However...the summer is going by in a blur, school restarts in 5 days, and it's about time for an update.
This summer could not have been any more different from last summer, that's point one. For a start, Adam is doing well on his very predictable and manageable chemo maintenance programme (more about that later), and we have learned how to deal with the fluctuations in his mood and appetite so that life does indeed feel normal. He looks and acts so healthy, you would never know the trauma of last summer, which is a good thing--it is fading even from our memories.
Caleb has been impressing me lately with his very rational thought, so calm and like his Dad. The other day Adam had his first sleepover with his new respite place and as we left I was fretting..."I hope he's ok, I hope they know what to do for him," etc. Caleb looked at me and calmly said, without reproach but with firm intent: "Mom, just leave it. He'll be fine, stop thinking about it." So right, and so young to know when to care and when to let go. I do appreciate his support...even while I'm also chiding him about not winding his sister up so much!
Agnes, well she's 17 months now and learning fast, growing faster. She is the epitome of stubborn!! She is learning new words every day and keeps up with her brothers more than ever. I laugh constantly at her funny faces, her enjoyment of everything ("WOW, wat is dat??!!!") and her snuggles just when I want to throw a plate at the wall. She is a light, and complements the other lights around here well.
This summer we have been given a place for Adam at a respite centre close to our house. He had his first overnight last night and did brilliantly. He slept all the way through without a peep--something he would do only if he felt comfortable and safe. We are grateful for the time he can now have with "his friends", and for time that we four can do things Adam doesn't like doing without guilt. Last night we got a Chinese takeaway and watched "Despicable Me", all in one go, all sitting quietly on the couch...bless Adam, the sitting still and not worrying are the blessings of his absence. On the flip side, though, it was TOO quiet and I missed the hum of his noises in the background that I didn't realise until last night tell me subconsciously that all is well. Without his noises I have to think a bit more in a way that is maybe more like fretting, so Adam has become for me a comfort and constant humming presence that I appreciate. That is a good thing and I'm glad for a chance to be grateful for it.
What else...we have enjoyed time with lots of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles and even second cousins twice removed and a half twist or something like that! It's been wonderful to have people come all this way to US, since we can't go anywhere yet ourselves. What could have been a dull summer (and year) of drudging through chemo and feeling isolated has instead been a gift of a summer with lots of people and noise to enjoy surrounding us. We have seen some new things and been blessed by sharing our lives in big and small ways. The occasional craziness is always worth it, though I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have a quiet night to blog a bit now and again... :)
Oh, and finally: We now have our date to meet "Mr Tumble"--October 8, 2012!!! That's coming up quick, so mom will have to try to keep her lid on and do normal life for the next 8 weeks or so! Another visit with Oma and Opa from California should help, as will returning to work and school routine. But I'll be sure to keep you posted as we have more details...London and Mr Tumble, here we come!!
Now, since I know everyone just wants to see some photos...here is a brief selection from the summer:
boys enjoying a moment together in the Botanical Gardens
With cousin Nathan at Fyvie castle
Sometimes you just want a naked swing, ok?
Looking cute before she launches herself off the train, at Seaton Park