Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Lucky Old Lady

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lucky Old Lady

This weekend I turned 36. I wasn't thrilled about that at first, but it didn't hurt much at all. The four days I had off were thoroughly enjoyable. I was a lazy bum Thursday, and Friday Brian decided to join me. We went to the park and met up with the gal I have been talking to on the phone who has a daughter with Phelan-McDermid syndrome. I felt really good about our visit. Her daughter was sleepy and enjoyed Erik's blankie in a shady spot while we got to know each other but woke up and explored the playground equipment with Erik later. The husband also came to join us for a brief period of time, and he told us about a family member overseas who has Williams syndrome and is doing extremely well. We all agreed that it will be nice to see familiar faces in group every week here in town. They were such a nice little family, and Erik really seemed to like them. What I found absolutely hilarious is that we encountered the most extremely colorful of acquaintances at the park during this generally very serious visit. These included a former neighbor of ours (tattooed, shirtless, semi-toothless, skateboard riding, beer-infused) and a guy Brian played football with a couple years ago (tattooed, shirtless, muscle-bound, incredibly mean-looking) that appear as if you wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley or belong in some sort of street gang but are truly very sweet underneath their frightening exteriors. I felt myself giggling nervously a lot. Brian and I had an extremely good laugh when we got home. We know a very wide variety of people around town, which we are very thankful for, but we found it more than humorous we ran into that particular social set during such a somber time meeting new people for the first time. Even Shakespeare regularly injected comedy into tragedy using colorful characters! It kept me smiling. After our visit, we ventured to Costco to pick up Erik's medicine and shop around, which I love doing as a family.

Saturday we ate a wonderful birthday breakfast at my folks' house. Sunday I cleaned house and colored the gray out of my hair (feeling much more saucy now). Friends of mine barbecued for my birthday and even baked me a cake. I was spoiled beyond completely rotten.

This morning I am in a very odd mood. A friend of mine has been lying in a hospital bed in Portland for three days after very serious surgery on his big old noggin, and I am thinking of him. He has been unable to talk to me thus far because of tubes and medication, but I am hoping he will be home soon so Erik can crawl all over him and I can tell him jokes to make him laugh until he hurts, calls me the usual names, and begs me to stop. Erik and I have been listening to Edith Piaf and Celine Dion this morning while I cut his hair. I have a wide variety of music in my collection and love just about everything. Sometimes I think I have WS. Erik does seem to prefer piano music. I am beginning to distribute the WS DVDs to my friends and family, and it is really wonderfully eye opening to find out what they see when they watch them. Of course, they are watching from an entirely different, much less painful perspective, but they have helped me see a lot of good things I couldn't at first and still struggle to see. In fact, I was so curious about this phenomenon that I sat down and watched the 60 Minutes one again this morning and hardly shed a tear (okay, maybe one or two). I tried to watch with a more scientific, objective approach and saw a lot of things I didn't at first. I don't seem to have the emotional hangover this time, either. Erik watched with me and loved the music. It is difficult to explain, but I am never braver than I am with that boy by my side. I feel like I can do anything and face anything when he is with me. I am still definitely devastated in a lot of ways by all of this, but I am very aware how incredibly lucky I am to be Erik's mother. I am honestly looking forward to what the future holds for him. I have no doubt that he will teach me much over my lifetime. He takes very good care of his old mama.


Blogger Lisa R said...

I am glad you had a good birthday...They are my favorites... Erik is just as lucky as you are since he as such a awesome mommy.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

I am glad you had a nice relaxing birthday. Also glad to hear that your meeting with the other family went very well.

And think, this weekend is already another long lazy weekend!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

Happy Birthday!

Funny how our special kids and grandkids make us feel everything so much more deeply about so many things. Erik is a lucky little boy to have you! What a woman.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Teresa & Shawn said...

Happy Birthday! Erik is blessed to always have YOU at this side as well.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Happy birthday!! I am thinking that 40 doesn't seem so old anymore... do you agree??? :)

I'm glad your playdate went well - I am hoping to catch up with some WS families when school starts up. It's wonderful when your family and friends are supportive, but no one but another special needs mom knows what you are going through.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Happy birthday to you!!!!!!!! I'm so glad that you had a beautiful bday party :))))
I wish your friend gets well soon!
And I'm so happy that you were able to see the ws-video once more and your friends could see it, too. You are a very brave mom, I have a lot of things to learn from you!
Love, Kati

4:44 AM  

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