Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm waiting for the kids (chortle). That never happens -- I'm usually running around getting stuff together and fixing the next meal for later and drawing up meds... I'll get back to that in a minute.

How are you? Are things alright where you live? Papers getting written? Toilets getting scrubbed? Paychecks comin' in? I'm humming "It is well..."

Q is "getting" the whole walking thing more and more. We've been swimming once or twice a week in addition to his other therapies and I think the boy is gaining muscle in his legs. Good muscle means more stamina, more stamina means more muscle built, and longer periods on his feet means that muscle memory has more time to become embedded so that next time he wants to go somewhere the organizing part of getting to an upright position isn't so tough, the remembering that the feet have to alternate is easier and he gets farther more quickly. Which is so rewarding that he wants to do more, more, more! I've been talking with Q's PT about a walker because the boy would like to do this for hours out of the day now and my back can't take it. His PT is concerned that we get into a walker at just the right time so that we don't cause major structural issues later. He admits to being conservative in this. I'm fine with being careful, but antsy because Q is and my back, as I mentioned, is complaining. Of course, having the walker is only part of the story -- did you happen to see Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last night? The kids watched. The house they knocked down for a four year old in a walker had the same issues we do here. The new house was ADA friendly throughout, including a specialized playroom, plenty of space to maneuver, a "wet room" as a bathroom, and an elevator. Wow.

We raked up every last giant maple leaf yesterday. Or rather, there was one still hanging in the tree. Since it looked like it had become wedged and would need a stiff gale -- or spring -- to bring it down, we're not going to worry too much about it. The leaves, beginning their new lives as dirt, all went to live on the garden, where we'd had the chickens penned for about the last year. I say "had" because the last one disappeared a couple of weeks ago, leaving only a small pile of feathers. We have a little envelope with $30in it from the neighbor lady whose untethered bird dog dragged one home in September. We've been debating whether or not to try again with a few chicks in the spring, to purchase two or three layers, or to just let it go. The neighborhood is full of untethered canines, large and small, and while there are laws against it, it's an unincorporated area and no one's too anxious to enforce leash niceties. Those Americanas are excellent layers, though. And the eggs were awesome. Maybe two or three would be just right in the chicken tractor. We'll see.

Overheard lately:
G, exiting the van and exclaiming to his sisters in a stage whisper (so as not to frighten the poor beast?), "Oh! Girls! Look quick! Diplopoda!!!"
E, stepping carefully, princess affect intact, carrying a paper bag complete with tea towel out to the playhouse in the dark, "Come, girls, let's have some supper."
K, being her usual articulate self and explaining her frustration, "You don't understand. When my sisters talk to me, they just overwhelm me."
S, using paper towels as diapers on her Baby Alive, "Mom? Why don't I have a real baby?"
Q, as we're doing bedtime stretches (not to be outdone by the bigger sibs), "Mmmmboobooboooooo..." (With his lips! Pursed and mobile!)

We've got another, this time probably the last, court date this week. May God have mercy on us all. There's so much to say and not much of it is useful, so I'll just be still. Prayers are very much appreciated, as always.

And in closing (the kids are almost ready to go), here are some excerpts from an email my dad sent last week, late on election night, from the remote site he's been working at for the last weeks, off and on. Reprinted with his consent.

Well, now the hard work can get started. If Obama is to fulfill his hope of bringing hope to the rest of the country, he’s going to have a lot of hard decisions to make. They won’t always succeed in pointing the country in the direction he envisioned, to say nothing of the direction all America needs to have in mind. But I am glad he brings a message of hope. Agree or disagree, he accomplished a lot for a guy who grew up in his grandmother’s house because his parents couldn’t, or wouldn’t, care for him as they should have. I hope to use his story in a positive way on my own grandkids. I cry a lot of silent tears every time I look at little Quinn. .....

But Quinn can take your heart for quite a ride. Even if he can’t say a word, he can laugh all to way to the bottom of his toes and the top of his little head. ...we were [on a paved trail] ... enjoying the last days of bare ground before the snows (supposed to get 10 inches there tonight), when he started looking at us all like we were not quite OK, his mommy said. She caught on that he was noticing everyone had hats on, so she sat down in front of him (he’s in a stroller with restraints so he can’t fall out or tip over) and pulled her hat off. He nearly split his face open laughing so hard.

You might learn more about his condition by looking up blogs on PMG (polymicrogyria), which is the brain condition he was born with. The corpus callosum (that thing that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain) did not develop, and his motor planning and execution are painfully difficult. He loves to knock my glasses off my face, and I gladly let him, as it is one of a few things he can plan and execute on his own. The very first time, he laughed when they came off, and laughed harder when I put them back on. Then he repeated it, with great pleasure. A connection was made with another person. I’m glad it was me.

I’m too tired to work anymore, but I thought of you. I’m listening to Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 From the New World. It truly expresses in musical terms much of the hope that America means to much of the world. It was one of Dad’s all-time favorite classical works. I can still hear him humming or singing the Spiritual “Down de Road” which tune was incorporated into the symphony. The composer took with him a vision of hope from his visit here from Russia around the end of the 1800’s and put his ideas to music. Now I find it fitting that such hope may once again find expression right here at home. May God help our president-elect to rein in the temptations to corruption that will surely assail him, just as they have everyone who preceded him in that office. It is only the hand of God that can protect from such temptations, and woe to those who fall in their trap. “Those who fail to learn from the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” And “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Pray for him, and for his worthy opponent who showed grace in defeat. And for our current president. May he yet humble himself at the foot of the Cross, where God waits to give him healing and encouragement, if he will accept it. He started out with good intentions, it seemed. So did Jimmy Carter. And look how he made the best of a humbling experience as he went on to serve his country as best he could, regardless of what people think of his policies. Let’s pray for W that he may find the peace that only God can provide, while he still has time to learn. Doesn’t the Bible say that Pride goes before a fall? Arrogance, expressed in large and small ways, always leads to the same sad results. And for a nation to allow arrogance to determine national policy, the results are uniformly fatal once the tipping point has been reached. That’s why God so vigorously warned his people through the prophets that their arrogance was about to kill them, literally. And sadly, it did.


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