See the next several posts for pictures. I'm not even going to try to identify them because I can't see most of them. If you're confused, look at the pictures on the banner. Rebecca is the youngest (in pink), Rochelle (middle child) is wearing that slinky black number, and Elcie is in the very sophisticated green and gray. That tall blond young man is my son Tim and there may be a picture of Rochelle and her mom. I'm not sure.
The medical term for Elcie's "disability" is spastic diplegia It's a form of cerebral palsy which primarily affects the lower limbs. In Elcie's case, her eyes and her fine motor control were affected as well and other problems have surfaced as she's grown older. She's had years of therapy, two surgeries on her legs, and one on her eyes (to straighten them).
I can remember when we weren't sure if Elcie would ever walk unaided. We didn't know the extent of her learning disability or her fine motor problems and we didn't know if she'd ever be able to read fluently or write without difficulty.
That same little girl is almost a young woman now. She walked across the Middle School lawn to receive her 8th grade diploma and will begin high school in August. Her smile, which I could hardly see through my tears, lit up the place.
She's mainstreamed with some assistance and special accommodations. Her counselor is sure she will keep up and graduate from high school. Right now she's sure she wants to work with animals and there's no reason she can't. She can do almost anything she wants.
Yesterday she went with the rest of the 8th graders from our four middle schools to Marine World which is a combination zoo, water show, and amusement park about 135 miles northwest of here in Vallejo, CA.
I'd forgotten to tell her not to go on the adult rides. It didn't occur to me that she would. She came in at about 9 p.m. to tell me she'd ridden the roller coaster that turned everyone upside down. "Grandma, have you ever been so scared you couldn't scream"?, she said. I told her I believed so and asked her if she enjoyed it. She did, she talked about it for the next hour.
The other highlight of her trip was being soaked when a dolphin decided to get frisky. She was still a little damp when she came home. I'd suggested taking a change of clothes (I've been to Marine World before) but she shrugged and said "If I get wet, I'll dry".
She misjudged her spending money and didn't have enough left for lunch. A friend bought her a smoothie and the chaperone treated her to a hot dog. Last year on the end of year field trip to I can't remember where, the same friend didn't have lunch money and Elcie treated her. What goes around comes around.
She came home with stuffies and a snow globe. A dolphin, a tiger, an Orca, and something else. Oh yeah, a walrus.
This may sound strange but I'm so glad I didn't put restrictions on her. It's natural I suppose to fear for her and be overprotective but I need to let go a little more.
Rebecca and Rochelle have one more day of school and then out for the summer. Elcie had the choice to go or not go. She chose not. She's had a very busy couple of days so it's fine with me.
Elcie and Rochelle will have a couple of weeks off and then summer school. Rebecca will hang out with me.
Ray has been in and out of hospital since I updated last. It's the same old thing; trouble breathing and chest pains. He has more tests scheduled for next week.
I think I told you grandbaby Jonathan is now a year old and walking all over the place. He's giving his mommy fits. He's learning to climb and never saw a cupboard door he didn't want to open and explore. I think he's going to be his daddy all over again, heaven help us all.
And I'm managing. I still seem to tire easily and I've been trying to sit and write something for days without success. The girls have been going through a period of crankiness (to put it mildly) and that wears me out faster than physical exertion. I think we're all tired, still sad, and stressed. Perhaps the vacation time without the pressure of school, early mornings, and homework will help.
I'm going to try to get away for a day or two later this month if I can manage it. There's an outside chance of San Francisco to meet a blogging friend. If not, I'll figure out something. Perhaps Tim and I will take the train in and just visit friends. And there's always baseball if the Giants are in town although the way they're falling all over themselves this year I'm not so sure about that.
I appreciate all the comments and the emails even though I haven't responded to all.
Sometime I'll catch up my hopelessly out of date blogroll and get back to more regular posting.
Meantime, I'm still around; a little battered but functioning.
Have a great weekend and take care everyone.