Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Just when you think it’s safe … here I am again!  I’m never going to win awards for prolific blogging but the intention is always there to post regularly and that’s what matters.  Isn’t it?

So, when I left you all back in January (eek!) Son No1 had just had his surgery and was back home.  I believe I was waxing lyrical about how proud I was of my boy … and I’m bound to do it again … unashamedly.

IMG_4710The past weeks have whizzed past.  Lots has happened in GGHQ, lots of work has been done by the Junior GGs, Son No1 has dyed his hair purple, Mr GG has gone back to work, I got a wee car so, happily, no more zooming around in the Great Behemoth and six weeks ago this little girl joined our family.  Harley Quin has absolutely won the human hearts with her antics … Princess Leia, however, is not so smitten and is generally living upstairs although, on the occasions when she has to come downstairs, she gives Harley a hiss and a swipe … we live in hope of harmony in the future! 

Son No1’s six weeks of being completely non-weightbearing passed smoothly.  He quickly became adept at whizzing up and down stairs on his hands (although not in handstand style as one doctor assumed) and made sure he missed out on as little as possible.  In early March he returned to Glasgow for his bright yellow casts to be taken off in readiness for learning to walk once again.  To begin with he was incredibly weak, his legs struggled to obey the signals from his brain, his feet railed against being in a position that was alien to them and he found it exhausting to travel even the shortest distance with his walking frame.  However, once again I was left in complete awe of my son’s strength of character and determination and within two weeks of the casts coming off he was doing this:

Physio is ongoing and unpleasant but my boy is working hard (when reminded) … he doesn’t enjoy physio at all and is still in some pain but he is an amazing lad.  I feel truly blessed to be able to call him my son.

Life has carried on as usual around Son No1’s hospital adventures.  The younger boys have particularly enjoyed some extra days without school work when we were at appointments.  We spent a lovely day at the National Museum of Rural Life where Son No2 appeared quite at home in a tractor.  We celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Day with our odd socks … I was particularly touched by the readiness of my lad with OCD to take part, I thought he may find odd socks a step too far for him but he embraced it happily.  Son No3 has continued building and creating with his Tinker Crates (my favourite is the wee robot clip below) and is beginning to ponder moving on to the more technical Eureka Crates. 

ede56320-e116-4e8d-b701-751e4e483a5aAt the beginning of March I escaped to Northern Ireland with four dear friends.  We went primarily to go to a conference where Nancy Guthrie was speaking but the time together, eating, laughing, crying and just enjoying each other’s company was incredibly precious.  I am so thankful for their friendship and encouragement and for the knowledge that they are praying for me just as I am praying for each of them.  I am truly blessed to call them my friends.

A few weeks ago my Dad reached the milestone of 60 years since his ordination.  To mark the occasion we all travelled to Cumbria for the weekend for Dad to preach in the first church he pastored as a young man back in 1959.  It was a special time and we all enjoyed the weekend even managing to fit in a wee game of crazy golf for some of us.  I am so very thankful for my Dad.  He has remained faithful to his calling throughout his life and has never lost his passion for and love of the Word of God.  I am truly blessed to be his daughter. 

As a wee aside, one of the funniest moments of the weekend has got to be my misplaced confidence in letting the boys pack for themselves.  One boy (I’m not saying which) accidentally took his younger brother’s trousers and nearly ended up going to church like this!  
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Back home Mr GG and I continue in our quest to live simply.  The dream is to have a small-holding one day but, for now, we continue to make wee changes at home using what we have as efficiently as possible.  For the past few months I’ve been making my own laundry powders, shower gels and soap which definitely seems to be making a positive difference to Son No2’s skin … result!

