Liam is doing very well these days. We met with his team of doctors in late September and they said Liam is doing very well. His arms and ankles are contracting more every day, but we still stay vigilant with his nightly stretches to combat these changes.
Liam is thriving in second grade as he devours books and is making his own comic books each afternoon when he returns home. He particularly loves Captain Underpants. I’m a firm believer that fart jokes are hilarious, but even I get tired of an eight year old boy’s noise making. Kids are gross.
This year has been action-packed with Cub Scout fun. Mark and Liam love their time with their Pack and all the camping and teamwork involved. The buddies that he has made in this group are a sweet as they come!
Liam’s wheelchairs have become a necessary part of his day to day life. There are a few outings where we know that in a pinch we could carry him, but with his increasing size we are very purposeful with planning to bring the chair. I’m just not strong enough for what he needs.
Liam is becoming increasingly responsible, and his work load has increased at home. He is now cleaning his monkey cage–I mean bathroom–all on his own. He also enjoys using the leaf blower to clean the deck. The leaf blower is heavy and requires some strength to control, and our boy is amazing and finds a way to get the job done despite these challenges.
I recently attended a discussion at our local library regarding ‘overparenting’. I find myself working particularly hard on reflecting on how I can ensure Liam is independent while still helping him when the day is just too hard. My day with my son is a balancing act. I know all parents feel this delicate dance must happen, but I know my load is a lot heavier that most.
On a final note, as a Public Service Announcement, please stop being so clumsy around what you perceive as different. Yes, Liam uses a wheelchair and has physical limitations, but if that is the only thing you think about when you speak with him, then you are missing out on a hilarious kid. If you see a person out in public that is in a chair, don’t assume they are without a voice or opinion. Please don’t ever touch a person’s wheelchair without their expressed permission; this is unwanted contact and can be dangerous. Also, if you are a helper, offer a comment such as “I’m here if you need help with anything”. It speaks volumes. Also, please don’t speak with an elevated volume with Liam. He can hear you just fine and thinks you are insane when you scream while having a conversation.
Thanks for your ongoing support and kindness. Our next challenge is that our family is saving up to buy a home that can easily be modified to meet Liam’s needs. Liam wants a three level house with tons of stairs, but my gut instinct tells me that would be a poor choice!