Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Chapter Two

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chapter Two

Teacher (watching me write down Erik's date of birth): Oh, so Erik's 4?

Me: Uh, no, he's going to be 3.

Teacher: Oh. I'm not very good at math. That's why I teach preschool.

The weather has finally transformed into something much less volatile. The evening I posted last brought probably the most violent thunderstorm I have experienced in my lifetime. There were simultaneous thunderclaps and flashes of lightning over the house, shaking everything inside. It was like the unrealistic storms you might see in old horror movies. All we needed here to complete the evening was Vincent Price. Our power was out for nearly three hours, so the house was filled with candlelight and the sound of the football game on our little camping radio. Some fires flared up nearby, but the drenching raindrops fell again, extinguishing them before they caused any harm. I retired early under the influence of an entire Unisom tablet and was shaken awake several times. Where was Erik, you might ask? He was so exhausted from the night before that he slept through the entire thing!

We had hippotherapy yesterday. Erik looked like John Wayne sitting on his horse this time when he used to look like a precious, little cowboy-fetus who needed rescuing. His body seems so strong now. Besides a little poopy pants incident in the parking lot, it all went quite well. After lunch, Erik and I went to see his new classroom and talk with his teacher. She was nice, I suppose. When I initially met her a month ago, I liked her. However, this time she struck me as unorganized and scattered. She was unable to locate her business cards, and there were no adult-sized chairs to sit in to fill out paperwork. She instructed me to sit in "the red chair," a lilliputian piece of furniture in front of a table perfect for tiny tea parties. I'm almost 5'10" and have a very sore navel, so folding myself in half like a contortionist was not on my list of things to do. I obliged, however, and hunched over a stack of papers, signing where instructed. Some sort of classroom helper sat to my left and said almost nothing. I was quite impressed with the new speech therapist from Maine, who came to join us halfway through our meeting. He was a handsome guy with pewter-colored hair and lines on his face from smiling kind smiles. The teacher asked me to explain Erik's diagnosis to him, which went better than it ever has, even though it has been months since I have done this. I sounded like I was reading out of a book, but it all flowed automatically from me as the women nodded a little vapidly. I explained all of the points I wanted to, and he sounded quite interested. This man seemed highly intelligent and quite interested in Erik's strengths. Erik played with trucks and doll strollers quietly as we talked. When the speech therapist said goodbye and stood up, Erik looked up and said, "See ya next time." The man was quite surprised and laughed.

Brian attended the meeting on IEPs last week, as I was at hippotherapy earlier in the day and was completely burned out. He was told that the school district staff members are instructed not to offer extra services to parents of children with special needs unless they specifically ask for them--all in the interest of saving money. I shudder to think what happens to kids like Erik when their parents aren't as involved as we are or simply don't care. I am going to try not to think about that, because my heart will split in two.

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Blogger All moments remembered said...

So many comments....

One the belly button, I forgot to mention this the other day. When they say it takes 3 months to heal they mean every word of it. Salt water and neosporin around the ends. :)

My hubby is a teacher and he said he has NEVER been told not to offer extra services to a student who might need it. Like he said so much of the time the teacher must step in because the parents are not so involved, very sad. Erik is lucky to have you two!

I love the picture you posted! So sweet!

hippotherapy what is this?

Oh and I hope your diet 7up went down smooth!! Lucy was one sweet chicken. I have so many other animal stories! I am a bit of a nut. I loved living in that house by you. I miss it often but I also love where I am now.

Have a super weekend!!

4:39 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Stace -- My navel is feeling better. I have been eating a lot of vitamin C and will get some zinc supplements, as that is supposed to help. They told me it will take a year. Having a child is easier and takes less time! You and Heid are studs.

The photo is Sparky, a dog that lives across the canal. When he gets bored, he will just come and sit on our porch all day until we call his owners, who come pick him up.

Hippotherapy is horse therapy. I'll send you my video.

I loved the Lucy story. Loved it.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

All moments remembered has left a new comment on your post "Chapter Two":

OMG that is Sparky!!!!! We know sparky!!! One thing I also know about him is he hates anyone in uniform!! The log house use to be a cop and Sparky did not like him if he had his uniform on!!! Gosh you are getting me home sick.

We did belly button rings and braces all at the same time!! I think we were nuts and so full of pain we went numb!!

I watched the video, WOW!!! I had chills run through me how cool is that for Erik. Is that *******? My hubby made some stuff for them years ago. Neat people. Oh and do you have to add the music to your videos? OMG you get me with it each time.

Heid said the 3 of us have to have lunch. Do you ever had a free Wednesday? Heid's day off and I can come to town child free. Bring Erik too if you want!!

7:26 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Stace -- I edited your comment above only because I want to keep the places anon, but yes, you are correct! That's the place. Very cool people.

I'll give you a lesson sometime in video & music. It's not easy for me to get it all together, and I'm still not very good!

Yes, let's do lunch! I don't see Heid enough now that we aren't crammed in a tiny office together!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Julie said...


When I had my belly button pierced bactine really helped. The hippotherapy sounds awesome. Our pt told us no one around here will do it until your child is 3. That is something daddy can go and do with Noah because mommy is afraid of horses.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Julie -- At this moment, I smell like eau de Bactine. Love the stuff. Plus, it has lidocaine in it!

I highly recommend hippotherapy. He was able to do it here at 2, and I think it really stretches him out and keeps him loose.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

I am very glad it has stopped raining for now, maybe you all can catch up on some sleep.
Yes, the schools are told not to offer anything.If they don't ask it doesn't exsist. Even if it does exsist,pretend it doesn't for awhile..if they really want it they will beg. It truly is sad that these are the people that are raising our future and the minimum is okay for most of the schools. Have you ever seen the movie "idiocracy"?...stupid movie but if you think about the plot...scary thing is it REALLY could happen!
Hope your belly botton heals quickly. A year seems like a really long time. Wow.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Gua said...

This after the school district just announced they hired another administrator to deal with special ed. Just goes to show you can't assume anything! Another reason you Erik and the other Williams kids we know are lucky, lucky, lucky to have the moms they have. You have to be a full time advocate, along with everything else.

Love, Mom

8:22 AM  

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