Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Working the Mall, Finding Gifts Not For Sale

 I had a lot of worries back when I decided to pack up and move Mr. Chick Magnet down to Fargo from our comfy small town home.  I can imagine Fargo doesn't seem a teeming metropolis to a lot of you, but when you understand we have more people in our apartment complex than our hometown, it's easier to imagine.

Home is where everyone knows Steven, where he grew up with the security of rolling down the street to the sound of people greeting him by name. Even the people who didn't much care for me weren't shy about loving him.  They remembered his Daddy, and it was through the collective memory of family and friends that he has a lot of the happy stories he falls back on to this day.

 When his medical needs rapidly started outreaching the resources available to us, it was time. That last close call with a shunt failure shook me to the core.  The scales tipped, and we made the move.

 We've been here a few years now, but it was our trip to the mall last week that gave me clarity.

If you've never tried to navigate a shopping mall with a power chair, there's a level of frustration you haven't gotten to experience yet. ;)  We chose a weekday, hoping for the best.  Steven had a list of things to do, lunch, haircut with his favorite cute hairdresser, visiting his favorite cute salesperson in Best Buy Mobile... and I had an agenda. Steven was disappointed the day he helped at the giving tree because only one person took a tag on his shift. We needed to remedy that.

We opted to use Paratransit to save the frustration of mall parking, and when the bus pulled up...

That's when the giggling started.

A happy Steven emits a belly laugh somewhere between a giggle, a cackle, and a honk.  It's a wonder of diaphragmatic breathing and sheer joy.

We loaded up, and I noticed Steven was already buddies with the new driver. He had him broken in, that's for sure.  Steven is apparently a VERY good supervisor, keeping the drivers on the straight and narrow with his knowledge of rules and procedure. By the time we were dropped off at the mall, the driver had the giggles too.

We got a few steps into the main entry of the mall, when we had to stop and visit with the firemen manning the Red Kettle. We asked if we could get a picture with them as Steven made his contribution, and they scrambled to amuse him by letting him hold the helmet and helping him reach the bucket.

More giggles.

We made it through lunch, then headed off to our haircut.  It's a good thing we allowed extra time, because every 20 steps or so, we ran into someone we knew. We stopped to chat a minute with his old school bus driver, then that cute salesperson met us at the doorway of BBM to make sure she was still at the top of Steven's Girlfriend List. An off-duty paratransit driver stopped to say hello, and as we got closer to our destination, we met a lady who worked with him at the high school.

Haircuts from Erin are always good for a Steven Hug. It's her extra tip. ;)

More giggles.

Off we went to get a tag to fill. Steven flirted with the ladies at the tree, of course, and we decided on a young man with special needs, since he was expert at "guy stuff". There were still plenty to choose from, so we picked one for a senior citizen as well, since Grandmas need love too.

Off to the Chick Magnet's Mecca...Sears. *Insert Tim the Toolman grunt here*

After much deliberation, he found a good deal on a nifty radio-controlled car he said HE would like if he were getting it. (I think that was a hint...) and we went off in search of batteries.  While I was examining the choices, he was approached by a smiling older woman. I assumed it was someone he knew through his day program at first, since they started right in about the merits of awesome toys. Nope, just making conversation.

More giggles.

She jumped when he honked out a laugh at her remark, but she caught the giggle bug too. "Oh, you are just PRECIOUS! Can I have a hug?" she asked. I should probably be jealous at his readiness to give her one, since I have steal MINE... but I'll try not to whine. :)

After picking out a gift for the Grandma on the other tag, we were off to the far corners of the mall again to get the gifts wrapped, take them back to the tree (Where he was greeted happily by the women he had already flirted with the first visit). We ran into a school friend, a Hope, Inc. friend, and eventually made our way back to the food court for a bit of DQ before hitting the road again.

We noticed, on our way back, that there were no kids in line for Santa pictures. We looked at each other and simultaneously said "Why not?".  It's become a bit of a tradition, after all. The HoHoHo-ing, honking Steven Santa Laugh could probably summon reindeer from the North Pole all by itself. By the time we got the pictures snapped, he had them all giggling.

I'm trying to learn that while it's better to give than to receive, it's okay to let other people have the happiness of doing something nice. It still threw me off a bit to have my money refused by Santa's boss. I'm getting better about not feeling so awkward about allowing people to do something nice for us, because I can finally see it's not out of pity for his disability, but out of joy from that honk and that smile.

