The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is so true. Even if it's just overnight. Grandma Trish had Chase spend the night last night. He hasn't been sleeping well since we changed his seizure medicine and an uninterrupted night of sleep was blissful for Spence and I. Chase has also been extremely jealous of the two home-schooling cousins who get to go to Grandma's house every Tues and Thurs for school. He cried and cried yesterday when we dropped Hayes off at Grandma's and then proceeded on to the school to drop him off. "Gram, gram" he cried over and over. So it was perfect timing when Trish called to have him come over.
When she brought him back this morning, he looked so cute in his little sweatsuit that I just had to grab the camera for a few shots.
He found a dead bird on the lawn (thank you cats) and was showing it to me. He's telling me about its beak.
He still BARELY fits on the big wheel. He's saying vroom vroom.
Today I'm grateful for my boy Chase.
Spence and his boys when we lived at Campus Heights at NAU. Now THAT was an experience! Talk about NO sleep. I think all of these old pictures were taken in Flagstaff when Chase was about 6-8 months old. We used to call him Yoda because of his ears. Affectionately of course. :)
When Chase was about three months old, we started noticing these little funny jerks he'd do with his arms. His eyes would also flick up to the sky and then back down...so quickly that you might not even notice. But Spence and I thought it was strange, so we took him into the doctor. They at first dismissed us, saying it was just reflexes, but as they continued and started developing into more significant "jerks" of his limbs, we got a referral to a neurologist and took him in for testing. I found this journal entry the other day when I was cleaning out some papers. I can't even remember writing it.
"On Friday (4/25/09) we took Chase to Dr. Kaplan, the head of Pediatric Neurology at Phoenix Christians. He diagnosed him with benign myoclonic/akinetic seizures. He had an EEG that same day and the results came back normal. Thank goodness! Dr. Kaplan thinks Chase will grow out of his little seizures within the next few months. I'm keeping a journal for the next few weeks to keep track of their frequency and then we'll discuss if we should put Chase on medication or not. We feel very blessed that he is going to be fine"
It kind of makes me sad to read, but he is ours and we love him. Do I wish the seizures had gone away and everything would have turned out "fine"?? Of course. I wish he didn't have to struggle. I wish he could walk and talk like a normal 6-year-old. But this is the life we've been dealt and I really do believe we are blessed in our trials. You know how you always wish your kids wouldn't grow up so fast. I've felt lucky with Chase because he hasn't. I got to have a baby longer and a toddler longer. He is still a cuddly little boy who shares his love more freely than most six-year-olds. I feel lucky to have that. There are more blessings that I can name that have come to our family because of Chase.
Since I started writing "our story", I've thought a lot about how when you're young, you never even consider the possibility that your kids might have problems or the trials that your life may hold for you. I have a picture on my fridge from Jeanie Mangum's funeral that captures the feeling of what I'm talking about:
(Lon and Jeanie Mangum)
They look so young and innocent and full of promise, with no idea the struggles they will have to endure. I know that with Aaron's disabilities and Jeanie's health problems, as they got older, it took its toll. My heart goes out to their family and especially to Lon who has cared for both of them for years. He has truly endured his trials well.
I don't know how I will be when I get old (I may end up with a bad attitude:), but I hope that I can continue to find joy in the journey and appreciate all of moments that make up a life well-lived. I am grateful for my family.
Some things about Chase:
1. He is full of it. Full of life and fun. A true ham and a tease.
2. He loves strongly and shows affection freely.
4. He loves to make messes. I would almost say he finds joy in messes.
5. He loves eggs, broccoli, and milk. He eats all day long.
6. He loves his brother Hayes. He calls him Hay-dee.
7. He's stubborn. There is no bribe in the world that will work if Chase really doesn't want to do something.
8. His smile can light up a room. He can take more tickling than any other kid I've ever known. He always asks for more.
9. He has the best eyelashes around.
10. He loves animals, but has no grasp of the concept "gentle". His puppy still loves him even though he chokes her constantly.
12. He is a cartoon junkie. Sponge Bob was his favorite for a long time, but he's hooked on Barney now...thank goodness.
13. He loves holiday decorations....especially Halloween, but I was surprised to see that he is enjoying the Thanksgiving decorations just as much.
14. He wants everything he sees in a store, but rarely plays with toys....other than swords.
15. He loves to watch America's Funniest Home Videos, especially the ones involving animals.
17. He loves bathroom humor. All you have to do is say toot or burp and he cracks up.
18. He loves the outdoors. He loves to go down to the barn or out on the ranch.
19. He makes us smile.