may we be so bold?

Life is pretty stable right now in the Pot home. Sophia has just mastered her two wheeler, and Emily has recently discovered the joy of fishing, thanks to a class trip at Zooz. The school year is winding down for all of us, and our attention is slowly being pulled towards thoughts of summertime fun.

Rachel is healthy and smiling although she (and her parents) do not enjoy the new AFOs (splints) for her feet. Her feet are unusually small in proportion to her body, and even though she had the surgery to lengthen her heel cord, the feet are slowly turning in again. (She was born with severely clubbed feet.) Our hope is that with the new splints and her stander, her feet will allow for weight-bearing.

Janneke seems to be healing (finally) from her cold, and she continues to progress. She has not smiled yet, but she is certainly aware of the noise and excitement around her. She cries sometimes to be fed, and she continues to suck on her soother when coached. We are not sure that she will take a bottle, but there is hope that she will eat solids in time. Thicker liquids/stuff are easier to manage than the runny kind.

All this work for Rachel and Janneke with physio therapy (gross motor skills) and occupational therapy (fine motor skills) is directed through our specialists at the Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre. We are at the centre weekly with Rachel, and in mid-July, we will also bring Janneke for her sessions. We could not manage our girls' needs without the help of our team at the centre. Back in 2006, before Rachel was born, we had no idea this place existed. By October of 2006, we were wondering how we would function in raising Rachel without the place! Now that both Janneke and Rachel rely on NPCC's services, we will do as much as we can to help the centre.

And here comes a bold request: If you have yet to plan some summer fun, consider attending Shakespeare in the Vineyard this July. On July 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18, the Merry Wives of Windsor will be performed at the Henry of Pelham Winery. All ticket proceeds will go to support the Niagara Peninsula Children Centre. Check out the link on the right for further details.

Many of these social services like the NPCC receive funding from the government of Ontario, but they do not receive enough to account for increased expenses, the long wait-list of children requiring services, and the number of therapists children like Rachel and Janneke require. This year, the centre had to cut back some of the jobs, which creates even more of a wait list. It's not the auto industry struggling with a stinky economy; this is about a child's life. The trouble is, these little ones are growing up as time passes. The time that is lost while they sit on the wait-list is a huge disadvantage for their growth and development. Janneke is at NPCC much sooner than normal because her sister is already in the system. But there are many new babies who are home from the hospital and have their own struggles with development - and who can help those parents? And it is not just babies with special needs, it's also preschoolers who need speech therapy or assistance with walking. It's crazy to think that saving money by limiting the funding for NPCC can be a good thing. Those children who do not get the intervention now will only require more intensive therapy later. A savings now will only cost more in the future. Yes, this is our rant.

But really, if you have the time and money, consider attending this event in July. (You'll feel extra classy sitting in a vineyard with a glass of wine -and supporting the Pot girls, our friend Ella Warkentin and many other great kids.) If it's not this event, there are many more to come. We're making arrangements to go on July 17 (Friday). Wanna join us?