"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." ~ Maya Angelou
WOW, I can’t believe how unbelievably busy we’ve been since school let out! I have been neglecting my posts! Our July was amazing, filled with loads of trips to the cottage, tons of swimming, and a trip to Washington DC. Yes, we did a road trip with both of the kids and despite Kate’s battle with strep throat, it went really, really well. You can take a look at some of our photos on our Picasa site to see what we’ve been up to! http://picasaweb.google.com/macspo/
Kate and Jamie have both become independent swimmers in their own way. Kate has mastered her dollar store Disney Princess inner tube and kicks around on her front and back completely on her own! It’s super amazing…I never thought I’d reach this moment when I’d have a 4 year old and a 2 year old completely independent in the water! It’s so much more enjoyable for Jeremy and I in the water now. Jamie is a natural swimmer…he’s jumping in, jumping off of the boat, and swimming under and above water all on his own! It’s the coolest thing and he’s so proud of himself! He especially loves it when Kate cheers him on in the water – have I mentioned what a great big brother he is to her?!? :-)
Kate's doing really well right now. She was really sick with an amoxicillin-resistant strep throat for most of July, but as soon as we got her the right medication, she bounced back to her happy self! I felt like I hadn't seen her in 4 weeks - she's THAT much better! She is now so strong and so focused at learning new things. Her crawling is getting better, she's climbing all over things when she's on the floor, she is so close to pull to stand from sitting, and I can pretty much hold her hands and she'll walk with me. WALK. Whenever I doubt she's not going to be able to do it, I have to think of her holding my hands, focused to the point a little drool sneaks out, taking huge, giant knee-bending steps to propel herself to where she wants to go! IT'S SO COOL! Both of my children amaze me on a daily basis, but Kate does it on an entirely different level!
It’s now been a year since Kate’s official Angelman diagnosis. August 4th came and went just like any other day, but it was never the hard day that June 23rd is for us. When we got the call about Kate’s test results a year ago, the four of us sat on Kate’s mat, cried a bit, Jamie melted down, Kate fussed and then we went about the business of getting the kids’ hair cut. This year, I had a bit of a cry and took some time to reflect. I can’t believe how well Kate is doing one year later – in fact, I can’t believe how well we’re all doing one year later. Kate’s Kause has been a big part of our recovery and healing, but most of all, Kate herself has helped to heal us. A fellow Angel Mum once told me that with the AS diagnosis, there will always be a piece of my heart that’s broken forever, but Kate has repaired the bulk of the broken pieces with her killer smile and wicked personality.
Don’t get me wrong – disability is hard and we still and will always have really hard days, but those hard days make the good days fantastic. I feel like Kate has helped me discover and explore a whole new range of emotions I didn’t know existed before. I feel a deeper sadness but also a greater happiness. People are often complimentary of us and how well we handle our situation but we’re nothing special. We just do what most parents would do: love our child with every fibre of our being. We’re ordinary people living an extraordinary life. And for the most part, it’s really OK. Like I said on my FB page a while ago, Kate meets her challenges with grace, integrity, and a flare that’s all her own. I could never be so cool.
Kelly is Kate's devoted, caring, Type-A mom. Kelly is a high school physics teacher who earned her masters degree in neuroscience from McMaster University in 2003.