This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I realized the other night that I may not have it together as much as I thought. The Miracle League is an awesome organization that we've known about for several years. We've even sort of been involved in a very small role in the past (Carrie and I played Santa and the Mrs. at their Christmas Parties at the MOA for a couple years – an awesome event – Since Gracie's diagnosis, I have not been able to get this little girl's face out of my head (she has DS) – she made me laugh both years – one year, she wanted a cell phone for Christmas and told me to not even bother if I was going to try to pass off one of those fake ones – as her mom and sister were pulling her away – she was yelling at me "A Real One!, A Real One!" ).
The Miracle League is a baseball league for kids with disabilities. A few years ago we started to occasionally attend games, at a field not too far from our house, to watch some kids we know that play in the league. Maybe its because athletics have been such a big part of my life, but when I watch these games, I spend half of the time wiping my eyes because I am so constantly overwhelmed with emotion – not because I feel bad for anyone, but because for the time that these kids are out there – they are not their disability, but instead, its game day and they are a part of a team - an athlete playing baseball - and although you'll never mistake this game for a game at Target Field or even your typical little league event, it means as much, actually dare I say more, to these baseball players than any game I've ever played in. I encourage anyone to show up on a random Wednesday or weekend for a game and cheer from the bleachers – It's so much fun and effects you in a way that can't be explained until you experience it in person.
Wednesday night, Carrie mentioned that Will (a friend's son) had a game that night – For those that don't know –
I used to write things in this blog once in a great while just to blow off some steam and to make the extremely limited audience laugh by making me the butt of the jokes. I was proud of my post yesterday and got a lot of great feedback. There's something therapeutic about typing my thoughts. I'll admit, and if you know me well you also know, that to a fault, I am constantly thinking and having new ideas, and the thought of not painting the picture of these thoughts as accurately or complete as they come to me or skipping an important one for a less profound one feels a bit paralyzing. Unfortunately for my wife, I carry that same theory into many aspects of my life – for example - home improvement, which results in many unfinished projects. How's that saying go? Paralysis by Analysis?
I use the wrong words a lot, spell things incorrectly, use too many dashes – and instead of ending a thought, create paragraph long run-on sentences. However, I figure, whether people follow this or not, I think it might be a good idea for me to log some of my thoughts as we wait for the arrival of Gracie.
Earlier this week we went to Costco – after checking out with our standard cart full of dog food and bulk candy, Carrie talked me into stopping at the food court up front for dinner (nothing but the best for the Delaney's). As I sat there eating my hotdog and people watching, it's like the pending arrival of Gracie has given me a new sensitivity to notice people with disabilities. I equate it to when I first got a Jeep – I never really noticed how many Jeeps are actually out there on the road until I started driving one myself. Jeeps are everywhere. There are new jeeps – old jeeps – some that barely run - and some that run so smooth, you'd swear it's a luxury vehicle. I like Jeeps – when you have one, you can pretty much do everything you can do in any other car on the road – My buddy Steve has this real old military Jeep at the cabin – Sure, it sticks out a bit and if you took it out on the highway, it won't go as fast as the other cars - but you can drive it around town pretty much just like any other vehicle. Some people stare when they watch him try to start it (flip the battery, turn the key, step on a button on the floor while giving it just enough gas) -- They don't understand how it works because it's so different than how they're used to doing it. Others stare with envy because riding around in it is so much fun. The good thing is unlike the Jeep – the other vehicles can't take the top off and more than likely have to think twice before leaving the paved road and driving through the woods. I'm guessing having Gracie will be a lot like if we let Lylli drive Steve's Jeep at the cabin – We'll do what we can to stay close to the paved roads and probably be on them at times, but we will also probably spend a lot of time in the woods, but that's OK -- It's a Jeep and we'll probably have more fun that way anyway.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.