the family calendar for the next month and a half reveals barely any free days. A busy spring leading into the end of the school year. Kevin will be off climbing rock and mountains, Jackson will be busy riding horses and learning at school, Sylvia will be learning her lines and rehearsing, and I will be spending my days advocating.
This is usually where I leave a quote that pertains to something I have written about. So this time I am going to leave you a quote that is located on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in D.C. It’s inspirational to me as Jackson’s mama and voice. I hope it will inspire you too.
“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” ~ MLK, 1959