Thursday, August 25, 2016

Seasons of life and laps.

We are in the middle of several different "seasons" over here -- you know there is the "moving-triplets-back-to-college-season" combined with the "First-time-as-a-middle-schooler-season" for Little Red; but we are also in a "Renovate-a-house-so-we-can-move-the-family-three miles-down-the -road-season"; and because finally (finally finally finally) we have approval from the Dept. of Rehab Services, we are in a "Hire-Benjamin-a-Personal-Care-Attendant-season".

So basically what I am saying is: I am tired and would really just prefer the "crisp-temperatures-pumpkin-spice-everything-season"!


Today, I was organizing the garage (remember the moving season?) and stumbled upon some DVDs where we had converted old videos. I decided to just peek for a minute....that may have turned into several hours.

Oh how I enjoyed myself. See, I am the photographer for the family. If you have spent a minute with me, then we have a photo of the occasion. I love pictures. I carry my camera every where. Every. Where. I am known as my children's paparazzi and I really love that title!

But despite the fact that I apparently enjoyed filming my children singing Christmas carols for four or five years in a row (I have a stack of DVDs to prove it!), I am not that big on videography. As a result, most of the video-taping that occurred in the triplets' younger years was done by Wade or one of my brothers.

This is important. Because it means that unlike photos, when you look at the old videos, I am there. I am probably not front and center, but I am definitely in the frame.

So today, as I scrolled through the goldmine of memories, one thing became abundantly clear: My Benjamin spent his pre-wheelchair years in my lap.

Opening birthdays gifts when the trio turned 3.

Christmas morning for us (Daddy was on-call on actual Christmas so we worked it out for Santa to come a day early, in case that date stamp is bothering you!) And yes those are my footie-pajamas -- we lived in Minnesota, y'all -- and my camera strapped to my arm as if to prove my point.

Our first introduction to adaptive software! We are working with our therapists to use some neat computers!

You won't see that in the real photos (as opposed to these shots of the video screen!). I was mainly taking those -- so Benjamin is not in my lap. And so maybe that has blurred my recollections. Because honestly, I don't remember it that way.

I know that his lap-dwelling ended when he was five and started driving his own wheels.

I know that often I had to sit in such a way that all three were able to be in my "lap" -- believe me, a corner of an edge of a knee TOTALLY counts as lap time if you are a triplet and want to SHARE EVERYTHING! And that I do remember vividly.

But I had forgotten that my Benjamin -- my boy who always wanted to cuddle, snuggle and be hugged -- had spent those early years with me.

It makes sense then that today,  as we interviewed potential Personal Care Attendants for him,  we would both feel conflicted, torn, and a bit sad.

It's not the first time we have hired a PCA. But the first time we were heading in to major spine surgery and knew we needed someone who could lift him with ease. We hired our dear Zack and thanked God for him!

But today, our second time to hire an attendant, we are in a different place. We don't need a PCA because of any pending surgeries (Thank goodness!) but rather, today we are hiring an attendant because Benjamin is ready to achieve greater independence. And by greater independence, I mean, independence from me.


I know it is time. Just as the wheelchair opened his world and ripped away barriers when he was five, so will hiring his own staff to care for his daily needs.  Just as his triplet siblings have moved apart from me into their college dorms, this hiring of caregivers is necessary for Benjamin to grow into adulthood.

Benjamin is ready to get out of my lap.

I better get my camera ready. And the tissues.

Carol - The Blessings Counter