Isaac Incoming

Greeting from the place where hurricanes hit! In the world of Facebook and Twitter it seems a bit old-fashioned to update my blog with this information, but I figure we’re all at different speeds technology-wise, so here goes:

Isaac is predicted to make landfall in the area sometime late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Right now they are predicting that it will make landfall as a category two storm, but these things tend to go back and forth a lot before the storm actually hits and yesterday it was supposed to be a one, so who knows what it will be like when it actually gets here. Hurricanes are known for being fickle–they’re fun like that.

Yesterday we made the decision not to evacuate. Before you freak on me, we live very far north of the mandatory evacuation line and they haven’t even called for a mandatory evacuation. Most people seem to be staying put and “hunkering down.”

We made this decision based on a couple of factors. One major one was our experience evacuating for Gustav in 2008. Charlie was only one at the time and the stress of evacuation landed him in the hospital with a case of dehydration and suspected shunt failure. Shunt was fine, but two days in a hospital is never fun. We’ve also rode out a tropical storm here and didn’t lose power. Having any child makes the decision to evacuate difficult–having a child with special needs makes the decision even more complicated.

So. We’re staying put. Someone loaned us a small gas-powered generator and we have enough gas to run it for about three days. We have a portable AC unit, which we will be installing in Charlie’s room since he has issues with over-heating. We should also be able to keep out fridge going, so we’ll have some food stuff although we’re counting on eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

If it looks like the power will be out for longer than a few days, we’ll be heading out to the closest open doors–possibly Mississippi, further north if necessary. I’ll be updating my Twitter feed (it’s over there on the right) as long as I have cell service, but it does get spotty during storms.


Much to my chagrin, Charlie had the nerve to continue growing up all summer and this week he started Kindergarten.

For some, this would be a big step, but for us it’s more of an inch. Charlie will continue spending most of his days in the Early Intervention classroom and will go to the Kindergarten classroom in the afternoons for social interaction.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. I am a big fan of inclusion–I worked as an inclusion teacher for two years–because I know how much a child can benefit from being in an inclusive environment. I did a lot of soul-searching, however, and decided that the thing I want most for Charlie is for him to be part of his community. While I believe academics are important, I don’t think that’s where Charlie needs the most work. I’ve already taught him the basics of reading/letters/letter sounds.

So this year he’ll be working hard on self-care. His teachers will be focusing on making him a part of his routines–that whole independence thing. In the afternoons he’ll be working on figuring out how regular kids relate to one another and to him. It’s all pretty important stuff.

On the first day of school, the kids from his Kindergarten class walked down to the Early Intervention classroom and got to meet Charlie. The sat on the circle mat and he sat in a cube chair. They got a quick introduction to his wheelchair and how it works. Several of the kids remembered Charlie from when they were in pre-K the year before.

smiling boy in wheel chair

Charlie’s teachers reported that he smiled the entire time the other Kindergarten students were there.

I’m pretty sure I made the right decision on this one. I’ll keep you posted.


Wake Up

I was cruising Facebook while Charlie was in therapy and I spotted a prayer request in a friend’s status. She was asking for prayers for a family that had just lost their three-year-old daughter to cancer.

The announcement was cold water in the face because I recognized the last name instantly. You see, I knew that family, and I knew that they had already lost a daughter. In fact, our children had been in the hospital at the same time–mine had lived and theirs had not. I brought home my Charlie and they planned funeral.

What do you do with a revelation like that?

You search for answers–why? why did this happen? But there really isn’t one. Two children lost to two totally different illness–both of which are just luck of the draw.

You grasp for a reason because if there isn’t a reason–if bad things really do happen to good people–and in this case, over and over–then what does that mean for the rest of us? There’s no protection, no safe guard. We all want to believe that if we’re good people who lead good lives, then we’re safe from the worst. And if the worst has already happened, you like to believe that it’s a little insurance policy: you’ve had your slice of crap, so now it’s somebody else’s turn.

We wrap ourselves in these lies–we hug them tight at night when we sleep. We whisper them to ourselves when we’re scared.

But there it is: nobody’s safe. Nobody’s exempt.

Most days I know this and I accept it, but not this time. This time it shakes me and reminds of things I’d rather not know. This time, it’s real.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...