November 4, 2010

My ChaChi Chase


I was feeling bad the other day because I noticed that I wasn’t posting as many pictures of Chase.  Or maybe I’ve been feeling guilty for how much I’m enjoying Ree and cussing Chase not to smother her.  At any rate, I noticed that he’s starting to look more “different” in his pictures. It was harder to tell that he was different when he was younger, but he has a hard time controlling his lips and mouth.  I usually try to only post pics of him in which I think he looks “normal”, but as he gets older, it is getting harder and harder to get those shots. (then again, it may just be the desperate need of a haircut and eventual braces!!) Now you may think this sounds terrible, but I assure you it’s only because I want him to be seen in the “best light”.  No one loves that boy more than I do and I guess I haven’t wanted to do him any disservice with my pictures.  I actually tear up just thinking about it.  He holds a special part of my heart. I had a whole post planned out the day I took this picture because I wanted to remember the moment forever with my special little boy, but it may be harder than I thought.

Here goes.

I was already feeling tender about Chase because the afternoon before, we had his cousins over.  Chase loves his cousins.  He talks about them all of the time. He doesn’t like school because none of his cousins are there.  When they come over, I usually make (they are really good about it) them and Hayes stick around for 15 or 20 minutes where Chase can play with them before I let them head off on their adventures.  This particular day, Hayes and the boys had taken Chase on rides in the jeep and also on the four wheeler before they headed down to the barn where Chase can’t go (it’s a third or half mile walk). About then, Chase’s speech therapist came anyway to do therapy.  I didn’t realize it, but the boys left and then came back again about the time therapy was over.  When it was over, Chase escaped from his stool and must have headed outside.  Right about that same time, the boys decided to run back down to the barn.  I was visiting with the therapist for a few minutes before she left.  As we walked outside to her car, I heard Chase crying quietly and saying help.  I scanned around the house and couldn’t see him.  I could tell it was coming from across the road some where.  I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him.  We have a huge bramble/thorn patch right across the driveway and my heart dropped when I thought maybe he had fallen down in there and somehow was lying in them and couldn’t get up.  I was yelling his name and could hear him crying.  Finally the therapist spotted him down the road about 100 yds where he had fallen and tumbled in the weeds and couldn’t get up.  I ran as fast as I could to him…with the baby on my hip.  He was covered in little stickers and was just bawling.  I felt so bad. He had tried to follow the boys down to the barn.   As we trudged back up to the house, I was able to console him by telling him we would drive down to the barn and find them.  I just pulled off his sticker-covered clothes and threw him in the truck.  Once we got down to the barn,  the cousins had been picked up and went home, but Chase was happy to go into Spence’s tack shed and rummage through the fridge and hang out on the couch with a rootbeer. 

Well, the next day, Chase was having a hard morning.  He really didn’t want to go to school.  He cried when I got him dressed and he cried when I combed his hair.  I’ve noticed that if I can get him to go out to the porch swing with me and read his letter books while we wait for the bus, he doesn’t resist getting on as much when it pulls up.  If I wait until the bus is here and then try to get him to go out from inside the house he starts complaining and making me force/drag him out.  So we’ve gotten in the habit of going out to the swing 20 or so minutes before it’s time.  I’m not sure what I’ll do as it gets colder.

When we got out to the swing, Chase wasn’t feeling very happy.  He was sort of crying about not wanting to go to school and then he had a few little seizures.  I could tell that he really wasn’t doing so hot.  So I pulled him close to me on the swing and he laid his head on my chest.  After only a few swings I could tell that he was starting to fall asleep.  As his little body gave a few jerks (not sure if they were seizures or just those drifting off to sleep jerks) he was finally still in my arms.  You know that feeling of love you have for your kids when you see them asleep?  When they are quiet and cute and peaceful and not yelling or running or making messes.  Well, times that by ten for Chase, because not only is he not making messes, but his body was at peace…which isn’t the case a lot of the time.  Sometimes it seems like his body is at war with itself.  As I swung him, I tried to memorize the scene.  I was wishing I could take a picture of us, but since I couldn’t, I decided to write it down.  His head was on my chest, his cheek was cupped in my hand and my chin was resting on his head.  His right hand was in his pocket (so cute) and his left leg was draped over mine.  I could have stayed like that forever.  I have a lot of reservations about Chase growing up.  I started to think…I can’t wake this little boy up and drag him on the bus today.  How can I send him out in this world? I really think that if the bus had come right at that moment I would have just waved them on.  We rocked for about five minutes and then as quickly as he had fallen asleep, he popped up like he’d been awake the whole time.  Our moment was over, but I ran to get the camera so that I could remember him that day.

By the time I got back he had pulled the cat onto the swing with him and was forcefully keeping him there.  What a good cat! Most animals that can run from Chase do, but not this cat.  He lets Chase tote him around.  He has let Chase shut him in the toy box, the bathroom, and the grill…unlit of course! I actually really appreciate the cat.  I appreciate all of the animals, friends, family, kids, acquaintances, and strangers whom are kind to Chase.  He means the world to me.



Marcie said...

Great-now I'm going to be late for school because my mascara is running :) Ah Kell Bell, that boy couldn't find a better mamma if he searched the world over. I don't think many people can imagine the joy/blessings/heartache/frustration of the Chase's struggles, but I do hope you know that we are always on the sidelines cheering you both on. You really are a wonderful example of love and patience. I sure love and admire you. And what can I say about that boy-I think he has a special place in everyone's heart!

Dayna said...

Thanks for sharing that story.

I know I've never met your kids so it was touching to read about Chase. I know he's as great as he is, because he's got great parents!

Michelle said...

Awww man! You made me cry too! And I am at work!

You know he may not like coming to school, but he sure makes my day when he is here. I love that boy. What a sweet, sweet special boy he is. He always makes me smile and makes any bad day I am having better, just by seeing his smile.

I admire you and all you do for that boy. You are AMAZING!

Rachel said...

I love when I have moments like this with my kids. It is so easy to let them pass by and go on and on with lists of things to do. I love that you took the time to love him and to write down your feelings! You are a good mom kellie

maren sundahl said...

Kel, you do such an amazing job with Chase, and it's evident with how crazy he is over you. I don't know how you juggle everything.

tricia said...

When I think of you, Kellie, I think of a mother who loves her son enough to help him have fun and normalcy in life. In my mind's eye I see you on the trampoline, flying kites, building a clubhouse, and the million other things you have done to make sure Chase gets to experience everything possible. Why wouldn't he look at you with adoring eyes. At eight years old Chase is years beyond because of what he has experienced. I've been reading the New Testament, and as I read of the compassion Jesus had toward any who suffered, I picture His hand being held out to Chase. I love you two.

~Karen said...

Kellie, I cried, too. How sweet you are and how special he is! I've learned so much about CP while working with athletes at the Olympic Training Center...a large portion of the Paralympics Team USA, track & field, have CP and they are such wonderful people. My life truly has been blessed by knowing them, as have all of us been blessed by knowing your precious Chase and seeing, experiencing your examples of love and patience. You're an awesome mom.

Kristen said...

Maren's supposed to be coming over anytime to take a few family pics for us and now I'm a teary mess:) During moments when I am feeling worried or anxious about one of my kids, I often think of you. I marvel at the wonderful mother that you are. Any of my kids would move in with you in a heartbeat:) I can't think of a better mother for Chase. We all sure love him and are grateful to have him in our lives.