Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

It is Christmas Eve. 9:10 pm. We didn't go to Christmas Eve Mass as we usually like to do. We didn't make a special dinner or read or Christmas stories. We instead are battling the flu. Poor Roa has it the worst, day two of throwing up. Poor guy. He did muster up enough energy to sit with Daddy in the kitchen to "help" Mom make a birthday cake for Jesus. Funny but all the talk of Santa and presents...our boy is most excited about the Christmas tree and Baby Jesus's birthday.
So what is birthday without a cake? Chocolate bundt cake with marshmallow creme glaze. Just what Jesus would order! Ha!

The presents are under the tree, the stockings are full of fidgets and treats. The lights of the tree are bright as we settle in the watch It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time. Poor Roa is fitfully tossing and turning on the couch. Throwing up and crying on and off.

Not the peaceful night we wish for on Christmas. Yet we are blessed. Blessed with each other, a warm house, a full fridge, two vehicles in our garage,... Angels around us looking out for the Thayers during the holiday season (thank you, Santa's Elves, who ever you are) and family and friends who care.

And a birthday cake for Jesus waiting for tomorrow and a fresh new day to celebrate.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I believe there are angels among us...

Today's sermon at church was about the stresses and worries of the holiday season. We all have them. Father told us today to be thankful for the "now" and the blessings we have today. Put aside the worries of money, family issues, pain, and sadness and celebrate the graces.

I feel blessed that although we are currently unemployed, we have the ability to work and will find Bryan another job. I feel blessed that although Roa's future is so uncertain, we have a wonderful network of therapists, teachers, and helpers, who keep the fight with us. I feel blessed that although he now uses a wheelchair often, Roa continues to have the drive to get out and walk with our support.
I feel blessed that someone cares enough to anonymously give to our family to make our Holiday a bit brighter. Thank You Santa's Elves, whoever you are!! God smiles down upon you and the Thayers will certainly pay it forward!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The chair

Roa's wheelchair is here! Yeah! The Quickie Zippy Zone was delivered on Friday and we have a happy Rojo on our hands. It's pretty much perfect except for the foot plate that needs to be raised for his three year old legs. Handi Medical did a top notch job getting that chair here as fast as they could so the last leg of our insurance could cover it. We have opted to pay the outrageous Cobra fee to extend our coverage another month as the job hunt continues. Roa can then continue with therapies, doctors,....

The chair is a blessing and a curse. Blessing- Roa likes it, its a good fit, it is transported on the bus, it fits in our Pathfinder, it makes Roa stand out as disabled.
Curse- it is not Roa walking, it comes with an underlying feeling of defeat, it makes Roa stand out as disabled.

We keep up with his gait training walks as much as possible, but sometimes, it is just easier to push that chair. Saturday, that little zippy zone made it through the slushy crowed streets of the Minneapolis Holidazzle Parade. We felt guilty for not bringing the GT, but crowds are not made for walkers, nor is the snow. Wheelchairs make it thru both. Convenient and sad.

We made up for it Sunday morning as Roa and his trainer followed Daddy with the snow blower up and down the drive way.

Walk walk, my boy! Your chariot awaits for less active days.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Got A Friend in Me!

Roa has a new best friend at school.  His name is Caleb.  He makes Roa laugh.  The teachers say they like to run together… Roa, using his gait trainer, in hot pursuit after Caleb in the gym or on the playground, laughing and yelling the whole way.  They also like to hold hands… Caleb gently taking hold of Roa’s hand which is usually fisted in excitement.  Caleb is accepting.  He is young and nonjudgmental.  Roa is his buddy regardless of how he walks or the fact that he doesn’t sit for long on his own without tumbling over.  Roa doesn’t talk to Caleb, but  Caleb doesn’t mind.

Good friends are hard to come by.  We all have entered into new social situations- new schools, college, new job, new family, – and have felt like the odd man out.  It is not a good feeling and definitely one you don’t wish upon your child at an age when relationships are starting to be so intriguing  and important.  It is around age four that children start forming those bonds in pretend play and active times.  They begin having peers that they decidedly prefer to hang with.  Roa is close to that age and it is frightening as a parent.

Just has we all have been in situations that are new, most of us can recall that one certain friend who reached out to us.  I recall two such friends in life.  First, there was Becky Pierzina.  In my school growing up, children were sent to preschool who were at risk for troubles in Kindergarten.  Being beyond shy with people and PAINFULLY bashful in new situations, I went to preschool to work on those social skills.  Becky was the one girl who reached out to me.  Playing in our make-shift fort under a table in the classroom, I  remember giggling and watching Becky in awe with her chatty, outspoken way.  I learned a lot from Becky.

In my adult years, I remember entering my first job as a teacher in Black River Falls, WI.  I was so nervous about this new position working with young children with varying special needs and their families.  Socially, entering a teacher position is like being a new kid in the class.  Teachers are quick to establish cliques and are not open to accepting “newbies”.  Finding a friend is hard.  Barb Kolb was that one teacher who reached out with open arms.  Barb was enthusiastic about meeting new people and her job.  She was not shy about speaking her mind or showing you that she also valued your thoughts on subjects.  Barb showed me the ropes at Forrest Street Elementary. She introduced me to everyone and let me form my own opinions of the school climate.  She took me out on the town to have a few beers and unwind in that little close-knit town.  I learned a lot from Barb as well.

As Roa enters the years of friendship bonds, I hope he has the same mix of positive and negative social experiences that I had. 

 Why wish the negative upon him , you ask?

Well, the Beckys, Barbs, and Calebs of the world give you warm fuzzies - feelings of acceptance, pride in who you are, and the ability to find good in others even if they differ from you.  But the negatives that I have experienced in the social aspects of life- the bullies, the unyielding cliques, the insecure sect who point fingers and shun those who stray from the norm-  from them,  I learned that it is not my job to make people like me.  I can only be myself.  You’re sad to be judged, misunderstood, unaccepted, but you move on to have rich relationships with Beckys, Barbs, and Calebs.


Mom and Me

Mom and Me