Category Archives: Kids

Another Shining Moment as a Parent….NOT!

You know that cute as a bug kid you see at the top of the page?  That’s my Nick.  And the outfit you see him in?  A police uniform I pulled together on Ebay.  What in the world did we do before Ebay?? That was a Christmas present at least four Christmases ago.

Nick, for as long as I can remember, has been fascinated with police.  “Cops” is his favorite show.  We DVR it…and use it as leverage.   He will watch anything having to do with police and their job.  He says he wants to be a “cop” when he grows up.  *sigh*

Along with that cute outfit, we have a friend who gave him a “real” police belt, along with handcuff pocket, etc.  And we had already gone through about 3 pairs of toy handcuffs.  So we decided to buy him the real things.  They would last, right?  And they came with two keys which my husband and I held onto.  What could be the harm?

Well, he LOVED the handcuffs, and he used them to “arrest” his dad, along with anybody else who would cooperate.  Well, our lives being what they are–hectic–he lost the handcuffs…and we lost the keys.  No biggie.

Until…

He found the handcuffs again.  Great.  Just what I needed to worry about.  So I tell Nick very clearly he can’t play with them until we can find the handcuff keys.  And he gives me that look.  And he begs me, “Mommy, please.  Please. Mommy, PLEASE!” And I, having absolutely no will against that face..relent.

And I give him the rules…NO handcuffing your brother…NO handcuffing the dog…No handcuffing the cat…NO handcuffing anybody until we find the keys.  Got it?  “Yes….I PROMISE!!”

And things were fine, for a few days.  And then, one Friday night, after an exhausting day, I am winding down watching a little TV.  I hear the metallic clinging of the handcuffs, and then I hear…silence.  I am so tired it didn’t register right away.  It was eerily quiet for about ten minutes, and then it dawned on me…that is NOT good.  Silence in a house of boys means only two things..either they are all asleep at the same time(rarely the case) or they are up to something.

I investigate, and I see Nick frantically trying to get his own ankle out of the handcuffs.  And I freak.  I said, “Are you kidding me, Nick?” Well…more accurately…I yelled that.

And he sits there in the chair..looking so pitiful..any sane person would have melted and figured out a solution.

But I was not sane in that moment.

So I ranted a bit…kept asking stupid questions like, “What were you thinking?” He is a boy.  They don’t think…they ACT.

Finally, after searching for about 45 minutes in every place I could think of for the elusive handcuff key, I hopped online and researched it.  How many times have I witnessed people escaping from handcuffs on TV…often within seconds?  Despite what I learned on the ‘net…it was not happening.

I was in a quandary.  If I called 911 what would they think?  How could a sane person allow her son to play with a set of very real handcuffs?  Would they wonder if I was lying and the handcuffs were really mine?  Ewwwww….

And then it hit me.  How could I not have thought about it before?  We are friends with not one, but two police officers…police officers who know about Nick and his love of all things cop-related.  So I called.  Thankfully one was going to be home shortly.  So, about an hour later we arrive at their house…and Nick’s ankle is freed.

The bonus?

He gave us a spare key we could keep in a safe place in case this ever happens again.  Now if I could just remember where that safe place is….hmmmm…..

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Filed under Funny, Kids, Uncategorized

Glass Half-Full

Truly I am not a Pollyanna.  I don’t go around wearing rose-colored glasses and looking at a pile of excrement as anything other than a pile of excrement.

That being said…

I choose to look at my life as a glass half-full rather than half-empty.  Please don’t say it.  I know it is a cliché.  But there is sooooo much more to my life than the difficulties involved with having a handicapped son…or disabled child…or special needs boy…whatever the latest terminology is.

And maybe I am being just a bit simplistic, but the truth is this is my life.  And, like it or lump it, it is mine. It is mine to struggle against…or embrace.  It is mine when things are going great…and it is most definitely mine at 2am in the ER with my beautiful boy struggling to breath, or fighting mad because he is in pain and he just doesn’t know how to tell me exactly what is going on inside of him except to say–perfectly clear, mind you–THIS IS BULLSHIT! My thoughts exactly Nikopop…My thoughts exactly.

Thankfully, we have very few ER visits these days.  But, the truth is that ER visits in our household are like visits from that one person in our lives we all have…that one who shows up unannounced when the house is a wreck, and you are exhausted…the one you can’t break away from no matter how hard you try.  He or She will come over…we just don’t know when…and it is always at the worst possible time.

My life is full of…surprises.  The biggest surprise was Matthew.  We weren’t trying for our first-born.  He just happened. And as I have said before, thank God.  He has been a joy.  And then came Nick.  Who we tried for.  The child I prayed for.  And he has been a joy as well.  Through all of the tears I have shed for that boy…he has brought me infinite joy.

I probably will never fully understand the WHY behind my Nick.  But occasionally, I am witness to miracles that I would never have seen if I hadn’t been blessed with him.  And maybe I look for miracles where others would see nothing.  If so…I would much rather live my life this way than constantly seeing the negative side of things.

Most of the miracles I witness involve the development of my youngest and oldest sons into amazing men.  While the oldest is approaching twenty-one years of age, the youngest is only almost seven.  I know he is still a little boy, yet he amazes me with the way he loves his brother.  Maybe they would both be awesome young men without ever having met Nick…and then maybe they wouldn’t.

Tonight, I saw the simplest little thing.  And I almost cried.  Nick and Isaac had been sharing a bag of Cheetos (Nick’s favorite) and their mouths were covered  with cheese dust.  Isaac ran out of the room and ran back in with a wipe.  And then I watched my little boy carefully and lovingly wipe Nick’s mouth off.  He did it without thinking…without being asked to do so.  Honestly I have never asked him to wipe off Nick’s face. He just did it all on his own.  And I was truly amazed.  And thankful.  And realizing how blessed I am.

