January was not a great month.
I wrote vaguely about our IEP troubles over at Hopeful Parents, but I left out that Paul was in Spain for ten days and that while he was gone I got sick. Ruby mysteriously hurt her hip and could hardly walk. I spent days preparing forms and collecting files for Oscar's neuropsychological assessment. I still fed and transported the kids. I also spent every evening (or so it seemed) reviewing and commenting on the latest draft of the legal document that finally got filed last Wednesday. The paperwork and advocacy that goes along with having a kid with special needs is mind-boggling.
Oscar's appointment with the orthopedist did not go so well either. His curve has progressed to 30 degrees. Three years ago we started nighttime bracing when he hit the 25 degree mark, but we stopped bracing when he outgrew the device in April 2009. With tons of exercise and luck the curve somehow improved to 22 degrees. For three visits now we've seen an upward trend and it's time to get serious. It's true that Oscar's not getting nearly the same exercise as he was this summer when he was swimming, horseback riding, working out with his PE teacher and riding a bike. At last week's appointment our orthopedist let me choose between a brace with intense core exercise or just intense core exercise. I chose the latter but I've yet to make it happen.
Somehow, though, I'm feeling more hopeful about February.
It could be the weather. February is beautiful this year..more beautiful than any of the previous sixteen I've lived here. The bright sun, warm breezes, pink fluffy plum tree blossoms, and the glowing late afternoon light followed by the orange and pink streaked sunsets are all very soothing.
It could also be that baseball season has started again and that we spent last weekend watching Abe's travel team play five exciting games at fields that are replicas of big league stadiums. The team played with such heart, coming from behind to earn three of their four wins. Oscar happily chatted with his many favorite adults, Ruby jumped rope and drew pictures of fairies, and I relaxed with friends and cheered the team on so enthusiastically that my voice was scratchy for two days.
It also helps that the "the document" is filed and the neuropsych testing is now behind us. While I fretted all weekend about Oscar being well rested for the eight hours of intense testing this week, he was more energetic and zippy during the testing than we've ever seen him. I even worried that he was too energetic -- giving an inaccurate picture of his arousal levels and ability to focus. I think though that he just demonstrated again what a complex kid he is.
And I know it helps that we are going to Hawaii next week. Looking at pictures from our trip there four years ago I feel the tension of the past few months dissipating. I can almost feel the water lapping over my back as I attempt to swim from one end of the crescent shaped bay to the other. Almost.
And even though I know I don't always have to write about the good stuff I do feel freed up to write again. When my brain is muddled with deadlines and anxiety I do have trouble finding my words. Or the words I want to write are too hard to face....their harsh reality more jarring than helpful. Something to work on I guess, but for now I'm just grateful that January's gloom did not follow me too far into February.