Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oh The Places We Will Go...

These are the places we enjoy:

1. The Children's Museum
2. The Zoo
3. Botanical Gardens
4. Lowe's
5. Target
6. The Mall
7. most restaurants (The kids are well behaved if they are eating.)
8. Therapy places
9. Hospitals
10. museums
11. walks
12. parks

Now the place I would like to add to that list is church. When I was Jack and Ingrid's ages, I spent several days a week at church. I loved the building and the people. I have memories about Sunday school, Wednesday night suppers, Friday family game nights, Family camps, well, a lot of things. I want that for Jack and Ingrid, but it is difficult to make this happen.

I have emailed pastors and met with them, and they told me Jack is needed in the church family. (I was actually asking them to recommend more special-needs friendly churches.) But Jack is not welcome in childcare during church, so we are only invited to Sunday school. We have tried to have him attend church with us (the pastors encouraged this explaining everyone is welcome), but I felt uncomfortable. There were lots of questioning looks from people. I still feel like our family is viewed as such unwanted outsiders by many people in the church.

A special-needs ministry is not offered in so many congregations. It may not be necessary in all churches, but I think we need to find a place where all four of the Busbys have a place and are loved just the way we are.

Keeping Things in Place

This is Ingrid's brace. She will have something like this until she reaches skeletal maturity, maybe longer. Skeletal maturity will be in her late teens.

Ingrid attends physical therapy twice a week where she is working on her gait and exercising the muscle in her thigh that controls her knee (something she hasn't used in about a year).

I am constantly amazed by this girl's spunk, tenacity, and humor.

Miss Honey

There's a wonderful bakery and coffee shop right across the street from my school The last couple months of school, I got into the delicious habit of walking over during my planning period 3 or 4 days a week to get a medium coffee and (this was a habit even later in the school year) a croissant with strawberry butter. Divine.

I would walk over, smiling, order my coffee and treat, smiling, fix the coffee with loads of sugar and creamer, smiling, and walk on back to school. Most of the time I would yell out, much like a five-year-old, to a stranger or friend, "I like your sweater! or I love your hair!" Compliments and smiles would abound. Okay, now I don't want to exaggerate. Sometimes I would just jam out to my "new to me" ipod, but most of the time I would be happy and engage with the world around me.

The last few weeks of school, one of the baristas at the coffee shop asked me if I'd ever read the book Matilda. Yep. Well, she explained, I reminded her of Miss Honey. It made my day. What a character! A couple days later she went on to admit that many of the regulars had nicknames, and my nickname was Miss Honey. I loved it.

Well, not always have I been Miss Honey. I have to thank chemical regulators for that help. Yep, I'm on anti-depressants, and I am not ashamed. The last few years have been difficult ones. Jack's diagnosis, Joe and my denial over his diagnosis, our cautious and secret acceptance of his diagnosis, my control mechanism (also known as National Boards) didn't last forever, Ingrid's diagnosis, Ingrid's surgery in November, and my admitting I needed help. I called my doctor and cried on the phone to her nurse. I was in to see a doctor the next day. It was the most awkard appointment I have ever had. The doctor told me it would just be a bandaid, that I needed to fight more for Jack and get a parent advocate (she had moved to Memphis from CA the month before), and I cried. Finally I walked out with a perscription in my hand. A couple months later, I saw my doctor and she listened and understood.

In November of this year, before anti-depressants, I might not have been Miss Trunchbull from Maltilda, but I was no Miss Honey. I could not rest long enough to see the positives of my life. I could not chill in order to create the comfortable environment that usually comes so early and easily in my classroom. I was off. I was angry at the world, for celebrating holidays and life in general.

I think about how quickly Jack goes to sleep at night. He has such a routine to bedtime: bath, teeth, massage, 3 books, prayer, music, and light off. Every part of his routine allows him to begin to rest, to calm, to take it easy and figure out what is important. That is what my medicine does. It allows me to finally live the serenity prayer. And I thank God for that.