Of course, after Steven accused me of STEALING them, I explained that Santa just wanted to do something nice for him like he had done for other people. That helped, but I was thisclose to the cuffs the way he was talking.

More giggles.

The driver who picked us up is one we've known since we moved here, but he's still not used to Steven's laugh when it comes out unexpectedly.  Steven honked, the driver jumped... which made Steven laugh LOUDER... the driver jumped higher... "Are you okay???"

More giggles.

Steven figured it was the sugar.

I think it was Christmas.

In any case, when we got home I finally got it.

Home really is where everybody knows Steven.



Friday, November 29, 2013


     I think there's no better way to end the Thanksgiving holiday than to remember two of the best ladies in my life, my Grandma and my Mother-in-law. They never got to know each other in life, but wherever it is the best of the best go after this life, I'm sure they're having coffee, comparing notes on their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They would have been two peas in a pod, and there would be laughter... and cookies. :)

     Grandma was the strongest woman I ever knew. She came up out of the Great Depression, married her one great love, and made it through some incredibly hard times... but she was also the kindest, warmest light in my life. No matter how chaotic or hard my home life may have been, once we rounded the corner into the farmyard and heard her hearty "Howdy do!", we were home.

      Her face would light up when we came tumbling into her, and her arms made everything bad go away. Every child should have that. As it was, I got to share her with my own daughter for all too short a time. We  lost her just as Steven was born, the day after we found out he would pull through and survive his early birth. Even though she never held him in those arms in life, I know in my heart she has carried him more than once when he needed her.

I wasn't amused?

Laura and her Gammy

    I worried Steven would miss the start in life Laura got with her "Gammy", since my own mother just wasn't  the type, but the minute my mother-in-law laid eyes on him, there it was. Vivian was just a smile come to  life. The first time I met her, she sat down and pulled a pair of shoes out of her purse, and we were friends from that moment on. 

You never knew what she might pull out of that handbag, heck, it was often a surprise to her! I'm pretty sure the kids thought it was magic, as if she might fall into Narnia if she dug too deep for things to occupy them in church.

She gave them the love I had from my own grandmother, along with some purse-raisins and a story. We all knew that under that veneer of Church Dignity, that twinkle in her eye was just a giggle waiting to escape.

I don't remember exactly what she said to crack everyone up, but it may have been a wee bit naughty.
She was full of surprises. :)

I'm not sure how I got so lucky to have had these wonderful women in my life to teach me, but if I'm ever blessed with grandchildren, they have my back.

Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Margaret Cho is in town, why we won't be spending our money on her.

It's no secret, I love stand-up. The Chick Magnet loves it too. :) Fargo has been bringing in some really great acts in recent years, and my Netflix queue is loaded with laughs. Our motto is, "Why cry when laughing is so much more fun?"

Margaret Cho is a gifted, talented performer. She shares the most painful aspects of her life in a way few can match.

So why, you ask, am I staying clear?

Sometimes you learn more about someone from a slip of the lip than their carefully-crafted words. I just can't get over her comments about having a "retard" baby.

Her words from an interview promoting her tour, called "Mother", stick in my heart. :

 "My period comes like twice a month. My eggs are jumping ship,” she said. “Seriously, they’re like, ‘the last one out’s a retard.”
“I get worried about that, as an older woman, I don’t necessarily want to have a retard,”.

No matter how she tried to explain her words away, there they are.

They sit in my heart like a rock.

She made apologies in her blog, but I can't really tell, in places, whether her words were meant more to salve the wounds of those she hurt... or her own.

Part of me understands the fears and wants to get past her words, but every time I look at my son and his friends I see the triumph more than the struggles. I see the joy and the gifts more clearly than the hurts.  I try to remember that Steven taught me to do that.  From the outside, it looks like an overwhelming, never-ending, climb. I get that.

To fear the unknown is natural. To demean and reject children with special needs because of that fear is heartbreaking.

Words can leave scars.

I'll leave you with both sets of words and let you think about them on your own.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Best Kind of Rash.

Did that get your attention? :)

It seems an outbreak of random acts of kindness has hit our area, and I hope to help it spread.

We went out for an early supper after Steven's adaptive bowling game last Saturday. We chose Famous Dave's, and settled in for some barbecue.

Steven loved his seat, since he could see alllll the ladies moving in and out of the kitchen to serve tables, and his whiplash even made the people at the next table crack up and cheer him on. It was hard to even hose off the sauce on his face, since it was a moving target.

