“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” -Art Williams
This morning an acquaintance asked how we’ve been, and I summed it up with, “Well, our Spring was chaotic but now Summer’s here!” And it is. Really. Shockingly. Finally. Memorial Day marks four weeks that Super Luke has been brace-free and nine weeks post-op. Physically he is doing great work, getting stronger every day and surprising us with his superpowers.
Walking again was a challenge at first, and I couldn’t believe it took him a week to really want to use his walker. But now he’s moving very quickly and we have to remind him that running isn’t an option now. Neither is jumping, kicking ball, or folding knees all the way to his chest. (Although that last one is trickier to monitor…) He has physical therapy twice a week and aquatherapy once a week. By the end of a busy week like this one, he’s toast.
It has been difficult for Luke to mentally let go of his King of the Couch title and remember that the universe doesn’t actually revolve around him. (Have I mentioned he’s sort of a dictator?) I suppose I’m a teensy bit to blame…I did spend a lot of time convincing him that superheroes are born out of trials. But, in my defense, I taught Arthur Miller’s The Crucible a dozen semesters in a row. The concept of arduous testing revealing one’s true character is burned into my psyche.
Example of directorial tendencies…”Mom, take a picture where it looks like I’m eating. Like this!”:
Super Luke workouts:
Super Joel has also had another rock star month. A great IEP progress report and excellent checkups with his rehab/CP doctor and neurologist all make Mama worry a little less. (Maybe.) He is flying around in his wheelchair, especially in familiar places. His progress in multiple areas this year makes us feel like we’re on the right track with his education and therapies. He’s adding hippotherapy (on a horse!!) and returning to aquatherapy this summer. Very exciting stuff!
He also got to try out the awesome new Upsee at Perlman a couple of weeks ago:
I like to think of myself as a recovering worrier, but I’ve not been doing the best job of decompressing lately. If it has anything to do with our family’s future, I’ve thought about it. Intensely. Perhaps obsessively. And then I worry that I’m worrying too much! (No doubt.) But I do my best living in the moment when I look at this face:
And this one:
Tonight, in a surprisingly successful attempt to climb into my lap on the couch, Super Joel pushed up to his hands and knees (!) then grabbed onto my leg and pulled himself up to a tall kneel (!!). Then he pushed and pulled to get his feet under him and tried to stand (!!!). John and I gaped at him for a solid five seconds before sniffling with pride. We needed that today. “Worth it” doesn’t even begin to describe that string of moments.
Here’s what I’m trying these days: Choosing Joy. It’s not always easy. Actually it’s been excruciatingly hard sometimes. And some days I experience a Joy Fail and give up. But it might be getting easier. I’ll let you know. Regardless, the brilliant Henri Nouwen explained it better than I can:
“Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many, joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it. What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.”
Choose Joy. Summer’s coming.