Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, wherever that may be." Helen Claes
Alrighty then. Mini sabbatical over. I have been advised by Caitlin's boyfriend Danny, aka Dream Boat, that I have been slacking. I wouldn't call it slacking exactly. No excuse really. Multitude of things. Mentally exhausted for one. Physically exhausted for sure. Hectic as all get up around here, definitely. I could post the latest happenings in detail but I will spare you. Probably the high point was the pumpkin patch in search of our Great Pumpkin. Love that Charlie Brown classic holiday show. Linnus, the eternal optimist. As I have mentioned before, Mark and I are from Upstate New York. In fact Jessica and Caitlin were both born there. I miss this time of year and I must say again, that most California pumpkin patches pale in comparison to ones in New York. We found one we loved here and went there for years but the owners of the farm sold and no one reestablished it as a pumpkin patch. It was the closest to authentic that we had ever found. So the quest for a new on began. We found a little farm with a small fresh produce stand, animals and haystacks. Very small but quaint. No cider, no fresh homemade donuts, no candied apples and no hay rides. I gave up the dream of finding the ideal. This year we headed to a new spot. "Autumn Festival," it was haled. So we enter the parking lot. Packed. The one time I wished we had that handicapped placard. We have about an hour and a half to mosey around. Plenty of time. Then we find out .... 10 bucks a head. Are you kidding me? Plus the cost of pumpkins. No way. I am not a cheap skate but that is ridiculous. So, crazy, what were you possibly thinking, we head out. Well, the freak out session that ensued from the back seat was one to be rivaled by no other. The boys kept it up for almost an hour. At one point I was laughing. Only thing I could do. The things that Jake was coming up with were classic. Joe would just follow suit. Finally, after some serious bribing, which is not beneath me, they settled down. We headed out to the good old stand by pumpkin patch and we all were happy as clams. Mostly me. If I had to spend a mere 10 minutes in the other "Pumpkin Disneyland," I would have lost what is left of my mind. Pumpkins were found, Jake's quest of finding his "perfect pumpkin" was a success and another year of this family tradition was deemed successful. However, it felt so wrong with out the other girls. I feel incomplete without them sometimes. Especially missing them at these moments. Taking pictures with them absent, is strange. In fact Jessica asked me if they all had to come back with the little ones and take Christmas pictures for cards when they were married with their own children. My reply .... absolutely. Speaking of my girls. I have no words, which for me is uncharacteristic, to articulate my feelings as I read their posts for the first time. Or for each time I have reread them since. I am awestruck by their maturity, their wisdom and the beauty by which they are living their lives and the grace by which they are flying, soaring in fact. I wanted to take a few moments and share with you a few other things about my older loves. First Caitlin. That girl amazes me each and every day. She is living on her own in San Diego. Basically supporting herself solely on her own. Working 38 hours a week and going to school taking 16 units. A heavy load she carries and without complaint. She calls each and everyday enthused about her life. Loving it all. Her job is one that I would find it hard pressed for many adults far older than her to want, let alone do it with the passion that she does it with. Caitlin is a direct service aid for adults with disabilities. She works for Community Catalysts of California and in the short time she has been there, she has already recieved a promotion. Although she cannot tell me a great deal about her clients because of the privacy factor, I do know this much. She works, for instance, with clients with severe Cerebral Palsy. In wheel chairs, totally dependant on others for their day to day care. Anything from bathing and dressing to errand running. Which requires Caitlin to drive them,help them in and out of the vehicle, lift wheel chairs in and out of her car and she does this, all 5'2" 110 pounds of her. She does this because she feels called to it and looks forward to continuing her education as well as her career in this field. Pretty amazing. Taylor has a fairly rigorous senior year course load. As well is the President of Panther Pals at her school which is a club who's vision is to bridge the gap in friendships between the typical students and those enrolled in the special education classes. Taylor works 16 hours a week and is volunteering at a place called "Ride On" which is horse therapy for children and adults with various levels of disabilities. She also is planning on majoring in Special Education when she heads to college next year. Jessica, child number one is next up on posting. She has been so inundated with her hectic life and hasn't had a moment to post. She promises this week some time. I have so many things to share with you about this oldest child of mine but I'll sing her accolades later, after she posts. So yeah, those are my girls. Hard to believe sometimes that they are mine. I want to also thank my dear friend Kele, mom to that sweet, sweet Presley for saying such wonderful things about my girls and all the rest of us. She is my far away friend that lends so much to my life by deed and action and unconditional acceptance.Thank you Giles family for the gift of your friendship. That is the long and short of the last few days with a whole bunch more interspersed along the way. Little Princess is doing great. Feeling so much better. She is putting up quite the fuss with eating her solids so I am having to supplement her with some extra g-tube feeds. I am not sure what's up with that. Zoey continues to work hard in therapy. Her vision therapist thinks it's time to head back to the eye doctor. Her left eye is more "floaty" than usual. Her stroke has weakened the muscle as well as caused her to lose vision, which we already knew. Hence the vision therapist. Probably is time for glasses and a patch for her "good" eye ,the right one. Although she has some mild vision loss in that one as well. Zoey Grace will NOT like glasses. As it is she will not even tolerate hats of any kind and she barely tolerates a hair twisty. And forget about having eye drops in her eyes, washing her face or anything involving her head. So that will be interesting. But how darn cute will she look in glasses .... that is if she keeps them on. That's all for now. Tomorrow I will be posting about some friends from near by Ventura. They are in the Ukraine, right now, on their first trip of two, beginning the somewhat complicated process of adopting their little boy Tate through Reese's Rainbow. They are an amazing family that I cannot wait to tell you about, but for now may I ask you to pray for Alison and Mike and their four little ones, who are stateside and for little Tate, who is patiently awaiting his forever mommy and daddy.