I was content to make googly-eyes at the adorable baby with the family seated behind us. <3

Steven tends to be the party wherever he goes, but it was time to go... but our server approached our table empty-handed.

He said someone who wished to remain anonymous had already paid for our meal.  The look on Steven's face was priceless, and I'm sure I looked plenty surprised as well!  I think the server was enjoying it, teasing us a bit that they may or may not still be in the building, but they didn't want us to know. :)

I told him to make sure to thank them if they were, and tell them we appreciated it.  Not knowing who to thank is an odd feeling, but it sure does color one's perception. Since it could be ANYBODY, it makes you remember that we all have the potential to be kind and generous. It feels like a glimpse of how Steven seems to see the world, where everyone is his friend.

I like the way it looks from there. Was it the table enjoying his antics? The family behind us? Someone we didn't even interact with? I'll never know, but I appreciate them.

There's more!

I recently read a letter to the editor from a friend of mine about her own experience in Walmart:

By: Brenda Schmid, Fargo, INFORUM

To the kind man at Wal-Mart:
Sunday (Nov. 3), I was shopping at Wal-Mart on 52nd in Fargo with my daughter Hannah. When shopping with Hannah I push her in her wheelchair and pull a shopping cart behind us. We are a “small train.”
During our shopping outing, we were “huffed” at by a woman as she burned by us with her cart, obviously in a hurry; we were in her way. Rounding a corner with a truck-like turn we were greeted by another shopper. I apologized for taking up so much room. She responded with an eye roll as she backed up so we could make the turn.
Further down the aisle I said, “Excuse me” to a shopper as I shuffled Hannah and my cart to one side so she could pass. She passed without word or glance.
Hannah was unfazed by the shoppers’ behavior. She vocalized and smiled at all who passed by. You see, we tell Hannah the reason people stare is because she is beautiful and her smile is worth an extra glance, which is true.
I silently asked, “What is wrong with people? When did this world become cold and selfish?” Thankful my shopping list was short, I made my way to the express checkout lane, head high, pretending not to notice the stares. Most days these things roll off, but some days they hurt.
In line Hannah was greeted with a smile from the woman in front of us – finally a spark of humanity. Usually 20 items or less means express checkout. Not this day. The nice woman ahead of us was patient with the clerk who struggled with his till.
Then it was our turn. I placed my household necessities on the counter, reached for my purse and, BAM, the gentleman behind me swiped his credit card through the scanner. I thought he was confused, so I asked him what he was doing. He said he wanted to pay for my items. We had a conversation that consisted of “you don’t have to do that,” and his response, “I know. I want to.” I asked his name, but he shook his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. I introduced myself and rolled Hannah back to him and explained what he had done for us. She smiled a big “thank you.” I thanked him again for his kindness and generosity. (My merchandise cost more than $50.)
I said goodbye and wished him a blessed day. Tears rolled down my face as we walked to the van. How did he know I needed a dose of kindness? That’s the thing. You never know what others are going through. Maybe the shoppers I met that day had heavy hearts. We’ve all had bad days; no one is exempt. But not everyone gets to experience pure kindness like I did.
Some might conclude he did it because Hannah is in a wheelchair and he felt sorry for us. I’ve seen the “pity look,” and there was no pity in his face. I don’t know his name, but I know his heart. I wish he knew how he healed my heart that day.

One of Hannah's smiles would be a reward to treasure, that's for sure. <3

So thank you, whoever you are, and know how much you matter.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stevenism of the day, on Skipping Holidays.

After Joe's appointment today, we decided to hit the mall for a while. Christmas had taken over, and when we made our way through the JC Penney, we noted clearance Halloween items and full-blown Christmas fever on display.

"Where's Thankgiving?" he asked.

I thought that was a very good question... but before I could say anything, Steven proudly announced "I guess I AM Thankgiving because I'm a TURKEY! GObblegobble..."

I couldn't argue with logic like that, so we gobblegobbled our way out of there. I have NO idea what people were staring at. :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Daddy's Boy.

Today would have been Jeff's 48th birthday. It's hard to imagine that 18 birthdays that have come and gone as the kids approach the age he was when he left this world.

As friends and family know, we had our struggles, but the one constant was his love for his children. His gift to all of us is the zest for life he passed down to his son. As Steven grows into a man, there are echoes of his father's voice, his smile, and that twinkle in his eye that tell us Jeff is never truly gone.

