Posts tagged kids
Presented without commentary, a few pictures from my otherwise awesome day:
The Tot has been taking tennis lessons. That’s right, the next Venus Williams, or Billie Jean King, or Chrissy Evrret is amongst us. Or something like that. Though it’s equally possible that she will be the Harlem Globetrotters of the tennis world all by herself.
She’s young, and more concerned with having fun and driving the instructor around the bend than in actually playing tennis, but at this age, that’s what it’s all about anyway.
You see, she’s just happy to be there …
But her mood, as always, can turn on a dime! No, she’s not judgmental about her fellow players. No, really!
Her groundstrokes look picture perfect …
At least with a bit of creative photography. In truth, she rarely makes contact with the ball. I’m not entirely convinced that she understands that the whole point of the game is to actually hit the ball and not just run around and laugh and act silly. And drive the coach to hysterics. But hey, you have to hand it to her for sticking with her strengths!
It’s not entirely clear how this ball managed to miss her racket …
But it appears to have gone straight through the strings to make contact with her forehead. And that big grin never leaves her face.
Always the demure champion …
It’s impossiblee to watch her lessons and not laugh out loud, but I try. I don’t want to encourage her on-court antics too much, but damn they’re cute!
This is what I care the most about. Making sure that these unhappy faces …
Look like this …
As often, and as much, as possible.
That, and teaching this one some better make-up skills.
Yes, it’s cute now, but as she gets older I hope she learns to be a little more subtle with the colors and the application. Though, from what I understand, subtlety in make-up seems to be ‘out’ right now. I’ve been seeing more TV lately, and I’m not impressed.
I’ll also look for more natural beauty like this …
whenever I can. But mostly it’s about the smiles. More smiles for the ones I love. More beauty in the world.
Note: I originally published this back in November on a different blog, but recently, well, it just makes sense to re-publish it here.
This started out being titled “Is Cancer winning?” because sometimes it feels that way. It really does. I mean big time. Is it winning? Only if we let it.
I have dear friends, and now family members, suffering from the effects of cancer. It seems everyone knows someone or is related to someone, or … ok, that’s just obvious.
Maybe I’m just wondering why it’s showing up so much in my life lately. And by “my life” I mean peripherally. Not directly. In some ways that would be worse. In some ways? I don’t know. Being so indirectly connected to it, yet being so directly affected by it, makes it harder, for me, to deal with in some ways.
I always want to help the ones I know and love, no matter what their situation is. But with this? All I can do — the best that I can do — most of the time, is stand helplessly by.
You say “call if there is anything I can do.” Are they not calling because there is nothing I can do? Or because they are so overwhelmed with the day to day dealings, the appointment, the prescriptions, the dashing back and forth, dealing with the insurance companies that want nothing more than to find a way not to pay for any of it, that there is no way to stop for five seconds and think what someone else can do.
I know that feeling. I know it very well. I have lived it, on and off, for the past 12 years. People said it to me when my son was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for weeks without end. But it was all I could do to keep myself fed and (sometimes) showered, taking shifts by his bed. And then the dozens and dozens and dozens of hospitalizations, trips to the ER, weeks in the Pediatric ICU, surgeries, etc. over the years. It is overwhelming. Stupefying. Each time.
The most frightening thing of all? What you can get used to. What becomes normal. I could do a sterile pediatric deep trach suction and not even wake up. Most of you don’t even know what that is. I can change a G-Tube when it pops out — and the catheter balloon burst — while boarding a plane with another toddler in tow. By. My. Self. I can change a Trach in under 30 seconds. All that was normal to me.
One of the parent support email lists I am on (I’m admittedly probably on too many) talked at great length about how parents of kids like mine almost always suffer from (undiagnosed) PTSD. For some of us there is no ‘Post’ about it. When the trauma is never ending, there is no ‘Post.’ But you learn not to panic. It takes a lot to make me panic now.
I can only imagine that this is what my friends and family are going through as well. It’s not the same but it is. And there is no training course for it. There is no preparation you can ever do. There is no way to ready yourself, or steady yourself, or do anything but withstand the utter onslaught of it all.
I had a conversation tonight about “what if it were your son or daughter that had cancer?” The answer is obvious: You do anything and everything for your child. You let no one stand in your way. It toughens you in ways you cannot imagine beforehand. It becomes all about what your child needs. No matter how old your child is. 3 or 30, 4 or 40, it makes no difference. Except if they are 30, or 40, you can ask them what they need, what they want, and honor those wishes, meet those needs as best you can. And anyone that detracts from those needs? That is in any way “in the way?” Toast. It’s not about anyone else. Or anyone else’s needs, or wants, or desires.
During that conversation, and for the first time in years and years and years, I couldn’t help but cry. Because I already know how all of that feels. It wasn’t cancer, but I know. The fear, the helplessness, the desperation. The ferocity of love.
I still want to help. But maybe the best I can do is just stand over here and try not to get in the way. But if anyone needs me, you know where I am. And you have no idea of what I am capable. More importantly, of what YOU are capable, when the time comes and the need arises. But if you need someone to stand next to you … Or to pick you back up off the floor, again … Or, as my dear neighbors so aptly put it, just to hold the bucket while you let it all out. I’m right here.
Adding: This saying keeps coming to me lately in various ways: You entered this world crying, while those around you smiled. May you leave this world smiling, while those around you cry.
This is actually more intelligible than a conversation with a Glenn Beck listener when you get right down to it.
Ok, admit it, you laughed.
My Daughter brought this home from preschool the other day. I was working in my office and she came running downstairs yelling “Daddy! Daddy!” She bounced into my office and said “I made you something at school today!” and then handed me this. Her little feet are so cute. And then I read the poem that she had attached to it and I cried.
She is the sweetest little girl. Sadly almost all of the sweet little things my son made for me at this age were taken by his mother, so I have none of them.
Oh, since you probably can’t read that poem that small, here’s a larger version:
Though her asking me to walk a little slower is rich. Those short little legs sure can move fast!
I will also say that I am fighting the urge to have that poem added to this:
But I’m still in trouble for getting that, and adding to it is just asking for it. But it is tempting.
I am a very lucky man.