tuesday musings

Ironic that I named our last post "the fever" because shortly after publishing the post, our family caught "the flu" - the stomach flu, that is. I suppose there are worse times to be sick. With the Olympics on either TV or online, read-aloud chapters of Ramona, and lots of back issues of Chickadee (kids' magazine) our family could be distracted from the flu without too much effort. It's one thing when the kids are sick, it's another when Mom and Dad are feeling queasy too. Thankfully, tonight, things look good, and toast with honey is now boring instead of filling.

I was reminded this week of the "smallness" of the city of St. Catharines. Yesterday, the cashier at our grocery store priced my ginger ale and then offered to provide daycare for our two youngest if we needed the help. I don't even know her first name! A wonderful 60 yr old woman at the Y always catches me in the locker room to offer words of encouragement and asks about the girls. I don't know her name either. At our local pharmacy, I happened to walk past the pharmacist in the cough and cold aisle, helping another customer. He caught my eye and simply said, "Rachel's stuff is behind the counter." I hadn't said my name or the reason for visiting the store. I pushed my shopping cart behind the pharmacy counter and loaded up the cases of formula while casually chatting with the pharmacy team. They asked about Rachel's surgery and Janneke's health.

I guess that's something we're pretty thankful for - our community.

Today I registered Rachel at a local school, one of several options we are considering for this coming fall. We have a meeting in late March to review Rachel's needs and required services for school, and we are preparing three possible ideas for September. Now I am working on an All About Me book to help staff (at any of the placements) understand Rachel. I have to smirk but also grieve a bit at the questions on how Rachel plays with others and handles transitions. She is a kid who loves to lay in bed, listening to Robert Munsch scream out his stories on cd. She loves to watch other kids play, but because she is so incredibly content, I fear she could become part of the furniture in a classroom. She will not complain if she is forgotten. That's the sad part. I am not so sad about the fact that she can't run, walk, hold things, eat, or communicate like her peers. I know she is like a baby in a four yr. old body. The part that makes me sad or afraid is her incredible sense of contentment, and the possibility she won't be challenged in her placement. I guess this is where we have to trust. I know I can't give her everything she needs here at home; I have to expand our circle of care to include a school placement and more little people her age.

I hope we do fully recover from this flu soon. I look forward to our respite help returning; when there is a virus in the home, the nurses and respite workers don't come, so they can stay healthy for their families and other clients. Rachel was the hardest hit with the flu, and that is also hard on our hearts. Too often, the professionals use the term "medically fragile" with our girls, and when they are sick, the words seem to be ringing in my ears.

But, speaking of ears, Janneke finally passed her hearing tests with flying colours. Yay -normal results!

Tonight, Emily and Sophia told me they could not go to bed until after the power play. Yes, they were watching hockey with their dad, and I think they are becoming healthy again. We get a kick out of all the questions they ask about the different Olympic sports, the pride they have with the medal count for Canada and the USA, and the rapt attention they give things like the men's cross country ski race.

Here's hoping tomorrow is normal, with less laundry.