This morning a physical therapist came to the apartment to evaluate Namine. But this was no ordinary PT – if there is such a thing – this was a PT from the school district. She was there to examine Namine in order to determine what kind of therapy she might need when she starts attending school. Things like her preferred method of locomotion, level of toilet training, gross and fine motor skills, listening skills, and cognitive ability.
Sometimes we find ourselves pining for something lost, perhaps for something that never even was. It sneaks up on us, Jessica and I, and suddenly we realize that Namine is almost three years old. She is moving, she talking, she is more independent every day. Where is our little baby girl? She’s still small – she’ll always be small – but she’s not small anymore. She doesn’t have a baby face anymore; she has a grown up face, so it seems to us. Can’t we have our baby back?
For Father’s Day, Jessica, Namine, and I went over to my mom’s house. We had a nice little grill-out, with hamburgers and hot dogs and chicken and salmon patties. Namine had a blast on the swing set. My sister Lydia (who Namine calls “Eeya”) and I took turns pushing her on the swing. She always loves that.
I was going to post a bunch of pictures today and talk about my wonderful Father’s Day with my family, but that’s getting put on hold for a day. I might get around to it tonight even, but I want to talk about something more pressing on my mind than a good ol’ time. I’m going to talk about something uncomfortable. If you get offended, I’m sorry, but it must be said. I only ask that if you keep on reading, hear me out and give it some thought.
Father’s Day can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a bittersweet thing if you’ve lost your father. I haven’t, but my wife Jessica has. It’s important to remember those who may now be gone, but have helped shape us into who we are. I am glad that I had the opportunity to become your son-in-law and friend, Ed Tarver. We miss you.
Tomorrow Jessica and I are going to be helping out our friend and neighbor Leah with the kids’ area at Polish Fest, down at the Summerfest grounds. We’ll be helping to set up the games and prizes, and assisting with running the games, crafts, and activities. This will be our second year helping out, and we’re really looking forward to it because we had a blast last year.
As I’ve mentioned before, long clinic-filled days are nothing new to us. Nothing new, no, but that shouldn’t suggest that we enjoy them. Yesterday morning was unenjoyable, but it was not pointless; far from it. It was a great opportunity to catch up with both doctors who’ve seen Namine before (but haven’t seen her recently) and doctors whom we’ve never yet seen. And all things considered, we came away with only good news. Plus one slightly crabby child, but I think her level of crabbiness was in direct proportion to her proximity to the clinic building.
As if last week was not bad enough with all its clinic visits, we have one more this week, midst all of Namine’s resumed therapy sessions. But while last week’s clinics were mere one- to two-hour deals, tomorrow’s is promised to be at least four hours long. A four-hour clinic visit is nothing new to us, having been through the worst of cramming ENT, pulmonary, cardiology, and GI into a single visit (due to Namine being trached and vented, tethered to a single five-hour oxygen tank). But neither would we care to repeat it; tomorrow, though, is a very important day.
One of my favorite phrases since becoming a special needs parent (though we don’t think of ourselves like that; we’re just parents taking care of our baby girl) is “I’m not an expert, but I play one in real life.” I’m not sure where I picked it up. Regardless, I love this saying because for me, it underlines the fact that we’re not experts. We didn’t go to school for this; we didn’t train for this; we weren’t prepared for this. But we do it anyway. And we do it for the best of reasons: love.
What started as a routine clinic appointment ended, unfortunately, in setting yet another surgery appointment. But as glib and sarcastic as we sometimes get about surgery, we do recognize it as a necessary thing. And it is necessary once again. Next month, Namine has to have her right ear tube removed.