Today I took Noah to Petsmart and walked the outdoor strip mall with him. He much prefers to be outside than inside a store in a stroller. Noah loved Petsmart. He fell in love with a black kitty named Harvey that was up for adoption. Noah also particularly enjoyed watching the two white doves they had. They fluffed their feathers and flirted with him. He thought they were wonderful. Then we watched all the boarded dogs get their daily exercise and he thought that the great dane that much preferred to watch and nuzzle him through the glass was more fun than watching the other dogs run around in play. So now I have two great spots, Best Buy and the pet store. I wish I could get Noah out to the zoo, but it's just too far for him to tolerate. He still can't go very far in car seats before he gets beyond upset.
Noah's great grandmother is coming again to see Noah in a couple of weeks. She's traveling all by herself this time just to see him. It makes me so happy that there is family that wants to be with him. I ran across this article that I'll attach to the bottom of this post. It made me cry because it reminded me of my own mother who I think would do anything for Noah, even if that meant rebuilding her entire house to accommodate his needs. It takes a special person to look past Noah's limitations to see him for what is beneath his physical limitations. And I've seen her pace my floors with a distraught Noah for hours on end, soothing him without an ounce of frustration, connected as if she knows exactly how his sweet little body must be feeling. It's such an exhausting task to try to make Noah content, and she never once complains she just stares into his eyes and reaches his soul all the while just talking him through it no matter how long it takes to reach him. Not everyone seems to be able to look past Noah's current handicaps, I feel some stay distant because it's not easy to accept. Some are in denial even thinking Noah is like everyone else when he isn't. When I explain his car seat problems they say "He has to learn sometime." But Noah is different, he's not like a baby that needs to learn the ropes, he has sensory problems, movement problems, arching problems, soothing problems - the list could go on and on and on. I pray with time and a lot of work he'll overcome them. But if he doesn't, it does my heart good to know that he'll still be loved and accepted by those who matter the most.
Noah's arching has been especially hard on my left arm this week. I fell down our top flight of stairs in the dark a few days ago, and injured it on top of Noah putting a strain on it. There is no rest for that arm, so I don't know when exactly, if ever, it will recover. I worry terribly about the design of this house. I find myself detaching from my love that had for this home. Once upon a time it was my dream home, now I think I could let go of it if it meant that Noah needed something without stairs.
Noah has also found it very funny to have his daddy pretend to be the cookie monster. Noah's favorite word is now cookie and he laughs every time it's said to him. I'd still love to hear momma or dadda from Noah, but if cookie is going to be his favorite word so be it I guess.
Below is the attached article I mentioned. Keep believing in the power of prayer!
Stacy, Chris & Noah
Children of Special Needs Deserve Special Grandparents
by Judy Winter
Topics: Learning Styles
Grandma Mary is a gem.
Her real name is Mary Jane Pressley Winter, but Grandma suits her well. Although my mother-in-law looks younger than she is, Mary's what a grandma should be. She's kind and gentle and radiates comforting smiles. Grandma Mary proudly boasts seven grandchildren, but she'd never claim a favorite.
Eight years ago when when my son, Eric, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Grandma Mary was there for us.
Little has been written about the grief that families of children with special needs endure. Even less is said of the anguish experienced by grandparents eagerly anticipating the renewed joys of parenting, minus its demands.
For special grandparents, joyful family gatherings filled with proud coos over "perfect" newborns are often replaced by neonatal intensive care visits. Instead of cigars, stuffed animals and back slapping, they face the hum of medical intervention, fragile infants and broken dreams.
The experience can prove overwhelming for the grandfather who'd hoped to teach his grandson how to throw a football or share hotdogs at the ball park. Or for the grandmother with visions of frilly dresses, ballet recitals and passing down a cookie recipe in the family for generations.
For many family members, the birth of a special child can represent the death of a dream. But not for Grandma Mary.
Since the day of Eric's birth, she's enthusiastically claimed her grandson and created a place in her heart for a love almost too big to hold. She has embraced powerful life lessons from a child teaching volumes about unconditional love. Her grandson makes us all listen when communication goes beyond words.
It was Grandma Mary who lovingly rocked Eric, while life-sustaining tubes connected to his body. She sang silly songs that have become theirs. Her sweet face and gentle voice have offered healing that rivals the best medical treatment, aiding in Eric's recovery and in ours.
Grandma Mary walked the floor for hours, singing sweetly, when it was the only way to soothe a distraught infant and his parents were exhausted.
When people seemed insensitive to the magnitude of our special parenting challenge, there was Grandma Mary, adding a wheelchair ramp to her front porch to ensure Eric's visits. She has forced herself beyond her comfort zone at a time in her life when she could be coasting and she always has enough love left to savor magical moments with each grandchild.
To Grandma Mary, each and every new life is unique, much like the designs on her coveted handmade quilts.
Today, Grandma Mary and Eric play the guitar, read chapter books and cook in the kitchen. She volunteers weekly at Eric's school. Mary and I understand the tears of love that fill each of our eyes when we celebrate Eric's hard-won achievements and we both know that a priceless corner of her heart is forever owned by one special grandson in a wheelchair.
Their powerful human bond blesses us all.