I think that I should help develop roller coaster rides. I'm serious! I need to be put into contact with the engineers that design roller coaster rides for Disney, Great America, Magic Mountain, etc. I have (without choice...totally forced!!) become an expert in roller coaster rides. Sometimes my days are one continuous mind-breaking roller coaster, the kind where you think you might not survive and barely do!!! I just feel that my new-found skills should be put to use!
Today's roller coaster was particularly treacherous because the peeks and valleys were so steep and happened so radically quickly. One second I was up, the next I was down!!
First, Nina and I went Christmas shopping. Yahoo!!! She picked a set of Sponge Bob mugs and cocoa for an early Christmas gift for Teddy. She was so thankful he had given her the dolphin pillow pet that she asked me immediately after breakfast if she could also buy him a present :) Sweetness!!!
When I picked up Teddy from school the first thing he said when he climbed into the car was, "Mom...I have something that is going to astound you!" He then pulled out 3 Minute Math quizzes where had received a score of 100%. He was beaming!! He then added, "Miss Checchio said she noticed how I was working faster and doing a good job!". He looked at me for validation, glowing that his beloved teacher (whom he has a crush on!) had applauded his effort! "Mama....I guess you were right...tutoring does help!" I beamed myself! Sweetest boy!!! I leaned in and gave him the biggest hug and kiss. I told him I was sooo very proud and that he was astounding indeed. He smiled right back, mouth of full half grown-in adult teeth! Precious boy!
While Teddy rode his bike, I trimmed Nina's hair!!! She's been wanting to have her hair cut forever but refused to go to the salon or have Sean (my hairdresser) come over because she was too scared. She kept asking me to do it. Finally, I agreed. What was the worst that could happen??? Sean needing to come over to fix my choppy job :) Well...I did a great job if I may say so myself. I cut her hair in sections, and kept each lock that I trimmed tied, storing it carefully into a jewlery box I bought just for this moment. Nina was very happy and Teddy spontaneously complimented her on how cute she looked, causing her to blush ;)
|Teddy loved his "early" Christmas present and the kids enjoyed a mug full of hot chocolate! |
Nina beamed from making her brother happy and from her pretty new hair cut!
|Being silly while mama took photos....but oh sooo precious!!|
Promptly at 6:45, Mario arrived for tutoring. Teddy ran and jumped onto his back and shoved the quizzes into his face, "Look Mario!" Mario made a huge deal about Teddy doing such a good job. Teddy then proclaimed that his success warranted a hot chocolate and mini-stapler for his school desk ;) That boy knows how to work his mama!!! I agreed to the premise, but only after a night of successful tutoring.
As can be imagined, tutoring was a success. We had our hot chocolate from Starbucks and found a mini-stapler at Rite-Aide. Then came the sharp drop on the roller coaster!
As Teddy was getting ready for bed, I sat on his bean bag and worked on the blog. Teddy walked by and saw me clicking on a photo of Nina from July (prior to the diagnosis). He instantaneously started crying. I pulled him into my lap and kissed him. He proceeded to tell him that he missed the "old" Nina, that he was so sad because she wasn't the same. The following is a summary of our conversation:
R: I know you miss her honey. But we just need to love her.
T: I just miss my old sister.
R: Tell me what you miss..
T: She can't play with me like before, she can't run, or ride her bike, or climb like we used to...all she can do is sit because she is so tired
R: But she loves having fun with you. We just need to be happy to spend time together.
T: How can I be happy when she is so sick?
R: We have to be happy because when we are happy it makes her happy. Remember how motivated she is when the cousins are around, how much more she walks and plays?
R: That's because everyone is happy. No one motivates her like you do and the cousins. You're doing everything right by loving her, being sweet, playing with her, making her laugh! She loves you so much!! You are her sunshine, ever since she was a baby.
T: (cries more into my chest! I rub his back).
T: Mom, is the medicine making her this way?
R: What do you mean honey?
T: You know, the chubby cheeks, the walking funny, the not being able to play, walk up the stairs. The medicine is causing it all, right?
R: No honey.
T: What do you mean (panic in voice increasing again)
R: The medicine is causing the chubby cheeks but the tumor in her brain is causing the rest. The medicine is trying to stop the tumor from growing.
T: And they can't take it out in an operation?
R: No sweetie.
T: Mama, is she going to make it?? I would do anything to save her life!
R: I know honey (kiss his forehead...heart aching for him!). We just need to keep loving her.
T: I just don't know how to help, what to do. I can't help the doctors...(pauses and looks out into the hallway)
R: You can help by doing what you have been doing all along, loving her, being sweet, making her laugh and praying
T: Mama....please tell me that the doctors have some hope.
R: Yes honey they do. We will just keep praying and loving her!
T: (hugs me)
R: Teddy, I am so proud of you!! This is exactly what we need to do. When you are sad you need to talk to me and daddy and let us know. We need to talk to each other, help each other. I am so proud of you at how amazing you are! Do you know that?
R: I love you (hug him tightly!!!)
T: I love you too!!
We sat for another minute, me tickling his back and reassuring him that we were doing everything possible. After a bit, he stood up and said, "I need a snack." He went down stairs and had some string cheese and crackers. I swallowed my tears, sent out a slew of texts asking for prayers of strength, and then cuddled up with Teddy once he returned from his snack. I read to him and he fell asleep!
I am so thankful for the incredible heart and mind that this little boy has!! I just pray that God pours all the strength and protection known to mankind into this little, precious Teddy!!! I tried to close my eyes and will my own personal roller coaster up by focusing on the incredible insight of my son! Most adults aren't capable of having conversations like this! And he is only 8. I focused on this for a long time, until the roller coaster stopped plummeting and started to climb back up steadily. My heart ached for Teddy but I also strangely felt peace. I suppose I felt peace because my sweet boy was talking to me, letting me know how he is feeling, and there is nothing better that we can do to support him, but listen, talk and love him! Nevertheless, this was not the kind of roller coaster ride I dreamed of as a child myself ;(