His proudest moments were Steven's birth, Laura's adoption, and the day he pulled into a friend's driveway and overheard their kids refer to him as "Laura and Steven's Daddy".

Happy birthday, Daddy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


A lot of my friends on Facebook have been posting daily updates on what they're most thankful for. I have two parts of me who need a whole lot more. It seems a bit early to break out The  Peace on Earth Christmas Picture, but I had to. ;)

Steven and his co-conspirator, the object of his torment and his undying devotion, Laura, are the best things in my life. She's the one person in the world who has his back with the same passion I do, and he's her biggest fan next to me.

There were times I felt such pangs of guilt for shortchanging Laura of time and attention due to her brother's needs, but little moments will stick with me forever that gave me a glimpse into her mind and heart.

(Brace yourself, Laura... it's about to get cute and mushy...)

One afternoon, when Laura was about eight years old, she came out of her room nearly in tears. Before I could ask what was wrong, she blurted out "If I'm with Steven and a bad guy tries to take him, I'll tell him 'Take me and leave my brother alone!."

We both started to cry as I hugged her and wondered where that came from. Apparently, they had gotten a talk on stranger danger in school that week, and she had been mulling it over for a while.

That's the way she's always been. When she was even younger, barely over two, she showed her empathy. I had been watching a heartbreaking movie about a homeless mother who had to abandon her daughter to get any help for her. My tears were flowing as my own little girl played contentedly by my feet.

She got up and went toward the back of the apartment without a word. She came back and handed me a square of toilet paper to dry my tears. You can imaging the waterworks that came from THAT.

She went back to fetch more, and emerged with a tile comet of TP that was still attached in the bathroom. :)

My Superhero

Best medicine.

It hasn't always been easy for ANY of us, but I'm so proud of the adults they have become. I have the satisfaction of knowing I didn't mess them up or scar them for life TOO badly... and I'll be leaving the world a better place for bringing them into it.

What else can a Mom ask for, when all is said and done?

*edited to add more cuteness*

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stevenism of the Day. Double entendres and bad puns.

I've been slacking. I'll be fixing that this week. :)

I transferred His Majesty from his chair to his bed. When I turned to move his chair, I saw a dime left in the seat. I couldn't stop myself from asking "Have you noticed a change in your bowel habits?"

Without missing a beat, Steven busts out his best Peter Griffin voice and says "That means TWO things!"

We both lost it.

For those who don't know Family Guy, Peter's known to point out double entendres thusly:

That means TWO things.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stevenism of the Day.

While we were transferring him from the chair to his bed, we were talking about his "mushy guns" and how he needs to work out harder to impress the ladies.

He asked to check my muscles, and when he tried to squish my bicep, his eyes got big.

"Those would be nice on a man!"

*sigh* Thanks, kid.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Help, don't harm.

 I planned on a light-hearted post about the Chick Magnet's weekend, and I promise it's still coming, but I can't get this out of my head.

I've written before about trying to support other parents and not shake a critical finger at them, but this author is getting a different kind of "finger" from me today.

I hate to even give the writer more clicks, but please note the pages of comments from others who call her out. I hope she reads them and gets some insight and education. Somehow, I doubt it, since she didn't bother to follow up.

That father did exactly what he SHOULD have done in his situation. There are far too many headlines about parents or caregivers who fail to reach out for help, and the children pay the price.

Please share THIS link far and wide. Let's throw out a lifeline where we can.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stevenism of the Day

"You know what one of my favorite things from my childhood is?

Tattling on my sister. That was great stuff. "

He isn't kidding. When Laura watched him while I worked, he was usually asleep when I got home. The first breath he took in the morning was the beginning of a narc-fest you wouldn't believe. "She wouldn't get me my toy, she was on the phone, she didn't give me a turn on Nintendo, she wouldn't read me an extra story, she...."


Sunday, September 15, 2013

That will NEVER happen to me!

Oh the sweet, blissful ignorance of being able to believe that to be true.

Tonight, a young boy in my town went missing for the second time this summer. He's a bright, wiry, quick boy who happens to have autism.

It makes my heart swell with pride to see the community rally to try to bring a happy resolution to this and other missing kid stories. Social media have become a powerful tool to bring us together to offer whatever assistance we can.,

Sadly, the lucky and some of the child-free take the chance to jump up and pound their chests and wag a finger at the parents who are already hurting.

I know both sides. I used to be one of them.

