Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Well now...just where have you been?

I've been a busy little beaver. Summer's are usually very busy and hectic to say the least, I've ranted on about that too many times and regular readers are probably rolling their eyes collectively, "here we go again." Well you are spared, I'm leaving it at that. This Summer had some added stress because Kendra had surgery.

She has had an umbilical hernia for quite some time, for sure since we've lived in Texas, for sure since Levi came into our lives, but we can't really put our finger on just exactly when it occurred. About this time last year Kendra was increasingly uncomfortable. Her back was hurting more and more, she was swelling, and her hernia was getting hard and very sore. We didn't know if the hernia was creating a problem or if there was a tumor, never thinking that there was a baby hiding out inside Momma's tummy.

Kendra's surgery repaired a hernia the size of a cantaloupe. She has some complications which meant an overnight stay in the hospital. My family came to the rescue once again and rallied around us to help with Teensy and the boys as well as Kassie. I left Kendra in the hospital alone which really killed me. I am a dotting, hovering, petting, spastic caregiver. It drives her crazy, but I think she is getting used to it after 12 years worth of dotting, hovering, petting, spastic care. I knew that the nurses wouldn't be there to bound to her every need and be gentle like she needed. Getting up was the hardest part for her and very painful.

Just last Friday she was released to hold Teensy and that thrilled her soul, she's not yet able to hold Levi, or lift from the ground which means laundry is out of the question. Kendra is amazing in how she takes care of the house and kids. She usually has the washer running, vacuum's at least once a day, and keeps the boys out of harms way. I say she's out of the gate because she gets up and starts going without any "gearing up." As she's walking to a part of the house she's doing something on the way. I've said that if she ever felt good I'd be in trouble because what she does sick makes me tired just watching.

I made her some scones last night, Cranberry orange, to help her feel better. She just loves scones. We usually make some fruit butter go with them, but I didn't do that last night. Fruit butter is easy: real butter room temp mixed with your favorite marmalade or natural fruit jam. Mix it up and enjoy! These scones were from Ina Garten's wonderful world, I just love what she does with food. I haven't seen scones that were rolled and cut like biscuits, but these were. They are very tasty a definite keeper in our book.

I also did a week at Camp Impact. That's always a lot of fun for me. It rained every day, but none of the kids ever voiced a complaint, took it so well. I had to go to Target and get an umbrella, I don't take rain so well. For all of the years that I have been going to Impact I've eaten in the cafeteria with exception to Wednesday night which was pizza night. I like pizza, but not when it's been sitting in the hot sun for an hour--OUT! The food hasn't been exceptional ever, but I always ate it. Until this year. This year I ate there on Monday for all three meals and after eating dinner my body was like, "DO NOT PUT ONE MORE THING FROM THERE IN ME!" I ate out for the rest of my time which means I don't have to see a sandwich for a long, long time. This year I took 57 kids, a record for me. I hope take more next year and even more the year after. Big groups are exciting and fun for some reason.

I'm seeing a lot more troubled kids come to camp than years past. It's so sad to see kind of life that these kids escape when they come to camp. I can't imagine them living under the conditions that they do and hope that their camp experience is paradise. A place where they see men and women give them unconditional love and acceptance right where they are. I worked with one boy whose Mom was a drug addict when he was born and continued that life until he was removed at the age of five. His rage and anger over not being with his Mom was dominating his life to the point that he couldn't be irritated slightly, he was either not mad or Furious! By the end of the week we had made a breakthrough together and were able to openly share some of the pain he has on a daily basis. This camp was the first camp that he has ever been to that he wasn't kicked out. He made it and now has that memory of a time that he was successful and happy and made it. I hope that is a springboard for him to be successful in more things, small and big. He has the power to control his anger and can if he will just decide to do it.

Sometimes the best treatment for kids is to treat them the exact opposite way that they have always been treated. it takes them out of their automatic reactions and throws them so off balance that you can make breakthroughs. Instead of yelling and screaming and kicking him out of camp I said, "I love you and want you to stay." I also told him that I wasn't going to give up on him and that he could do it. There is frustration in knowing that I only had four days with him and won't have as much of a change to make a difference with him in his life, but seeds have been planted and he knows that somewhere there is a Mr. Will who loves him and know that he has the power to be and become much more than his world is allowing.


Tracy said...

oh will i have no doubt that boy will be thinking of you a lot. remembering there is someone who cares and showed him there is a different world he can be a part of. You must feel pretty good about that.
and kendra - i hope she's recovering nicely and you all can get back to normal!happy 4th mr will

Donna Layton said...

Those 4 days that boy spent with you might well have changed the course of his life William. You need to stop and realize what a huge difference you make in the lives of so many every single day. You forget that too often.