Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My feet are hot, and other musings....

I spent all day trying to figure out why I thought I was having hot flashes. I mean, I know I am closing in on the BIG 40 but still. My office was like a melting pot. When I picked up Lilly from a day with Grandma & Opa, their house felt like a sauna. While cooking dinner, I was sweating so much I thought I would die. Turns out, my feet were stuck in these really hot shoes meant for snow weather and it was making my body temperature soar. Jeff pointed out to me that my sheepskin-lined fur boots might be making my face red and my body melt. Now, don't make fun of my boots that I have owned for FIVE years. They are too big and they make my ankle hurt, but I kind of love them. However, I do realize it is time to give up the lovely footwear. And, yes, they are ugly. They are stained with two children's worth of "you don't want to know." The soles are starting to come apart and let's not forget, they make my feet really hot.

I didn't mean to start writing about my silly feet and sweating problems. In fact, it was my hope to share the story of Saturday night complete with pictures. Jeff took some wonderful photos of our dinner with best friends and a party that ended way too late. But his camera is new and I don't know how to get those pictures to my picasa, so I struggle with a blog about heat and silly shoes.

However, these problems are nothing compared to raising a special needs child. We are blessed to have a four year old who rolls her eyes and spews sassy talk often and a one year old who is little boy through and through; climbing, jumping and defying gravity to the point that we all walk around in a state of panic when he is awake. We have tiny worries. Little tiny worries but tons of smiles, loves and hugs. James and Lilly are physically and mentally healthy. Others are not so lucky.

My mom and Lilly attend an Italian school once a week where they play, sing and learn Italian with other little children of differing ages. One of Lilly's schoolmates is a little boy who is deaf. He has all kinds of devices to help him cope with the hearing world and his mother, according to my mom, is the nicest human she has ever met. This mother seems to want nothing but "normalcy" for her child and although she realizes the limitations of her son, she goes above and beyond to give him a life of parks, school and friends.

Then this happened. It is a second hand story and it broke my heart and made me rage. As a parent, I was beside myself. Over the weekend, this little boy was at the park playing. Wearing his hat with a special listening device made just for him and his needs so he could hear the giggles and the wind blowing and the cheers from his mom; two little girls, about eight years old, came running up to him and tore his hat off his head. They ran away laughing and when the mom, the boys mom mind you, not the girls' parents, ran after them, they threw it on the ground. Now, I don't know what the parents of these little girls did or how they reacted. What I do know, is that this child now understands without a doubt, that there are evil and mean-spirited children. He will carry the experience forever.

This story, this sad story about a little boy and his wonderful mother reinforces to me that our children WILL have respect, love and empathy for others. This is my legacy: to have children who show smiles and kindness to others. This is what makes me a success.