Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweetness on the beach

Salute to the sun

The time it takes to do the two school runs: one hour and 20 mins. Freeway to Reuben's school and then highways and freeways to Callum's school. Then Reuben to hospital for cardiology. The lovely new Dr decided he'd put the decision of impending open heart surgery to the panel. We may be able to leave it a little longer to remove the subaortic membrane that's flapping around causing turbulence in his heart, or, more likely, the surgeons will think "Why wait?". As a mother, you go for the wait, because indeed Reuben is 3 years older now than when he first had open heart surgery, open because they literally saw open the rib cage, cut open the heart, stop the heart and put him on a pacemaker, operate, then work to get his heart working again afterwards. It's that rough a ride.

Home and Reuben was fast asleep after showing off his signs to the cardiologist. So I took the opportunity to drive again to the beach where Callum and I watched the sun go down. I'm always conscious of these first 3 years of a child's life, being the time when connections are made between the billions of cells and, if those connections aren't made so early on, the cells will be abandoned and lost forever. It panics me at times, such as, why can't I teach Callum to sign in the same way I taught Reuben, but I really do know the answers. I cannot compare an extremely active, athletic toddler to a toddler with undeveloped gross motor skills who would much prefer to sit and read books and learn. We all have our learning intelligences, certain ways in which we wish to learn.

I decided to change lenses right there on the beach so I could capture the two of us in SP, just at the moment that Callum thought it would be fun to fill the open cavity that is my camera body with sand. I hope the rest, as they say, is not history.

Four delightful things that happened today:

- When I dropped Reuben off at school and left him in the capable hands of teacher Adrian, he turned back and signed "I love you". I don't recall him every spontaneously signing that before and it utterly warmed my heart, so much so that I shrieked, as did teacher Adrian, and the sound was too much for Reuben with his hearing aid and it thus upset him momentarily, til big kisses and cuddles scared the tears away.

- Teacher Belinda so kindly bought Callum a birthday present, a Buzz towel. Made me laugh to think of Callum looking up at her as if he thinks he's teacher's pet.

- Enrolling for the Pollywog pool programme at Callum's school, and that means a 96F therapeutic pool which is mostly used for the adults in the neighbouring rehab programme, as part of physical therapy, but which the toddlers at the programme can benefit from too, each with their range of disabilities, Callum the peer role model. Oh how I longed to do this when Reuben was enrolled, but obviously was never able to due to his trach and how I'm looking forward to the next year of swimming with him here each Friday on what will be our 3rd day now at school. And Reuben, as soon as we get that trach hole of yours closed up for good, we can put swimming on the agenda for you too. I just can't guarantee we'll find a 96F pool though.

- Me noting where the car was parked at the hospital and Reuben spotting the number 2 denoting the parking lot zone. "What number is this Reuben?". Reuben replies "Number 2" in sign and words. And later when I ask him, "Where is our car parked Reuben? What number?". And him recalling with great excitement. "Number 2!!!!!". Now that my love is a rather handy skill!

PS: Tonight whilst reading Reuben "The smartest giant in town" at bedtime I happened to ask again about the car, teasing, "Where's our car parked?". "Number 2" he replied, laughing at me.

Today reaped many lovely images, loving Callum's sweetness in all of them. Here, I cannot resist a backlit kiss curl.

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