Such a cheeky little girl... resting her feet on the busdriver while he unhooks the tie downs.

We finished the week with all girls back in school.  Both Rachel and Janneke kick their feet and grin when that bus pulls up.  I can't say the same for Em and Soph when they pick up their backpacks and march out the door, but I do know their feet aren't dragging.

We are very thankful for classrooms and teachers and support staff that make the day a joy for our girls.  And we are very thankful for home care nurses who help me greet Rachel and Janneke at the end of the day, so I can spend time with the older two girls in the late afternoon/early evening hours.

Support comes in many forms - but it is all so necessary.  If you are from Ontario, I'd like you to check out the provincial advocate initiative which is a stage for stories and submissions related to youth and children with special needs.  Here's the facebook link.  The aim of the project is to put the voices of children and youth in the centre of the discussion on respecting and supporting children with special needs.  If it relates to you, submit your story.  Go for it.  We need your story.

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Here's a pic worth sharing: 

I took Janneke, Soph and Em to African Lion Safari not long ago.  Kudos to the park for improving their accessible spaces, including a large washroom with an adult-sized pull-down surface for diapering and personal care.  They added a playground that accommodated Janneke's wheelchair, and the staff was very helpful when I asked for assistance.  That's a big deal.

The most memorable part of that day? Sitting next to a young man who lives with short term memory loss due to brain cancer.  He was incredibly sweet, asking my name and story and Janneke's name and Janneke's name and my name and story...  It was one of those times when I didn't care if I had to repeat myself over and over. His character spoke of resiliency and determination.  I only wish I could remember the gentle giant's name now.  

Hope you have a good weekend.  I'm hoping for continued healing of Rachel's incision sites and for good health for all of us.  And hoping Ralph finds his way home from the administrator's conference by Sunday. It is good (and important) for both of us to take time to step away, but I am reminded once again that it is that much sweeter when we have the full team playing here at home.