Well, I’m writing this at the table in our kitchen, my favourite room in our house.  The back door is open for Harley to come in and out despite the fact she’s fast asleep at my feet.  The sun is shining, birds are twittering about in the trees and the chickens are quietly clucking as they dust bathe in the garden.  There’s an air of tranquillity and I like it.  The sun reminds me that summer is approaching and, with that, the anticipation of a holiday from school work.  As much as I love home education and wouldn’t change it for the world, this is an exhausting life and I find myself looking forward to the holidays just as much as I did when the boys were in school.  I am immensely proud of how hard my sons have worked over this past year and look forward to all that they will achieve over the coming months but, for now, we’re all looking forward to slowing the pace a little, going on some adventures,  and relaxing together.

However, the air of tranquillity will soon dissipate as, any moment now, three hungry boys are going to descend on the kitchen hollering ‘What’s for tea?’ ‘When will tea be ready’ ‘I’m starving’ … so on that note I’ll sign off for today and leave you with this …

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Courageous

 

And just like that, it’s Saturday again!

img_4177This week has passed by in a whirl in GGHQ … a phone call at 8am on Monday morning changed the course of our week and, potentially, the course of the next several weeks.

For several months now Son No1 has been waiting for surgery to fix an equinus deformity which has a pretty big impact on his right leg.  For more than three quarters of his life Son No1 has endured physio, splints, orthopaedic boots, casts and Botox in an effort to improve his walking and balance.  Now, at 15, he can no longer put his heel down at all on his right foot although he still can, with effort, on his left.  Surgery will, we trust, improve that for him although it sounds awfully invasive and painful.

So, after speaking with the hospital the previous week and being told it was likely to be March before surgery we got a call asking if Son No1 could attend on Monday (21st).  Obviously we grabbed the chance of a quick surgery date and the week passed in a flurry of pre-op assessments and preparing for our trip to hospital.  The surgery will be done in a nearby city and not in our local hospital so we’ve been busy organising childcare for Son Nos 2 & 3 whilst we are with our lad.  Mr GG will stay overnight with Son No1 in hospital and I’ll stay at home with our younger boys but during the day, especially on Monday, we’ll both be in hospital.

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We don’t know the extent of the surgery and probably won’t know until after it’s over.  I find that hard!  The consultant will definitely operate on the right leg but will examine movement in the left leg once Son No1 is under anaesthetic before making a decision whether to operate on that one too.  I’d value prayer that the right decision will be made … I don’t want my lad to end up having to face this surgery twice if once will do!

There are so many mixed emotions flying around our house at the moment.  Son No1 is incredibly brave but, although he doesn’t often admit it, he’s nervous (Mums can always tell!), Son No2 is anxious and worried for his brother and has been heard shouting that all surgeons should be sacked and Son No3 is keen to know what PS4 games will be available on the ward for his brother to play.  Mr GG and I alternate between being calm, anxious, pleased to have a date, wishing it was Tuesday and concerned for our son.  It’s been awful watching him struggling at times, even falling over randomly because he lost his balance.  No parent wants their child to have a tough time.  However, Son No1 is amazing, he’s brave, accepting and ready to deal with the next few weeks.

However, hospitals aside, our week has been pretty normal.  The boys have worked well as usual and are settling well into the new term.  Mr GG has continued working away creating or upcycling pieces of furniture.  Recently he stumbled upon a metal table frame which he is working on … there have been lots of ideas flying around for how he can make it into something practical, quirky and interesting.  I’ll keep you posted!

img_4176On the other hand, I’ve been distracted this week.  I’ve found it hard to settle and have been completely uncreative.  I’ve done no beadwork and haven’t even baked at all – things got so bad that Mr GG dug out the recipe books for inspiration and made some amazing chocolate & raspberry brownies.  However, I’m planning to redeem myself and make some soap this afternoon so all may be forgiven!

I began today’s post with a song by Casting Crowns called Courageous.  I love this song.  It’s challenging and relevant.  It’s here for my sons.  They are three of the most courageous and amazing people I know.  I’m grateful for every day that I get to be their mum.  I’m privileged for all the ways that they express their love for me (although I’d love it if they sometimes expressed it by tidying their rooms), I delight in the way they randomly come and hug me throughout the day, by the trust they have in me despite all the times that I let them down by being crabby or unreasonable.  Yes, I am blessed indeed.

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