Wagon Train

Do you know that feeling you get when, after a few years, you see your nephew Tony, and he looks like a totally different person. He’s grown 18 inches, has facial hair, and suddenly talks like James Earl Jones. Do you know the feeling you get when someone makes a similar observation about one of your own children? It’s different isn’t it?  They are still significant changes, but they don’t seem as profound when you see them gradually over time. This feeling of “lacking profoundness” is the root of my procrastination for Caedmon’s update.

In the first week, I felt like I had so much to say. I wanted to offer a little education about Cerebral Palsy and the Therasuit. I was sharing all the new methods being used to help Caedmon and trying to tell of their merits, but newness faded into routine and I found myself  with fewer things to write. I spoke to Jeni and to Ms. Tammy about it one afternoon, not specifically about the writing, but about my desire for “Get the heck out-of-town!” results.

I let myself dream of made-from-scratch bread and overlooked the time-consuming reality of its production. The lesson I had to re-learn was that Caedmon’s development will be more like traveling cross-country in the wagon trains of the pioneer days than the flying of today. His journey isn’t coming with a meal and a movie, his is more likely to be interrupted by a seemingly void-of-progress winter. Perhaps that word picture is too gloomy, but my intent is to prepare us all for the long haul. The goal isn’t to be in San Diego by lunch, the goal is to get to the West Coast.

We have some New World goals for Caedmon, relatively speaking. We want him to walk without depending on another persons assistance. We want him be able to utilize a full vocabulary. We want him to be able to feed himself.

Gosh, I feel disgusting all of the sudden! I was about to write, “we want him to experience the dignity of being able to feed himself.” Shame on me! Caedmon’s dignity, and yours, and mine comes from the fact that he was, and we were, created in the image of God. Our dignity isn’t derived from what skills we can master or what benefit we can offer society. Dignity and worth are granted to us upon our conception, not earned by our contribution. But, I digress.

All I want to say is that Caedmon’s third week in the Therasuit was a solid week of maximum effort, abundant enthusiasm, and steady improvement. Tuesday looked a lot like Thursday, but Caedmon is stronger and his foundation is firmer. Ms. Val, Ms. Tammy, Ms. Stacy, and Carla keep reminding us of the great progress he is making in the habit-stopping portion of his development. We are reassured that the progress is there, even if it is difficult to identify with our untrained eyes, and I believe them.

What I have come to realize is that Caedmon’s development isn’t a simple, linear process. It’s a fluid, complicated process with different objectives being worked on simultaneously. Some areas of his life still need the old construction to be removed, before the new construction can begin. Other areas are messy, because the ground is being prepared for the foundation to begin. However, other phases are beginning to take shape and tease us with the joys of fulfillment. Some days we feel great as we see the development coming together, while other days we feel overwhelmed as we observe the arduous process of ground preparation. The truth is that neither extreme is a proper representation of the whole. Really, the finished project or the west-coast cannot be our daily expectation. Our daily expectation has to remain steady progress. Our journey is a long one, and it demands perseverance, enthusiasm, and a committed travel party.

Caedmon has a great team around him.They know the road and have the skills to lead him to his San Diego. They are leading him steadily on and giving him ice cream cake along the way. He completed his third week of Therasuit and could have kept on truckin, but we elected to give him a week off. However, he still went in for therapy a couple of times during his off-week. Then last Monday, August 16, he began a second, three-week session in the Therasuit. He is in for another long stretch of intensive therapy. Hard work that might be tough to measure, but hard work that is taking him one step closer to his new world. I’ll post a video from his last week a little bit later this afternoon.

Keep this idea in mind. A cross-country journey might bring you to Kansas. A mind-numbing, viewless, oppressive stretch of blah. But, for every Kansas there is a Colorado on the horizon. And I can assure you that a view is imminent.

By the way, feel free to submit any questions that you might have. Your questions will help make the blog better 🙂

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for your inspiring words! My twins are in therapy at Progressive as well (I think we met once but, recently you have seen my husband with the twins). I like your prospective on how their journey is like a wagon train to the West Coast instead of a flight. I share many similar feelings of great hope and exictment one day to being overwhelmed about the journey the twins have ahead of them. Michael and Matthew are amazing though and are always joyful. God has given them a joy I don’t understand.
    Once again, thank you for your words and it is nice to know someone else who is on this journey.
    Allison

  2. I love being able to be apart this journey. You never know where this wagon is going to take you though enjoy the scenery while you can.

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