Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: I've Got Spirit, Yes I Do

Friday, November 30, 2007

I've Got Spirit, Yes I Do

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. —Luke 18:16

This week is a blur. Because I have been sleeping well after collapsing when the day is done, my blog has fallen by the wayside. I didn't make it to 3 a.m. today, but tonight brings another opportunity to sleep.

Yesterday was busy, to say the least. I dropped my bawling, red-faced boy off at preschool and drove to the grocery store over some very icy roads that resulted from a gorgeous but less than enthusiastic evening of tiny, dry snowflakes. When I finally arrived home across town and had put away most of my groceries, I decided to pull down the ladder in our garage and haul down our heavy boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic. I have not done this before, and halfway through the process of going backwards down from a dizzying height with large amounts of weight held above my head, I realized that if I fell, I would lie for hours undiscovered on the cement floor under a box of tinsely Christmas cheer. It probably wasn't the brightest idea of mine. Despite this, I am highly enjoying being in shape and successfully moved what seemed like thousands of pounds of tree and home trimmery into the living room. Brian and I purchased a faux tree for the first time to make our lives a little easier and enjoy the season longer. Because our tree sits directly in front of a wall of windows through which the sunlight streams and seems to instantly transform the classic holiday icon into a giant, flammable hazard, it was a good move. Our new tree is nine feet of manufactured love directly from China, adorned with 1800 white lights. I stood atop a wooden bar stool to install the angel and worked my way down, taking each of my ornaments from the boxes. There was tiny, green champagne bottle from New Year's Eve 2000...the wooden beach scene Brian bought when we traveled to Hawaii for the football game last year...the needlepoint wreath my mother stitched in my school colors the year I graduated from high school almost 20 years ago...the ceramic ball somewhat crudely painted with a cat that looks exactly like Gracie and the year 1998...the last construction paper ring that was once on a chain I made to count the days I would see Brian again when we were dating and he lived miles away...the crystal Noah's Ark that I received when Erik was born...the sparkling snowman that I discovered in my mailbox from a dear blog-friend and fellow WS mother last year. Each ornament means something to me and tells a story. I enjoy reminiscing as I decorate. I received two phone calls as I worked, one from Erik's teacher and one from the bus driver, stating he would be very late, and I had an extra hour to myself. The tree ended up looking lovely. I placed the ancient set of three wise men I adored as a child in my grandparents' living room on top of the television and hung the stained glass star in the window. I filled a crystal bowl that was once a wedding present with glass ornaments from the collection of our family friends who passed away and placed a candle in the center. I hung our stockings on the wooden railing of the stairs. I placed the poinsettia placemats my mother sewed for me on the kitchen table. By the time Erik arrived for lunch and his nap, the place looked great. Even my Christmas cactus is in the spirit, heavy with buds that will soon produce bright pink petals. Erik checked everything out and said, "Christmas tree!" I asked him if it was pretty, and he answered with the strange Cajun accent from nowhere that often flavors his speech.


After that, I worked a half day during Erik's nap. The phone seemed to ring all day long with someone wanting something. The pediatric cardiology center called to inform me that we needed to ignore the letter that would soon arrive stating that Erik was no longer required to have echocardiograms. The genetic counselors at the children's hospital apparently insisted we receive the studies yearly through age 5. While this means that the chance things may worsen is real, I have decided to give myself a year off from worry about Erik's heart and enjoy the good news we received after his study instead. Being in good hands at this particular clinic also provides a great deal of reassurance. I have enough to worry about now with Erik's worsening anxiety, growing difficulty being among his peers, and horrible sensitivity to certain noises. That's quite enough for me to handle now, and we are doing the best we can. I have even turned off most of my own anxiety about the holiday and am beginning to enjoy the sparkle. No matter what Erik struggles with outside the home, I am bound and determined to create a haven for him here.

Because Erik has been so severely delayed, this is the first year Erik has truly begun to grasp the concept of the holidays and the happiness that comes with them. Because of that, I am finally enjoying the magic most mothers take for granted, and I have the spirit of the season back. If I stop long enough to absorb what it all means, I feel comforted and am certain that no matter what happens to our son, he will be loved and cared for by something much bigger and more powerful than I can understand at this point in time.

Who knew there was hope for an old Grinch like me?

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Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

I ALWAYS knew there was hope for a grinch like you! It is going to be a blessed Christmas, Nancy.

Love to you!


7:21 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

I am glad that you had a good Thanksgiving.
It is amazing how our kids can turn even the best grinch into a Holiday-season-lover. Abi's shear joy at the sight of lights makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!
From one Grinch to another...happy holidays!!


7:53 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thank you for that Nancy. I am trying hard to get in the spirit and that helped. By the way, when I went to the seminar in Ohio I met a woman and her 35 year old WS daughter. She has never had the heart issues. Just thought you would take a little piece in knowing that.

11:16 AM  
Blogger camille said...

Glad you are sleeping better. And by the way, this part of your post, "halfway through the process of going backwards down from a dizzying height with large amounts of weight held above my head, I realized that if I fell, I would lie for hours undiscovered on the cement floor under a box of tinsely Christmas cheer" had me cracking up out loud. I know that probably doesn't sound very nice that I would be laughing at the thought of you on the floor like that, but I think I found it so funny because I could totally see myself doing the same thing. I always try to carry these heavy boxes and then can't quite do it and end up in a ridiculous position yelling for help until I am rescued.
Connor is much easier this year than last year but he still isn't going to "get it." I'm really hopeful for next year that he'll know more about what's going on. I'm really praying for speech to start soon. I need to hear that little voice say words. Enjoy your weekend and your decorated home! I wanna see pics!!

2:57 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Yeah! I am glad to hear that you are in the Christmas Spirit. This is Keith's first year that he "gets it", so I am experiencing the same feelings.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

When Caleb finally 'got' it, I was thrilled beyond words. He still enjoys every minute of the holidays. I hope he never, never grows out of it!
It is going to be a great Christmas for a lot of us! I LOVE this time of year.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

How wonderful! I'm so happy that you got out your decorations-- and what a tree! Wow! That thing is huge! I bet it's beautiful-- and all of the sentimental ornaments-- it makes it priceless.

I knew Erik would enjoy it-- I'm glad he's coming around to be able to enjoy the holidays *Hugs and Love*

7:03 PM  
Blogger All moments remembered said...

Just stopped by real quick to say HELLO and I miss having time to always post here!! This work gig is tough on me! :)
Oh yea and also GOOOOO BEAVERS!!!


10:32 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm glad to hear your Christmas spirit is back; sounds like your house does look magical! I'm having a hard time getting motivated to decorate this year (just no fun doing it yourself!) but I might break out a few tubs and get something done today - hopefully that will help get me in the holiday mood!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

LOL... i can picture the newspaper headings now..
"Women Found Dead Beneath Box of Christmas Cheer"
I had a similar morbid thought lifing a rather heavy box of fish tank reflectors down a steep ladder the other day...
Im glad the christmas cheer is filling your home instead of burying you alive. Its great to hear Eric is 'getting in the spirit' too :)
Take care!

7:10 PM  

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