Happy New Year, my friends!
Today is the day when I learn how many of you decided to give up on ever hearing from me again following my complete and total disappearance from this space for two months. When I was last here, I was sharing all about Sarah Kate’s wonderful experience with Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre and feeling quite optimistic about the future.
Nearly two months after I wrote that last post, I feel like I was run over by a Mack truck. If you followed me on Instagram, you knew that I was still alive and (mostly) well, but today I’ll hit the highlights so hopefully you’ll understand why I was off the blogging grid for so long.
In mid-November, I ran a half marathon with some friends.
It was one of the most painful races of my life, despite marvelous weather and mostly-adequate training. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you hope or expect them to go (a lesson I was to learn in spades in November and December), but you look for the sunshine, anyway. My sunshine on race day was these two ladies who started and finished with me, despite the rough road.
Sarah Kate made all-county honor band.
She was excited and we were proud of her, because it was her first time to audition and she honestly didn’t think she was good enough. She also made second chair clarinet (but lost it to a challenge just a week later, sadly) and performed in her school’s Winter Concert.
We continued our tradition of skipping Skate Day at school.
Nathan’s school does “Skate Day” – a field trip to the local skating rink for a couple of hours – a few times a year. I have never been, but other parents who have tell me it’s pretty much chaos from start to finish. Last year, Nathan’s class was always the last group to go so I would check him out early and skip it. This year his class goes in the morning so since Sarah Kate’s in virtual school we get to sleep in on Skate Day (WOOT!) and also take ridiculous selfies in the hallway while we wait for his class to make it back from the rink.
Sarah Kate rolled in the Christmas parade.
She can’t manage the distance on foot (especially not while playing the clarinet), so for the second year in a row Sarah Kate rolled in her wheelchair during the parade (a friend pushed). We decorated her rims with Christmas lights to liven things up.
My dad was in a serious horse riding accident.
The day after Thanksgiving, my dad was thrown from his horse. He’s had horses since before I was born and is an experienced rider – I can’t ever remember him being thrown before, in fact, and I only recall one significant injury in my lifetime (a leg injury incurred while breaking a horse when I was around the age that Nathan is now). He suffered a serious pelvic fracture and an assortment of associated complications leading to a four week hospital stay and a minimum of twelve weeks non-weight bearing. He also has a lot of rehab in his future. Instead of blog posts, I spent a lot of time writing email updates to friends and family about how he was doing.
Sarah Kate had surgery to remove the hardware in her legs.
When Sarah Kate had her Super Colossal Orthopedic Surgery Cocktail in 2014, her doctor told us that the plates and screws could stay in forever, but the day would probably come when she’d want to have them removed. That day came this fall, and in mid-December she went under the knife.
Because I am a weirdo, I asked if we could keep the hardware they removed. I wasn’t surprised by the plates themselves, but the screws? They still give me the willies three weeks later.
Sarah Kate was accepted to our local Catholic high school.
Virtual school has been a great option for eighth grade, and the plan was for her to continue with virtual school as a high school freshman…right up until we decided to visit St. Michael in November. The school is brand new – it just opened in August 2016. We all loved everything about it (I hope to share more about it in a later post) and determined to pursue her admission for next fall. She took the placement test in December and received her acceptance letter the week before Christmas.
Post-surgery therapy was located next to a Krispy Kreme.
The first two days Sarah Kate went to therapy over in Mobile it was in the afternoon and the “Hot Now” sign was off, but on the third day we hit the jackpot. I herded the kids into the car early for the morning appointment in hopes of seeing that glorious red neon and my gamble paid off. Who doesn’t love to watch the donuts being made?
My kids, actually. Nathan was mildly interested and Sarah Kate not only didn’t care to watch the donut line, but she didn’t even want to eat one of the fresh-off-the-line hot donuts. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
Nathan got a pitching machine for Christmas.
He’ll still play t-ball this spring, but we figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get him started on swinging at a moving ball (and it’s not bad for practicing fielding, as well). It’s a fairly inexpensive one (this is the one we bought) but he loves it.
Mr. Andi had to help him in the beginning, but it wasn’t long until he figured out what to do (although his strikes still far outweigh his hits).
Sarah Kate had a karaoke birthday party.
I knew we could never top last year, so we just asked her what she’d like to do close to home. She wanted to invite some friends to go to karaoke, so we did.
When her first chance to sing came around, Mr. Jerry led the crowd in “Happy Birthday”. It was a full house that night, and she beamed from ear to ear.
Nathan has also grown fond of karaoke. We took him several weeks ago and when the crowd thinned out I let him go up and sing “This Is Me” by Demi Lovato; the next time he added “The Fox” by Ylvis to his repertoire. He enjoyed singing in the past, but with a full house he was ON FIRE. He definitely responded to the crowd. 😉
Sarah Kate said goodbye to an old friend.
When Sarah Kate returned to her orthopedist, Dr. Scott Doyle, for her post-surgical follow up, they said goodbye. He saw her for the first time when she was only two years old – before her rhizotomy – and has been her orthopedist ever since. He believes she’s at the end of the road surgically now, and told her that from now on he’d just be waving to her in the halls when she comes to rehab clinic with Dr. Mendoza. It took Sarah Kate and I both by surprise, I think, and made us both a little sad. She won’t be a Child of Children’s for much longer.
What will 2017 bring?
I have no idea. This time last year I didn’t expect Sarah Kate go mad for theater, didn’t know virtual school existed, didn’t expect Mr. Andi to sell his boat and buy family kayaks, never expected Nathan to field a ball in t-ball, didn’t know if he’d be able to finish the 1-mile run I’d registered him for, and had no idea they had family-friendly karaoke at the bowling alley (and that by year’s end we would be “regulars” at this weekly event).