Now I know I am not alone in this…I know there are many other mothers and fathers out there of special needs children…parents who can see the joy in their lives…even in the midst of their darkest days.  I just wish others could see this as well, and not pity me or canonize me…just realize that I am a mother of three awesome young men, by the grace of God alone.

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Filed under Family, Kids, Nick

God Uses Baseball?

My youngest son, Isaac, is my youngest son because of baseball.

Sound crazy? Let me explain.  We had always wanted another child after Nick was born, but because of his needs, we waited quite a while before even trying again.  There is almost a five year gap between Matt and Nick, so we weren’t concerned about a similar gap between Nick and a younger sibling.  When Nick was four, we decided we were ready.  When I still wasn’t pregnant a year later, I went to the doctor.

Nothing seemed amiss and yet I still wasn’t getting pregnant.  We thought maybe we weren’t supposed to have any more children.  But the desire was still there. So we prayed.

And prayed.

…and prayed some more.

My eldest son, Matthew, was born an athlete.  I say this because from the time he could walk, he turned everything into a game of athletic skill.  His first word besides “mama” and “dada” was ball.  Not french fries, not bottle….BALL. Any ball he picked up, he could do damage with, whether a basketball, a football or a baseball.  Had he liked the sport, he would have been an excellent soccer player.

His first love was basketball.  He would shoot dirty socks through a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle laundry basket into the waiting bucket below.  He practiced dribbling with a ball that smelled like strawberries when he was 18 months old.

When he was 3 he got a Little Tykes basketball set.  The hoop extended from 4 to 6 feet high.  The first afternoon it was put together, he was happily shooting the tiny basketball into the 4 foot high hoop.  A friend was over and said, “put it up higher and see how he does.”  So, I did.  First to 5 feet.  The first shot sailed in and as I have heard it on ESPN–NOTHING BUT NET.  So, I put it up all the way to the top…6 feet.  He looked at me and smiled.  Shot the ball…SWOOSH!  My friend turned to me and said, “He is going to be paying your bills someday!”  We laughed but I knew then that he was gifted athletically.  God blessed him with incredible hand-eye coordination (something i definitely don’t possess), with speed, with the ability to see something and mimic it when it comes to anything pertaining to sports.  He is a sponge.  And he loved basketball.  So, we tried to get him onto a team anywhere.   And, for reasons that are varied and ridiculous…it never really happened.

He was able to play one year with a school league but didn’t enjoy it as much as he thought he would.

And in the meantime we tried to have another child.  But it just didn’t happen.  And as Nick requires so much of our time, we thought maybe God was telling us we had our hands full.  We prayed.  We cried.  Finally we said if it happens it happens if it doesn’t then we can be thankful for the two boys we already have.

The End.

Not yet. God answered our prayers with baseball.

We had just moved and thought Matt needed something to occupy his time.  So, we signed him up at the local little league.  He is 12 years old.  It is opening ceremonies and the day is dragging on and I am sitting next to one of the dads on our team.  And I say to this gentleman, “your son looks like his mom.”  And he laughs and says he is not sure about that one because his son is his adopted son…his chosen child.  So we begin to talk.  I had always believed that adoption was a lengthy expensive venture–that only wealthy couples could dream of adopting.  He explained to me exactly how the process works and that no…it actually doesn’t cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.  It just takes time.

That was when I knew we would have another child.  I had always believed that we were promised one more child and that if it was a boy we would name him Isaac because he is the child God promised to us.  A little over 2 years later, we brought Isaac Lee home.

And every time I look at Issac I think, thank God for baseball, and thank God that He brought Isaac Lee safely home.

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Filed under Adoption, Baseball, Family, Kids

Just Can’t Say No….

So, here’s the deal.  I know I am supposed to tell my son “No” periodically.  I realize that I am setting myself and him up for failure for saying yes after just a few of those looks. Not to mention after just a couple of please Mommy’s. But almost since we were told of his diagnosis, I have wanted to make his life easier.  I want to do everything in my power to make him a little bit happier.

So, giving in to him has become like crack to me.  I just can’t say no.  Not to Nick.  Ask the little one…Isaac…and he will tell you that my favorite word is no, and that I hate to say yes.  Unless it is Nick.

I think the problem is that when he was little we were told he might never walk, and he might never talk.  The doctors just told us to be thankful for whatever he could do, because anything was just about a miracle, given what his brain looks like.  (To put it bluntly, a fellow parent , when given this diagnosis, was told her son’s brain looks like swiss cheese.)

So, every time Nick did anything we cheered.  The entire family.  Literally….it got to the point that every time Nick moved a muscle, he would turn around and anxiously await the standing ovation.

Through the years, Nick’s possibilities seem to diminish.  I know that he will never have a family of his own, or drive a car, or even live on his own.  He will always need someone on this earth to watch over him.  So, if he wants candy for breakfast–yes. Popsicle before dinner?  Absolutely!

The only thing I really deny him are things that I know will truly be detrimental to him.  And this has been especially hard with his whole gluten-intolerant thing.   So, he doesn’t get cookies, or doughnuts(his favorite!), and he can’t have milk because dairy has also become an issue.

So, maybe I say yes to him when I would say no to the older or younger son.  But, seriously, how can I say no to him when his life has so few yeses?

Plus, how can I possibly deny this face?

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Filed under Family, Kids, Nick