Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boys vs. Girls

I frequently hear people talk about boys being so much easier to raise than girls. My answer is generally that it depends on the child and as genders go, they each have their challenges. They may not be the same challenges or come at the same time, but they come. Growing up is hard.

I am wondering if people who insist that boys are soooo much easier than girls have ever watched a boy try to become a man. I have found (in my own son and in other boys' lives) that this is a huge, difficult time of life. Right now I am praying for a young man who is very special to our family. He is at a similar point in his life that my son Cheney was in at this time last year. He has made some bad choices and there have been consequences that we presently don't know the extent of.

In my experience, girls are freer to show their emotions. They can cry and let those emotions out. It can look ugly, but they come out. After a certain age, boys are not really permitted to cry. This certainly was not something I had told my son, but I think boys catch on pretty quickly that by a certain age, crying does not look good for them socially, so they bottle it up. Eventually those emotions come out and I have seen it come out as anger or rage in boys. I know it did in my son and it was terrifying and painful to watch. Dealing with disappointments in themselves can leave them so angry. They need to be a "man" and yet they have so many insecurities and so many questions about what that should look like in their lives. And, of course, when they know they have things in their lives that are not living up to their own expectations of themselves.

So, as I think back to a year ago when my body was literally between my son and the front door as he desperately tried to get out of our house while I wondered if I would end up being hurt or if the police would need to be called, I will pray for this boy that we love so much. I will pray that he will walk out of his anger and into all that God has for him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


"Let not your heart be troubled...."

My heart is troubled. We have a situation that we have been praying about for quite some time. It is becoming a desperate situation and we are at a lack of answers. On our knees...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A New Doctor

Yesterday I took Davin to see a new doctor. The neurologist has insisted for two years that Davin must see this doctor. I was not sure why, but the neurologist was insistent every single time we saw her, so finally I got a hold of them and made an appointment. We took our x-rays and records with us. The doctor sat down and asked about Davin's history and then asked me how he could help me. You see, the problem was that I had no idea. I explained to him that I was hoping he could tell me how he might be able to help us. I wasn't sure what his expertise was. When I called to make the appointment, the receptionist asked why we were coming to see the doctor. I replied that I did not know. She asked if he was having trouble walking and I replied no. He is non-ambulatory. She asked if he wore MAFOs and I said yes. She asked if he was having problems with them. I said no. Hmmm... The neurologist insisted we see you, so that is why I am making the appointment.

So, the doctor explained that the neurologist was concerned that Davin was very tight. Well, she is always concerned that he is tight. Last appointment she was concerned he was tight and too thin. Really????? I had never noticed! You think he is tight??? And I thought he was chubby, not thin!! Okay, I am being smart. Every time we go to see the neurologist, she tries picking up his foot while he is in his wheelchair and stretching it out straight. You are never going to do that and have Davin NOT feel tight. She does not usually listen to me when I tell her how far his range of motion is, etc. I have come to accept this and just try to tell her and move on.

The new doctor seemed nice and gave me some things to think about. I am going to consider doing botox shots in Davin's arms right before his next round with intensive PT. That is the kind of thing this doctor does.

Although I thought the doctor seemed very knowledgable, I couldn't help but leave with somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. When the doctor came in, he shook Davin's hand. That was good. However, that was the last time he spoke to Davin. Not to mention that he used phrases like "I have done this proceedure on someone of normal intelligence" and "kids who are older don't respond as well to PT". He made quite a few comments that I had to come home and talk to Davin about. If the doctor would have talked about these kinds of things, but had addressed Davin, I probably wouldn't have been as upset. I talk frankly in front of Davin. He didn't, though. I had to come home and tell Davin that even though the doctor has said that "Davin can't do anything for himself", that that wasn't a big deal and that is not what makes someone a great person. I had to talk to him about the fact that just because he may not know everything, he is still someone I am very proud of because he is trying to be the very best he can be.

My Dad was with us for the visit. My Dad thought the doctor was so good and I simply had to say that yes, he seemed to know what he was talking about, he only addressed Davin (his patient) one time and that didn't seem very good to me.

