Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From The Chaos

My youngest brother visited us. He brought a friend and we set out to have a great pre-Spring Break adventure. On one particular day – St. Patrick’s Day in fact -- we set out to walk the bleachers at Red Rocks Amphitheater, take in the sights downtown, and perhaps see a few unique highlights of the little big city known as Denver.

And by “we” I mean my brother, his friend, me, and the two small children that live at my house. That’s a tall order for two little dudes. They loved the whole day and were very well behaved if I do say so myself.

Our weather was perfect and Cooper practically bolted up the sunny amphitheater steps. He’s a hard soul to keep track of in a crowd. He’s destined to always move forward and see what is around the corner before the rest of the party does. Though there were crowds of folks at Red Rocks there was peace and calm all around.
Then we descended into the city. No peace. Mostly rowdy revelers leaving the scene of the parade in droves. It was a little tricky to find a parking space, and trickier still deciphering if St. Patrick’s Day is the type of holiday Denver Parking considers a meterless occasion.

Pulling the boys through the swarms of people wasn’t that bad, except that Cooper kept stopping to pick up beer bottles and collect the bottle caps. His explanation to my brother’s companion was fairly simple, “My mom and dad keep their wine corks. I collect bottle caps.” In my defense of the collecting of wine corks, please see Pinterest!

We commenced our downtown sojourn with a leap into the Denver Museum of Fine Art. This is a set of gorgeous buildings with a much too early curfew – 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

As Mason does, following his adventure he set himself at the table and drew his favorite part of the whole day.
I think he might actually appreciate and understand this particular installation. Right now his interest in art is simply for his enjoyment but I suspect a greater knowledge of art history and an understanding of pictorial elements is on the horizon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Do You Give __________?

Here's the dilemma, create an appropriate token of gratitude for the teachers who helped this little man climb out of his shell.

I've learned competing with all the greatness of all the other moms on days like Christmas and Valentine's is not for me. I take the no-pressure holidays -- St. