We’re in Costa Rica with Paul's family this week, visiting my sister-in-law who is living in Monteverde with her daughter while on sabbatical. While all of us were excited to get here, Oscar was especially ecstatic about this trip. As a little guy he was obsessed with rainforests and has been begging for years to visit one. I reminded him yesterday that his preschool teacher turned the classroom’s play kitchen area into a rainforest on his behalf. (He doesn’t know this was also because otherwise he would have spent the entire school day in the kitchen, making plates full of plastic fruit mixed with all sorts of forbidden foods like pink frosted donuts, three layer chocolate cakes, and miniature fake fries.)
Oscar’s been so engaged and energetic here in the rainforest. He’s the first one to volunteer for any walk – to Quaker Meeting, a mile up the big hill to breakfast, an extra two mile loop in the local reserve. On Sunday he hiked the steep, rocky, and, at times, slippery trail to the impressive San Luis waterfall. He hikes slowly in the back of the group with whichever adults feel like strolling, while the other kids race ahead, bounding up hills and leaping across makeshift bridges. Oscar doesn’t leap or bound, but he does just keep on going without complaint. When we got to the waterfall he happily squatted on a damp rock overlooking the deep pool and watched his dad, cousin and brother jump from the face of the rock into the water right next to the misty fall. I don’t think he ever thinks about wishing he could follow in their footsteps, but sometimes I do. Not for my sake, but for his. What would it be like for him to be out there jumping too? What would his dogged determination look like in a body that complied? Or, I often wonder, are his determination and positive attitude also a result of learning to persevere through the challenges that PWS presents? I’ll never know of course.
Here he is mid zip. (I was relieved to learn he did every zip with a guide).
And here he is beaming. (You can't see me, but I'm beaming too)