Snow, snow, and more snow.... I wonder if Rachel is wishing for a skichair instead of her wheelchair.
Happy New Year. It begins again.
The season of snow is bittersweet. For those of us who are able, these months are filled with skiing, sledding, snowplay, and skating. But, for Rachel and Janneke, it is a season spent mostly indoors. That reality brings the living grief to the surface again, and I am reminded of their inability to play and be in the wintry wonderland. Wheelchairs and snowcovered sidewalks don't mesh, and we can't throw them on a toboggan full of kids to careen down a hill.
The girls spend most of their time inside, and we try to be creative with positioning (wheelchair, walker, floor) as well as activity (TV, books, music, watching Mom make soup).
A couple of days ago, I caught this cosy moment when the nurse let them nap in front of the fireplace.
We had friends over for New Year's Day, and we witnessed a great "Rachel-is-making-a-choice" moment. The older kids started a movie, and I noticed Rachel was uncomfortable in her wheelchair. I put her in bed, but she started to shake her head and bang her arms on the mattress. She and I made eye contact, and I asked her if she'd like to be with the kids on the floor. She stopped her thrashing, and she peacefully watched Despicable Me 2 with her head next to Soph and her legs on Gavin.
As frustrating as it can be with the difficulty in taking Rachel and Janneke outside, we have resolved not to let the snow melt before we enjoy the outdoors. Ralph has taken Em and Soph to the slopes several times, and they have made some great memories. It has been a bonus to share that skiing and boarding fun with friends and family too.
I'm not so keen on the slopes... something about being on a hill and having to go down. While Em, Soph, and Ralph race down the mountains in New York, I tend to enjoy the flat trails close to home. This also makes it easier to manage care for Rachel and Janneke... and I love being back on x country skis after a 16-year hiatus.
(I ski alone, so this is the best photo I can get of me skiing. My girls say it's a terrible selfie.)
Today it is a bit mild -rain is in the forecast again, so I took the girls out on the covered porch for 30 minutes. Janneke did a few laps around the swings, stared at the snow and then stood in front of the door as if to tell me she was ready to go back inside.
Whatever you resolve for the year to come, keep it real.