The Adoration of the Christ Child

The Adoration of the Christ Child
See if you can spot why I like this image

Everything in its Right Place

A blog about disability, life, parenting, and learning what it means to live well in this world.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Holiday madness (or lack thereof)

A belated note about our first Brock family holiday in many years, to the lovely country of Germany, the town of Tuebingen, staying at the home of our dear friends the Wendte family.

We arrived to 35 degree heat, which is more than we ever get in Aberdeen, though to be fair the summer in Aberdeen this year was stellar: warm, dry and beautiful. We stayed at a hotel right next to the city swimming pool and entertained ourselves aquatically for a couple of days, meeting up with our friends in the evening. Then they left for their holiday and ours, staying in their home, began.

We had two weeks to rest, ride bikes, eat ice cream, peruse bookshops, play on different playgrounds, swim, drink iced coffee, ride some more, eat some more, swim some get the picture!

Here are some of the highlights:

 Lunch at an open air cafe after our first proper thunder-and-lightning storm in years!

 One of the bookshop-enthusiast high points

 This is how we rolled: "The Mothership", Caleb on his own and Dad & Agnes

 The best pic of the kids the new botanical garden

Again at the botanical gardens...a great morning out

 Swinging German style: old tyres at the old botanical gardens 

 Wow, this stuff is cool! Agnes enjoying one of her many swims at the pool

 A view from the top: At the "Wurmlinger Kappelle" having a picnic

 Yikes!! Caleb after his first proper bike crash (everyone and everything largely intact)

 "Fishing" in the local creek on a "cool" day

Family paddle boat outing!

 Family picture at the Schloss (castle) overlooking the town

 Agnes perfecting her jumping skills

 One of the best playgrounds ever!!

That was a fun slide!!

So yes, a great summer, a great holiday and it's great to be back in the routine again now. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Celebrating in style

Every day is a chance to celebrate something, even the smallest marker or achievement. However, some days present the chance to celebrate a big milestone, and that day is today.

 This is my TEN year old smile! 

Our little Adam, now approaching "young man" status, has turned 10 today. His first decade is complete! What makes it even more of an achievement, on both his part and ours (as a family), is that on many occasions, not least the last two years and three months, he has flirted altogether too closely with his demise. He has survived a serious blood infection in his first 2 weeks of life, a massive open heart operation at the ripe age of seven months, several hospitalisations for pneumonia and the like, a serious burn injury, and cancer (so far!) He has come through them all with his characteristic steadfastness of character. I continue to be amazed at his strength, and ours (as a family), to go through what to us seem some big things to deal with, though they are peanuts compared to some.

Those candles are just too good to blow out!

We celebrated with some dear friends and the usual party fayre: lots of food, games, cake and great conversation. The egg-and-spoon race you see below was a hit (though the chickens who gave us the eggs were nowhere to be seen!) It was a lovely, if slightly cloudy afternoon and nice to be with friends. 

I did think at one point that--as usual--Adam may have enjoyed the whole event just slightly less than we did, however I think the fact that I consider his survival to be a family affair justifies it. If Adam is here for us all to celebrate, it's because he is strong and has survival genes, but also because WE are strong and know how to hang in there when the going is tough. We as a family have survived what Adam has had to endure, and we are all grateful for the moments to rest and celebrate.

And now for the best news, and the present that will keep on giving for a while: Adam is due to finish chemotherapy in just over a month's time!! That's right, on October 6, 2013 he will be a free man again, apart from the monthly clinic visits and blood work to keep an eye on things. That part doesn't matter as much as not having monthly infusions of toxic substances, or monthly courses of steroids that wreak utter havoc with his body, or nightly spoonfuls of terrible medicine either. It will all be done and we can't wait!

Then, I tell you, we will have another milestone to celebrate, and in style of course. And we will be celebrating with all those, near and far, who have contributed to not only Adam's survival but ours as a family. Because even when you are strong, you still need support, guidance, care and love to carry you through tough times, and I know we wouldn't be at the finish line (nearly) without it. Consider yourself one of the ones who have carried us through if you are reading this, and know that you will be part of the celebrations in October!