Maybe I should have said something. Maybe I should have asked him not to say those things in front of Davin or maybe the doctor just thought that our situation was so hopeless that Davin knew his life was horrible. Maybe that is just how doctors have to look at things because they just see the problems and not the people. I hope I never stop seeing people. I don't want to see their problems. I want to see their potential and their purpose. It is so easy for me to feel discouraged when a doctor asks me so many questions to find out if Davin can in any way help take care of himself and I have to answer no to every single one. In real life, though, when I am living with this boy and learning from him, I don't think about the fact that he can't brush his teeth by himself (okay, he could try, but they would not be clean;) or put his shirt on. I think about all the ways he is an amazing part of my family!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I was listening to K-LOVE in the car today and they were talking about a website or something where people were being challenged to come up with one word that they wanted to desribe their lives for the next year. It could just be one word. I didn't have to think long about it. They mentioned many words that were so meaningful and good, but faithful came to my mind immediately. I want to be so many ways. I want to be faithful to my God. When He asks me to do something that I don't think I am equipped to do, I want to be faithful to trust Him. I want to be faithful to be a good wife and go the extra mile even if Alan isn't giving me back as much as I would like him to. I want to be faithful to my kids. I want to be a solid, consistent example to them. I want to listen to them and pray for them faithfully. I want to be faithful in my ministries, even when I get tired. I want to be faithful to take care of my boy in the best way possible. I want to be a faithful daughter. I want to spend time with my parents and parents-in-law. It goes on and on. To me that word sums up so many areas in my life that I am constantly in need of working on. Faithful doesn't give the idea of doing something half-heartedly like I sometimes want to do things. Faithful puts in the time and energy needed to do the job right. Whatever it is.

So, what is your word???

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Asheigh Diane

My girls read my blog more than anyone else. Of course, their favorite is when I do a post about them. Looking back through my old posts, I never did a post just about Ashleigh, so even though it is not Thursday, I will post 13 things about Ashleigh Diane:)

1. I had Ashleigh when I was 18 years old and she is the baby that I first fell in love with. I absolutely loved being her mother.

2. Ashleigh had a very strong will and often had what we loved to call "episodes".

3. Ashleigh has adored her little sister from the minute she first laid eyes on her. The first day Bethany was home from the hospital, Ashleigh tried to share her french fries with her.

4. Ashleigh is a director for T&T club in Awana and loves leading the girls. She has a heart for troubled kids, especially.

5. Ashleigh has gone to Botswana, Africa and it was life-changing.

6. For Ashleigh, family is very important. She hates to miss a family function.

7. Ashleigh has been married for two years!

8. I could always count on Ashleigh to watch her younger brothers and sister if I needed her to. She loved to have them home with her while Alan and I went out.

9. Ashleigh is one of the most loyal people I have ever known.

10. Ashleigh loves working out.

11. She also loves dying her hair. One of the first things she did when she went away to college was to dye her hair.

12. Ashleigh has worked as a nanny for the last few years, although she does not presently have a job:(

13. Ashleigh is fun to be around! She brings a party wherever she goes. If Ashleigh is missing, things are not as lively as they are with her there.

14. I am proud of the young woman that she is. She is faithful to God, loves her husband and her family and has worked so hard on evening her strong will and letting God use it for Him.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Wedding

In our house there is quite a bit of talk about weddings now. Especially when it is just Bethany, Davin and I. Alan is not quite as excited about the whole thing;) It is interesting to listen to Bethany describe what she would like to have for the ceremony and reception. It will be very different from Ashleigh's wedding just two years ago. Ashleigh's wedding was very traditional and formal. Bethany is going to have an outdoor wedding and reception and it will be much more casual. It will be great fun.

Bethany and Jeff are out tonight to meet with the couple that is going to do their pre-marital counseling. Tonight they are getting together to get to know each other before starting on their session. I pray it will be a blessed time and a time of thinking through and talking through lots of things.

Davin had a huge week last week. In the matter of two days, he had a sleep EEG (he had to stay up from 1am for this test), blood work, x-rays, went to the ortho doctor who had done his surgery, and got casted for new MAFOs. That was all just on Monday and Tuesday. I have to say, my Davin is just one of the easiest going people I have ever met in my life. On Monday morning, he got up at 1am and watched Little House on the Prairie through the night and was at the hospital in the morning for 5 hours and was such a trooper and was still smiling. I really learn from him all the time. It is amazing to me the attitude that he constantly has.

This week in Bethany's class, she got very upset. It has happened before. She is a social work major and so many times in classes, they end up discussing people who have disabilities. Unfortunately and sadly, the disabled people are not spoken of with respect or value. That was the discussion this week. They were talking about how even though people with disabilities don't have the same value..... These kinds of words cut like a knife when you have a name and face for the "people". I try to tell Bethany that it is just different when people don't know anyone personally. Somehow they are able to feel more valuable than someone they don't know. For Bethany and one other boy in her class who had an uncle with Down's Syndrom, "these people" are so much more. Sometimes Bethany says things and sometimes she just can't. One time, she had a college professor who was so ignorant on the subject, I wanted to go in and speak to her class to maybe shed some real light on the personal part of what they had been talking about. The teacher just did not get it and I wasn't ever able to do that. It was ashame. Bethany goes to a Biblical University, but that is no guarantee that people understand the value of everyone. It is still easier for us to think that being smart and capable are qualities that make us valuable. That is too bad. I wish those students coule meet my Davin.