Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: First Day

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Day

Erik started school this week. He was less than excited to get ready to go the first day but seemed completely at home in the classroom when we arrived. He marched in like he owned the place, which was a first. Although the teachers, therapists, and bus drivers seem to adore all of the children Erik goes to school with, it has become apparent over the last year that he may be receiving more than a little bit of extra special attention. Sometimes I suspect he is on the verge of obtaining true celebrity status. I watched my kid work each adult by raising his voice slightly to an additionally adorable octave, gently reaching up to squeeze their hands, and tilting his head to achieve the most effective angle of cuteness as he greeted everyone. By the time the new bus driver came up the driveway, she was giggling and gushing over him. She admitted that she had been gazing at him in the mirror above her head during the ride and had informed him he was very cute. Today I baked a plate of cranberry-orange muffins for her and included one of the cards I carry in my purse about Williams syndrome. This is my standard awareness-raising technique. It's just impossible to go wrong with baked goods/griddled items of any sort. I plan on taking over the world by doling out one cookie at a time.

I spent the afternoon baking a butternut squash and transforming it into a spicy, Asian-inspired soup I ran through my blender in batches for my friend with ALS. I purchased extra food storage containers and a cookbook written for people with dysphagia (swallowing and chewing problems) so I could freeze him meals. He is slowly starving to death and refuses a feeding tube, at least for now. When I can't cook food for him anymore, I won't know what to do. While the squash was cooling, Erik suggested we go for a ride in the Jeep Wrangler. I haven't driven it for years but agreed to fire it up, much to Erik's surprise. I don't think he knew his mama could do that. We circled the property three times with our hair blowing in the breeze and sunshine on our faces. Each time we came to our driveway, Erik would say, "Again, Mama!"

I have pondered taking a break from writing since my personal life has taken a difficult turn and I have begun to pour any extra energy into survival, but I prefer to keep things open here. I really miss writing as often as I did and hope I will find some time to sit down now that school is back in session. I'll be back, although it may be a few days between posts at times.

For now, though, I am preparing for a child-free weekend of screaming my lungs out at an Oregon State game and a trip to the casino with Brian. I hope to experience some blogworthy adventures and hope to return refreshed.

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Anonymous Auntie Cinnamon said...

You probably have a million hits on your map locater from me checking on a post and first day of school photos of Erik!!! Hooray for Erik and going back to school! Looking forward to hearing great things about Erik and school and perhaps a story or two of the new bus driver!

Praying for your dear friend!!!


3:48 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Can he BE any cuter? What a fabulous picture. I am so glad the school and bus days are going well. Have a great weekend!!

7:02 PM  
Blogger camille said...

Wow, that's great that Erik did so well marching in to school. Gives me hope! That's awesome to get a weekend away :) I'm looking forward to some blogworthy tales!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh Erik, I am not sure the world is ready for the likes of you! Geez our kids are a force to be reckoned with, even without speech I see Avery doing similar things to people. Hang in there kiddo, I will be thinking about you and your friend.

7:29 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

I'm glad things are going ok- and WHAT a CUTIE he is!!!

That jeep ride must have been really special to him. :)


9:35 AM  
Anonymous auntie cinnamon said...

Okay... Brogan has been asking to see Erik's photo... He is loooovin the CARS backpack and he just realized that he wore the exact shirt as what Erik is wearing in the photo to Sunday school yesterday... I told Brogan that shirt used to be yours and you are now wearing Brayden's shirt... Brogan then yelled,"wow mom three boys have worn that shirt!" Too funny!!!!

Erik looks so big and so proud to be going off to school!

Brogan said he would loooooove it if Erik and him could go to kindergarten together! Me too! Perhaps first grade! :)

10:36 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

hope you had a good time! Erik is handsome as ever!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Love that picture!!!
Glad he had a good first day, all around.
I'm keeping your friend in my prayers, I know how hard this is.

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your child-free weekend!

3:37 AM  

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