February 24, 2011

A soldier and a trooper

My extraordinary daughter with down syndrome never ceases to amaze me, nor do my other two kids. Courtney is doing great at college and despite a bout with pneumonia she has kept up her good grades and attitude. Tom has upped his snowboard game and is placing in the top three in all the local competitions. I am not bragging, just marveling at the skills my children have, all without direct intervention from me.

Granted, Alex does need intervention, but so many of her skills are hers alone and have nothing to do with me. We just advocate and provide a little direction.

For instance, the war on weight is going quite well. We have not had the weekly gain/loss weigh in yet, but my little soldier, Alex is fighting fair and square. The chart on the refrigerator is current and true, and I have not noticed any missing food from our pantry. Alex is responsible when assigned a task, and always follows through; this amazes me all the time.

Today we went to the doctor for Alex’s 3 ½ week check-up for her broken foot. She has been having a tough time the last week dragging that heavy thing around with her. Her teacher says she has been uncooperative and pouty. We all know why and completely understand this. She is no more accepting of her situation than any other teenager who has had their activities severely curtailed by a broken appendage. Reminds me of the adage…walk in someone’s shoe….. I suggest walking in Alex’s shoes for a day or two. Wouldn’t that enlighten our world?

But I digress, Ales has been a trooper. She accepted she could not participate in the Regional or the State Special Olympic Games. She went to school, ran errands with me and tried to remain cheery. My only complaint has been bathing – she was unable to take a shower, and thus needed to bathe frequently. Picture a slightly overweight 17 year old with a big red cast trying to take a bath. It is not easy and for the first time in at least 12 years I had to help. This was very embarrassing to Alex and not so much fun for me.

The doctor took off Alex’s cast and did another x-ray. Her foot is healing well and we were given the go ahead to move onto the boot, which to Alex looked like a ski boot. As the saw was going through the cast I was amazed at Alex’s reaction. Me, I would have been freaking out, but my little trooper Alex took it all in stride. She even asked the nurse to throw out that “smelly” thing. Wow, I am not that mature.

Although not as onerous as the cast, the boot is still a handicap but soldier/trooper Alex took this all in stride. The first boot was too big, so Alex asked to try a smaller boot. She proudly walked out of the doctor’s office remarking on her new mobility. She will really be surprised on Monday when she sees her weight loss….I know I will be out $5.00

One final amaze in my day – as Alex was being taken to her x-ray by a gentleman named Rob, she said to me:

“Mom, remember my counselor Rob that wore the pink shirt when I went to summer camp in IL?”

I pretended I remembered, but it was six years ago, my memories banks do not last that long. I have no doubt Alex is right, she is always right when it comes to remembering . Alex’s memory amazes me all the time.

What a magical and special person we have in our lives. I often wonder how I got so lucky.

Remember my book give-away - it ends tonight.


  1. Alex:

    I hope you've had a good time bathing!

    Never ever have I had to bathe while carrying extra weight.

    (Hope Rob herself comes to this blog and confirms).

    Now that's an accomplishment you couldn't take credit, and so I shall put it upon who it belongs.

    Have an awesome time in the new boot!

    (There are many magical things like saws and ladies).

  2. She comes from a family of troopers! It's genetic :)
    I'd join the giveaway but I already have my book. I would've posted about it but I've been away. Glad to hear that Alex is holding up- seems to me darn well! Better than me for sure!


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