For the fourth year in a row, Catherine gathered more than a dozen teenage girls to jump into the icy waters of Lake Calhoun for the Polar Plunge. And if the 30 degree weather was almost summer-like, the brisk wind reminded us that it’s still early March in Minnesota. Team TRBL raised several thousand dollars for Special Olympics. It’s even more fun this year, because Timothy has recently enjoyed participating in his first Special Olympics program. Thanks to all of the girls who plunged and to their families and friends who supported them!
Timothy continues to enjoy hiding things. Whether sneaking cars under the couch, or books in the bathroom (maybe as future reading material), or Sesame Street characters behind the stereo, our aspiring Easter Bunny is honing his craft every day. His most personal form of cache cache is when he puts one of his bath animals or cars down his shirt. He’s like a magician (‘Ta Da! Now where do you think that toy went?’), and then he glances down to find that, like a vending machine, the discarded object has reappeared at his feet. But Timothy is realizing that he can’t do that trick while wearing pajamas (footies, of course). Because he stuffs the toy down the top, but the footies aren’t letting anything sneak out the bottom.
Samson was a biblical character who was powerless without his ample hair. Since Timothy’s hair was beginning to make him look like a member of Spinal Tap, we decided that it was time for a cut. He assumed the chair with his usual stylist, Teresa (who, like a lecturing dentist, reminded us that it had been more than 4 months since our last visit). Maybe she’d had too much coffee that morning or couldn’t hear our directions above Timothy’s screaming, but Teresa took that boy’s hair real short. In a span of 8 minutes, Teresa transformed his look into a cross between Annie Lennox and Uncle Charlie from ‘My Three Sons’. Our exit that morning from Kid’s Hair was the first time that we weren’t positive that we were leaving with the right child.
That is, until we saw the telltale sign. Timothy loves to play with his bangs when he’s tired. So when we got in the car, he reached, like normal, above his eyebrow, but this time he came up empty handed. A look of surprise flashed across his face as Samson realized that his four months’ of locks were gone — he had lost the power of the bangs. And over the next few days, we kept seeing him reach instinctively for those missing locks, hoping that they had returned to their rightful place on his forehead. But don’t cry for Argentina, since little Red’s hair grows like a weed and so he’ll have the soothing power of the bangs soon enough.
(Before Haircut…………………………………….and After)
I have written many times that I pray for Courage and Patience. And that’s really the deal for me with Timothy’s speech development. His speech therapists believe that he has something called ‘verbal apraxia’. It’s not a condition that is well understood, but Timothy seems cognitively (brain function) to be doing very well, and he makes plenty of sounds with his mouth, but his brain and mouth have trouble connecting. Our doctor says that it can be similar to people who have suffered a brain injury and that outward progress can often be slow.
Though he’s not yet saying words, he can now make sounds for most of the letters in the alphabet and can recognize those letters (just ask the churchgoers, who hear him in the back of church exclaiming ‘Aaaaaaaaa’ after seeing an ‘A’ on a stained glass window).
And he’s getting a lot of good help, with speech therapy four times a week and help and love and humor at home. While we hope for the progress to be predictable and linear – moving smoothly from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 — that’s just not the way it’s happening right now. Timothy is making very real progress, but it feels more like 1-2-2-2-4-4-3-3-5-5-5-….
And while I’m very confident that we’ll help the redhead get out of this hole, it’s like other tricky challenges that many of us face at some point – a serious health crisis, a lost job, etc. There’s not a simple answer, and addressing the situation may take more work and time than we expect.
That’s where Courage and Patience come to the rescue – having the Courage to stay focused on the goal, to not let fear get in the way and to never, ever give up; and also having the Patience to stay calm, to accept, and to realize that there’s a lot that we can’t control. Those are two good guard rails for this road trip.
Or at least it gives us something to do while we wait for Timothy’s hair to grow back.
Still super Grateful,