A little boy with Down syndrome grows up on the shores of Lake Superior: throwing rocks, sniffing flowers and following his curiosity.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Another thing that is precious about Brady P is his appreciation and ambition for healing people.
Maybe I have mentioned this before.
If you get a booboo of any kind, or even mention that you are not feeling good, he stops what he is doing and gets attentive.
"Oh, you're not feeling well?" he'll ask with the utmost concern.
If you are bleeding, he will get you a bandage. He will dote on your owie, kiss it and tell you it's going to be okay while he pats your head.
If your head hurts or you are sick, he will take your hand, pull you to the couch, say, "now, lay down" then cover you up with all the blankets he can find. Then he will bring you your drink (whatever it may be) and find a cherry tomato for you to eat.
He might also take your temperature for whatever is ailing you.
He gets this overall personality change when he gets in this mode. His voice is so sweet, positive and reassuring. Suddenly his focus is all about the "sick" person. He takes charge.
It is so precious to watch him do this. Usually I am his patient, but I have seen it with others, and I just let him do his thing.
Sometimes that attention promotes the best healing of all.
Thursday, June 9, 2022
The Squirrel Story
Today I would like to share the squirrel story with you.
This past spring Brady P and I took the trail behind our house for a little walk. Upon cresting a short hill, I saw a dead red squirrel lying right in our trajectory.
There was no way he wouldn't see it, so I decided to announce it.
Usually when we see a dead squirrel it is smashed with its guts hanging out on the road or something gruesome -- a perfect example to give for why we look before we cross the road.
But this little guy must have gotten poisoned or something because he looked like he was just napping... in a rigor mortis position.
"Oh!" I started. "Oh no! Brady. This squirrel! He's dead!"
"He's dead?" B answered.
"Yes. He died. He's not moving."
Now, I don't know if the stuffed-animal-like appearance of this particular red squirrel made him question my diagnosis, but it could be part of it. I do know that if any living person has a booboo of any sort, he is quick to aid and sympathize.
He is made of love.
I was ready to move on, so I took a couple steps ahead on our path. Brady P was not ready.
He crouched down in his little stance and spoke quietly to the squirrel. When I think back to that moment, he might have even put his hand above the squirrel in a reverent manner.
What he said was inaudible to me, but the way he crouched there made me envision him as a priest giving the rite of passage to this stiff little animal.
I was instantly blown away by this.
A moment later, he stood up and confirmed, "Mummy, he's dead."
He touched my hand and said, "It's okay."
Then he lead the charge, and we walked on.
We have talked about death before, and I inform him when someone he knows dies. "They died?" He usually asks, leaving me wonder what he thinks death means.
But after that experience the squirrel, I have a feeling he understands.
Maybe even more than I do.
Pay attention, my friend. Life is sweet if you look for the sweetness.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
I miss you.
I sure hope you are doing well!
But, you know what? I'm learning, alright. I hope you are too. And I can help you learn from my mistakes, if that's okay. Some people learn best by reading, some by doing, some by taking notes, etc. I learn best by making mistakes.
You might remember that I've been quite busy lately. I mean, that's why I scarcely get to this computer to write you your weekly love note.
It's not you. It's me. Wink.
So I've been busy, alright, and some things have been falling by the wayside as they say. I don't like that feeling.
Life ebbs and flows, however, and we just need to roll with it. But there are some things, like those good things that we do for ourselves to keep us sane and at peak performance that often get left on the side of the road.
Hint: try not to do that.
Starting in April of 2022, I decided to start doing cold water immersion. Some people sit in ice baths up to their neck for as long as they can stand it. Some people take cold showers.
I have this large and lovely just-above-freezing body of water right down the road.
I chose the lake.
Her Majesty, Lake Superior, that is!
My first try was 17 seconds in that beautiful frigid beast up to my neck. I made it 48 seconds the second time. Then I surpassed a whole minute!
I was trying to go in once or twice a week because it made me feel sooooooo good... after I got out and warmed up, of course! Let there be no doubt that lake is cold. I brought a thermometer in one time, and when I pulled it out, the mercury was at 33 degrees F.
My point is that I was making this wonderfully exhilarating event part of my weekly routine. I was feeling sharp, full of energy and full of life.
Then I got "busy."
I was doing all the things I mentioned in my last post plus all the other parts of life that I don't need to bore you with. We all have life to deal with.
And we should be so lucky.
But let's learn and get it right, okay?
So after a month and a half of busyness taking over my "me time," (that's right, I didn't go in for 6 weeks!) I decided to go back into the lake. Just last week.
I was alone, and I had no towel, but I worked with what I had. I could absolutely feel that I had to get in there. I couldn't take it anymore!!!
So I went in for about 30 seconds at my favorite beach.
As I emerged, the sun warmed the beach rocks just enough, so I could warm myself.
Once I got to shore and felt humanness return, I sat in the rocks and then -- well, let me tell you what my journal says for that day.
Then I sobbed.
Sobbed and sobbed.
"I missed you!" I cried to Her Majesty. (Repeatedly)
"I needed that." I wailed. (Repeatedly)
I came out and felt like a totally stripped down version of myself.
I was not a mom. Or a deputy clerk. Or a girlfriend. Or a mountain bike coach. Or anything.
I. Just. Was.
Yeah... I needed that!
And all the stress I had been feeling was rinsed away because I realized that I was putting it all on myself to be all those things in such a capacity that I was over-extending me.
Does this sound like anyone you know? Do you do this? How do you real yourself back in when you do?
More often than not we commit to more than we can handle. There are so many facets to life, and, in a way, it's fulfilling to be a part of as much as we can. But we must remember to always take care of ourselves or we'll have nothing left for other people, other jobs, other passions and other hobbies.
Whether this resonates with you or not, I thought it was worth sharing.
And, hey, if you ever want to try cold water immersion, I know a great place to go!