EG, Isaac and I just got back home from New Jersey tonight after our 11 day journey to the north. I'm not going to lie, it is really rough to watch your kid have to be completely retaught how to eat. Eating is something I do a lot of and just take for granted. Think about telling someone, "This is how you open your mouth. This is where your tongue goes. This is how you chew. Its okay to have a little food on your fingers and face. Its okay if your shoe straps aren't perfectly aligned while you practice the seemingly simple procedures of eating." It boggles the mind to think that every bite of every feeding for at least the next six months has to be calculated and controlled until Owen's muscles and brain are reformatted to eat normally. But then you sit across the table at breakfast this morning and watch this litte mouth doing everything it is supposed to do all on its own. Owen has always loved corn chex because he doesn't have to chew them, they dissolve in his mouth. Three weeks ago, that's how he would eat them. I was so proud of him this morning because he was chewing his food like a pro. That may not seem like a lot but it was pretty awesome in my book. Owen, I just want to thank you for fighting so hard this month to work with the doctors, for being patient with me while I learned how to feed you the right way and for all the hugs, kisses, nuggles, and laughs you shared with me in New Jersey. I miss you more than you can imagine!
I think what was even harder than realizing the depth of Owen's needs was knowing that your wife had been carrying the full weight of them for the last two plus years virtually single handedly. Whether its right or wrong, with three kids it has kind of been a divide and conquer setup and Rachel has been carrying the lion's share of Owen's heavy load. I know I am partial but I don't know another person more dedicated to their family than my wife. Rachel, I know you would take a bullet for any one of us without even hesitating. Thank you for sacrificing so much of your life for us and helping me better understand the definition of 'love' found in 1 John 3:16-18. You are the perfect wife and mother for our family. As a husband, Ephesians 5:25 is a challenging verse but you make it joyful for me. Thanks for sticking with us through this crazy ride and for all the laughter along the way. I guess what I want to say is, thanks for all the crazy moments like this:
Apparently we need to do more than just hang out in Target and mess with carts and glasses...
Anyways, Emma Grace and Isaac have been quite the troopers over the last month or so too. It can't be easy having your mom and brother leave for 5 weeks, then get shipped all over the place so dad can still get in time to work, drive 10 hours in the car in one day twice, be away from home more than you are there and share a bed every night, but they did it. Emma Grace and Isaac, you two keep growing tighter every day and I am more proud than you can imagine to call both of you my kids. Thanks for putting up with the shortage of food, generally messy house and less than organized schedule since your mom has been gone. Here are some highlights from our journey.
Seeing the Statue of Liberty
(Sorry for the bad pic, its the best I had)
In front of "Eloise's House"
(Note the flag EG is pointing to. Not sure what Isaac is doing?)
Posing in front of a life sized Bumble Bee statue in Time Square
Riding a train to Weehawken NJ to watch the fireworks with Chips
Playing veterinarian at Marbles before Mom leaves
Getting home and realizing that your fish can survive 3 weeks without food
(Don't judge me. Rachel always feeds them. I forgot we had fish to feed.)
and my favorite, figuring out how to have fun with a few random bags from Subway
Life has its ups and downs but how can you complain when you are blessed with a family like this. I love you Rachel, EG, I & O!
[POSTED BY TODD...]