Saturday, September 17, 2011

When did birthday parties become an inconvience?

I was HUGELY pregnant. I was ready to go for my scheduled c-section. The doctor asked me, "Do you want this week on a Monday or Wednesday, or the following week?" Being the bright, clear thinking person I am, I said. . . "If today is not an option then the first possible day you can!" Well, 5 years later, that decision came back to haunt me... Cody was born on the first day of school. UGH!! His birthday, no matter how you work it, will always be on or around that milestone. The primary problem with that issue, is he doesn't "know" who to invite to a party. There is no class list yet, there is no social connection yet. If I had just waited that one more week, then all would be well, or so I kept telling myself. To solve the issue, I decided to circumvent the entire "who to invite" issue by just inviting everyone. I filled out 21 invitations and sent them off with my proud baby who had the teachers put one in each shiny, new backpack. I was excited to see an unfamiliar number on my phone just a few short hours after school let out. Our first RSVP. What I wasn't prepared for the fact that it was our ONLY call!! What kid doesn't want to go to a birthday party? Who doesn't call to at least say "Sorry, but thank you for the invite. We already have plans." Great, no problem. But, nothing? Really? Not taking this lying down, I decided to call the teacher and ask if they had any issue with me sending a "reminder". Nope, they were fine with it. So to the computer I go. . . In Case You Missed It!!! Cody Curkendall is having a party!! Come and join us for a great time. 9-17-11 1:00 - 3:00pm (insert address) Siblings are welcome as well!! Please call to let us know if you are going to be able to join us. (insert number) Did you notice. . . I even invited siblings? Rushed these off to the school for a Thursday afternoon delivery to all of the classmates homes. Again, excitement when I saw an unfamiliar number. . . good here they come, one more RSVP. And then that was it. Are you kidding me??!! So, we have planned an incredibly fun and awesome "Camo" party for my big 6 year old, who will be able to go and brag about how awesome his birthday was and how much they missed. We have a tank pinata, awesome goodie bags, camo paint for the faces, bandanas for all an awesome cake and lots of great gadgets to be the best in the filed a 6 year old can be. I find it hard to believe that parents of today don't see how awesome birthday parties are for the social fiber of a young child's being. I remember many parties I went too. They were about running around, having fun just being together and eating cake and ice cream. I don't actually remember a single gift I received OR gave. They just weren't what the party was really about. For only 2 parents to respond out of 21, is a dismal reflection of what our family life has become like. They value the baseball game, the soccer game the siblings games, etc more important than the need to get kids together in a setting outside of school to just have fun. I have been acutely aware in the past few years how the number of invitations to parties have dwindled as well. It's not about the "stuff" at the party, but about the party itself. The meaning behind having friends come over and join you for a day that only comes once a year. The chance for parents to meet the parents of other kids their children will be in school with for another 12 years!! Yet another aspect of my generation lost to this generation. So, wish me luck as we don our camouflage and face paint and go outside and run around the back yard having a great time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

They way we are, the way we were. . . and a celebration!

I was watching Regis and Kathy Lee on tv, the screen changed suddenly and like the rest of the country I was watching in horror what was happening to the city we had called home for 8 years. I was shaking and then my phone rang, my friend wanted to know if I was ok. I knew that I wasn't, but no one was. So what was I going to say? I went to my closet, took out my flag and hung it from out flag post that had a "back to school" flag hanging from it. Then I cried.

My heart and honor and love goes out to all those who have lost or were lost in the blink of an eye. I love my country, I love my state, I love being an American and no one can take that from me, and hopefully it didn't take it from anyone else.

I was thinking the other day about how much our lives have changed. . .

When we moved here from NYC, we had only 2 children. Annette and Joshua. Annette had lived the better part of the 2 years prior to our move here, inpatient at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She was given no chance of survival, we were pressured to sign DNR's which we did and then revoked when pushed came to shove. I had no reason to think she would be with us, 17 years later. There really is no logic to it, yet here she is. What we didn't anticipate was the fight for life was be transferred to our son just 18 short months after our move here. We toured the Pediatric ICU at the local hospital in anticipation we'd be there with Nettie, like we had been for the past 2 years. . . yet we only had to go one time for an elective procedure. Then, March 4th, not only did we see it, we made it our home for over a month. It wasn't Annette, it was Joshua.

Since then, we've been in that ICU with 4 of our children. We've watched the old go out and the new come in and have watched first year med students grow into doctors that now take care of my children at pediatric offices.

We have had a hard summer. Joshua's surgery, was much more involved than I think either Peter or I had anticipated. The results are good, but he is still having seizures and I'm disappointed. Yes, they are far less than they were, but they are not gone. I want them gone, forever. I don't know if I'll ever get what I want. Marriela is stable, but only as stable as those around her help her to be. On her own, she is unable to work through even the simplest of issues without resorting to screaming and tantruming. She was unable to continue at the respite program we had waited 3 long years to get her in. That was a huge disappointment. But, it wasn't fair for her, she was so stressed out we had to sedate her to get through the visits there. Not ok. Tray was suppose to be listed for his transplant and we were hopeful it would be all over by now. . . he is still waiting, he is still struggling. We need to admit him, but the uncertainty of his brother make it so hard to know when to proceed. Nettie has grown into a young woman and has had to learn to fill her time with activities she and her "helpers" plan, rather than family based activities. This summer, we went no where. We did not even take the kids over night anywhere. How sad is that. We tried, we were going to stay overnight in Glens Falls. . . but, Sergio developed a fever and we had to make an emergency return home. Cody, doesn't even know what summer vacation should be. His classmates went to friends houses, had sleep overs, went to waterparks and lived it up at camps. Not Cody, he visited the hospital where he had his favorite playrooms, favorite ice cream flavors and knew where all of the best toys were. And Sergio. . . he scared us, several times. He is fine, and then he's not. He is living on antibiotics and we're all scared to take them away, knowing he has only so many times he can get that sick before he can't anymore. We know what is happening, but can't do anything about it and so we live in the present, not planning anything. My heart has been heavy for Sergio, I find my thoughts drifting to what our family will be like if he isn't here one day. . . I HATE when my mind allows awful little thoughts like that sneak in. I asked for help from God yesterday, to please take these useless and anxiety producing thoughts out of my heart and mind. I'm happy to report he has. . . I actually felt peace yesterday that I hadn't felt in a long time.

So we're here, summer is gone, school has started. The kids don't seem to notice at all that things are not like they are at other people's homes. What a blessing that is.

Today we celebrated Cody's 6th birthday!! He is such a boy! All about the guns, the camo and anything soldier. So, as the great parents we are, who put much thought into educational and peace producing play things, what did we get him??? A large nerf "Tommy" gun that can rapid fire 35 shots in less than 30 secs. A shield and sword (as used by Thor the great warrior). And of course the various camo objects - a camo screen for him to lie outside under as he gets his evil enemies, a camo fannypack to carry all of the extra "bullets" for his tommy gun and a camo top to make the outfit complete. He is in HEAVEN!! LOL I know, we're awful parents, life goes on. He didn't get a summer vacay so he gets guns. And that's that.

This was a very disjointed posting. More of a venting of frustrations. I can't change what is, but find myself wishing I could sometimes.

With love,