I had all the answers. They JUST need to... and they SHOULD... because a hundred perfectly good reasons why bad things happened to OTHER parents was a warm shield  to ward off the notion that we're all vulnerable. If we can find some flaw in the other parent, it means we're safe. After all, anyone can see they're just careless. IF they'd only...

Then, a tiny ball of determination came into my world too soon.

Once you've spent some quality time wagging that judgy finger at yourself for not knowing to look for the signs, not being perceptive enough to understand what your body was doing, for being too afraid to ask more questions, for a hundred other hindsights that may or may not have made a difference in the end... you're slower to throw rocks at other mothers. They sometimes bounce back and hit you in the heart. The path of parenting a child with extra needs is rough and hilly, with plenty of vantage points from which to examine every decision you ever made in painful detail when you look back.

For all the people who cry out for young Draven's parents to lose custody of him, that they should "watch there dang kid harder" and "They need to NEVER let him out of their sights"... I truly hope you never find yourself in their shoes, on that path.

I'd love for you to take a moment and at least imagine the trip, though.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Inspiration Through Beer Commercials.

Sometimes, as the mother of a young man with disabilities, I feel like I'm watching a lot of  life through a weird filter. We may be looking at the same picture, but the colors are shifted. Some of it comes from spending Steven's formative years in a very loving small town, but one where there were no other children in chairs. I had everything in common with the other mothers, and nothing at all. It depended on the day.

I've gotten used to the feeling of "Same planet, different worlds."

It hit me again last week because of a beer commercial.

I've seen this ad shared over and over on Facebook. "Inspirational" and "Beautiful!", guaranteed to make one's heart melt.  If you haven't seen it yet, I'll wait while you watch:


Now, I'll try to explain why I had the opposite reaction... or at least give it a shot. (Pun probably intended. ;)  )

I'm watching... and loving the game. The voiceover about dedication, loyalty... yes, you have me! Then, all but one get up out of their chairs as the voice says "Friendship." (Wompwomp, stomach drop) The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character...

That's when it hits me they're extolling the qualities of the guys who have the choice to get up and walk out of the gym, not the guy who ruled that game who can't.

You see, from MY vantage point, I see my son get up every day and take on the world. Through all the indignities, pain and frustrations of his day-to-day life, he smiles and pushes ahead.  He rides his stylish John Deere chariot around and over obstacles that would leave me exhausted, bitter and ready to call it quits.

And still... he smiles.

He's my strength, my determination and my teacher. To his peers, he's... well, he's just Steven, and that's wonderful. That's what friends ARE. They just want to be around you and you watch out for each other. The chair is the vehicle, not the man.

There's my struggle with the "inspirational message" aspect of the ad. Without the smarmy voice-over ... buddies having a blast in a way they can all enjoy. WOOT! Game on!

With it? It becomes a patronizing message of it taking sterling character and dedication to be a good friend to someone in a chair.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Origins of the Chick Magnet label and bounty hunting.

Steven was born flirting. I'm convinced that's why he was premature. He was in a hurry to get to the nurses.

He started to get a reputation early on, thanks to his long eyelashes and toothless grin, and it seemed we were always finding, or being given, shirts with some variation of "Chick Magnet" on them, and it stuck. The red one in his picture was his absolute favorite. It was dubbed his "lucky shirt" after a flock of nurses descended on him in the hospital cafeteria to admire it. After they moved along, Steven gave me his waggly-eyebrow look and declared "It worked!"

Incorrigible. ;)

After a particularly rough year healthwise, the second neurosurgeon in as many years to save Steven's life and Steven's favorite nurse, Peggy, wanted to help him get his Make-A-Wish dream. Steven heard ideas from all directions, but there was only one wish for him.

"I want to be a bounty hunter."

At that point, Steven had three favorite shows he would watch over and over again. Cops, Mister Rogers, and Dog the Bounty Hunter. (One of these things is not like the others...  lol) It gave me psychological whiplash at times... "People can like you JUST the way you are...Can I give you a cigarette? ..FREEZE MOTHERBLEEPER!" *sigh* Never fear, to this day, he censors himself by actually bleeping himself out loud. :)

I wish I had video of his face while he watched, the glazed eyes, the unbridled admiration and random smooching noises. That's how I knew when Beth appeared on screen. Steven loved her with the enthusiasm usually only reserved for the older red-haired girl at school, Whitney. It was the kind of love that left him dazed and giggly, the kind that cartoon eye-spinning and floaty hearts was made of.

