Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Which We Go To The Beach, And Connor Teaches Me A Lesson

So in all the excitement about Gas Station Jesus yesterday, I forgot to tell you that Connor had a seizure that morning.  Only a thirty-second one and I didn't have to do mouth-to-mouth this time or anything, but still this is probably evidence that I have become way, waaaaay too jaded to this sort of thing, because telling you about cheap religious statuary took higher priority than telling you about my kid turning blue and not breathing.  This possibly makes me the worst mom ever.  Oh well.

So yeah, Connor had another seizure.  Lovely.  And we're waiting, once again, to hear back from the neurologist, though my guess is we probably won't change anything since we just upped his medication last week, and blah blah blah.  I don't have to tell any of you this, because you all know the drill by now as that was seizure number thirty-nine.  Connor needs to quit having these things, because I'm seriously tired of blogging about them.  Also I'm relatively sure stopping breathing thirty-nine times isn't very good for your health, though doing it in public is a great way to meet random people and see whether or not you want to be friends with them.  (Hint: the ones screaming "OH MY GOD A DEAD BABY!!!"  and shouldering others out of the way to get a better angle while taking pictures with their cellphones are probably the people you want to avoid inviting out to lunch, unless you happen to carry arsenic in your purse and want to try it out on somebody.  Believe me; I've been tempted.)

Um, anyway, so today we didn't have any seizures, though we did get some interesting looks from various bystanders.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

In keeping with the spirit of our ocean theme this week in my ongoing plan to force Connor to touch as many horrible things as possible, we went to the beach.  Specifically, we went to Alki beach, which is one of the few beaches in the area that has a wheelchair accessible walkway bordering it.  Unfortunately, said walkway is up about thirty feet from the shore-- at least at low tide, anyway-- and there's no paved sidewalk to get down to the beach, which was where all the horrible things I wanted to torture Connor with were.  I can't just pick the kid up and haul him down there, because he's got so much medical equipment at this point that there's no way I can slog through a bunch of sand dunes with all of that stuff loaded on my back and a thirty-something pound kid who won't hold on to me leaning all his weight backwards off my hip. 

But we had to press on, in the name of Science!  Or something.  So what did we do?

Connor's wheelchair looks a heck of a lot like a high-end stroller-- enough like one that whenever we go to the airport they try to make me put it up on the conveyor belt and I have to argue with them for a few minutes before they'll believe that it doesn't come apart in enough pieces to fit up there.  The wheels on this thing are not exactly built for sand dunes.  Imagine the scene, if you can.  You're a sunbather on the beach, lying out on your towel and soaking up some rays.  All of the sudden, into your view comes this woman, her shoes in one hand, grunting and digging in her heels and muttering words probably not appropriate for public use.  She's straining to pull an expensive-looking stroller backwards across the sand dunes while a kid who's obviously more than big enough to walk is happily bouncing along in the seat.  What do you think?

Judging from the looks I was getting from the sunbathers, you think I'm totally insane.  And you'd probably be right, but that's beside the point.  Anyway, I hauled that wheelchair all the way down to the first set of driftwood logs, took off Connor's shoes, and plunked him down in the sand.  Rather predictably, he spent the first few seconds acting like I'd just immersed him in a tank full of piranhas, but after a minute or so I buried his feet, which actually calmed him down-- probably because the weight of the sand offered some deep pressure.  I sat there with him and took the opportunity to pull out the camera while I caught my breath and did my best not to steam about all the looks I was getting from the people around me, none of whom made the slightest attempt to help me get Connor down there despite the obvious trouble I was having and several of whom (mostly teenagers) were audibly laughing. 

And then the magic happened. 

Connor reached down without prompting, and began stroking the sand.  This is the child who reacts to anything touching his palms like it burns him.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Then, wonder upon wonders, he actually dug his hand down, grabbed a fistful of sand, brought it up to his face and looked at it carefully for a minute before opening his palm and dumping it out.  That was the first time he had voluntarily reached down and picked up a fistful of anything other than the cloths we use to wipe his face.  Ever.

So you're this sunbather, and you roll over to your side again, and lo and behold that woman is still there and is now kneeling down in the sand clutching her son to her chest, laughing uncontrollably.  Also, for some reason, she's crying.  And you stare, and smirk, and still think she's crazy.

But she doesn't care anymore.



Herding Grasshoppers said...

WOO-HOO! Three cheers for Connor!

And a medal for all of Mom's efforts!

And a dope-slap for the rude teenagers.


*Tasha* said...


Oh, yes, Connor! Way to go. :D

leah said...

Ugh to another seizure, but YAY YAY YAY YAY for playing in the sand! Awesome news!

Mommy therapy is definitely paying off!

Anonymous said...

No way. If you are the worst mom ever, the rest of the world aren't even qualified to be moms. You're one of the best moms I've ever seen and continues to be an inspiration =)


Anonymous said...

That is awesome!!

Julia said...

You should start putting a visual indicator at the start of your posts warning us how many hankies we will require. Actually, I managed to stem the tide with just one, but that had all the weight of a 5-hankie post at least. That's magnificent and wonderful. He's made so much progress, and it's inspiring. (And good luck scraping sand out of various parts of his wheelchair for weeks to come! But worth every grain, I'd say.)

Tom said...

Wait, I am confused... What does this have to do with Gas Station Jesus? I thought this was the Gas Station Jesus Revival Blog. The masses want less interesting posts about fantastically awesome child-rearing, and more posts glorifying our Petrolium Lord and Savior.

God bless you, and grant you 30 miles to the gallon.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Woo hoo! Way to go Connor! That is SO cool!

Love the pictures too, but that isn't surprising since the kid is absolutely adorable!

One Mom said...

Hooray for Connor - that's awesome!

And if you're ever in northern IL, you're welcome to come to my neighborhood beach. It's small and kind of weedy, but I'd happily help you with the chair. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jessie! Now you've got me crying. What an amazing, beautiful moment. Thank you so much for writing about it.

-j o'c

KLB said...

Jess, you are a inspired writer of those small but powerful moments in life. I agree, it was a multi-hanky post but what a wonderful step in Connor's development. Thanks for sharing your joy (and I would have leapt up and helped you, I would!)

xraevision said...

An encouraging story, and so beautifully narrated and captured in photographs. Thank you for sharing!

Mary said...

Yaaaay Connorman. Beautiful writing about a beautiful moment. Also, I'm pumped to see an appearance of Connor's AWESOME shirt of AWESOMENESS. :D

Colleen said...

I love it! You have a way with words...I love pics of Connor enjoying the sand and sun.

Elsie Hickey Wilson said...

Wonderful! Good for you Conner! Life's a beach, grab for it!
Julia sent me an email with the good news and pointed me to the blog!
Julia' MOM and Ben's Grammy Wilson!

Anonymous said...

If you go to ca go to salt creek you should be able to get conner down there.

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