They gave him three questions to ponder while choosing his wish:

If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?
If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

His answers, delivered with the look and tone of "Hello Captain Obvious." were:

A bounty hunter.
Be a bounty hunter.
To visit Dog and Beth and be a bounty hunter.

He was hard pressed to come up with a second choice in case it just couldn't happen. He's a man who knows what he wants. We're lucky the people at Make A Wish and A&E were able to work some magic.

We got the call to pack our bags and get ready to go to Hawaii, and Steven was speechless. That's as rare for him as for ME.

The Lucky Shirt had to have a place of honor in the suitcase. It was going on this adventure.

There aren't a lot of photos of the journey from north central ND to Honolulu, mostly because I was pretty busy trying not to have any newsworthy moments navigating four airports when we had not only never FLOWN, but it just happened to be my Big Phobia. Clearly, I survived, but I have quite a few helpful suggestions for the major airlines. Only a few of them are painful and/or physically impossible. (I'll give you three guesses what I'll end up ranting about on here sometime. Smooth, right?) Steven only stopped grinning when he was sound asleep, and even then... happy.

Just a bit of our visit. It was all worth it. :)

Make A wish is an awesome organization. If you get a chance, seek out your nearest chapter and offer to lend a hand.

Tell them a bounty-hunting Chick Magnet sent you.

Family picture at the bail bonds.
The happiest Chick Magnet
Steven's luau friend, Kehau.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stevenism of the day.

"My leg kind of hurts, and it goes to my hips. They don't lie."

Annnddddd cue the Shakira-esque butt wiggling.

But what do I say to someone in a wheelchair?

You know what makes me sad?


Not the kind you're probably thinking of, the mean, ugly ones... but the ones I hear the most often. More often than not, I overhear people talking about how cute Steven's John Deere chair is, how funny his shirt's saying is (He has an extensive collection of t-shirts, as you'll see over time!) or just how sweet his smile is.

Come on over and say hi. Tell him. :) It's a shame to waste a perfectly good compliment, isn't it? I don't always have the chance to let you know I overheard and draw you into our conversation, so you'll have to speak up.

This brings up a subject some people freak out with nerves about... "What if my kid asks a rude question?"

The answer? We'll live.

I've seen mothers turn every shade of red, but a spontaneous, honest question sure beats a child being shushed or hurried away. Even if Steven's not feeling up to saying anything, I'll bail you out, I promise. All I ask is that you not nudge them forward to ask "What's wrong with his legs?"  unless you won't mind me sending them back with instructions to go up to a relative and ask a personal and/or potentially dirty-sounding question in their outside voice at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.

*waiting for hate mail*

Seriously, bring them up... but to say hello and chat a little. Show them that a person in a chair is a person like any other by the way you act. I've got your back. Even if the Chick Magnet has his eye on a girl, or is in a hurry to go check out all the gadgets in electronics, he will still take a minute for the kids to check out his controller or show them how he can race. If he's having a day where he's not feeling up to questions, I'll give your little ones a nice, age-appropriate explanation of why some people need wheelchairs.

Many years ago, forever ago... but yesterday... I had no idea how to answer those questions either.  What I know now is what I've learned from being head over heels in love with a 5 lb, 3 and 1/2 oz. bundle of emotions I didn't think I was equipped to handle.

The more Steven endured just to fight back from being born too early, the more I found myself rising to my job as his support. It's funny how that works. If HE could face pain and fear with a gummy little lopsided grin, his Mommy had to keep up!

I've been trying to keep up ever since.

It keeps me moving faster and in wilder directions than I ever would have gone alone. My one wish would be for him to be healed and never suffer again. Those of you who know me know what my Grandpa said about wishes. ;)  With that in mind, I wouldn't have missed this rollercoaster ride for anything in the world.

So... what DO you say to someone in a wheelchair?


"Nice wheels!"

"Hey there, good-lookin'"

"Can you parallel park that thing?"

"Nice weather..."

"What's new?"


                                                                      The End

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I'm new. Be gentle with me. :)

This will be a random compilation of "Steven Stories" as requested by his admirers, with a healthy dose of  my rather warped sense of humor. You've been warned. So has my daughter, Laura, who is bracing herself for the potential embarrassment of a Mom with a blog.

Most of Steven's stories will involve women in some way. He's been a Royal Romeo since birth, charming nurses, making them cry and learning fairly young the art of waggling his eyebrows and winking.

Welcome to our life.

This is the face of danger at age 4.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Danger, the later years?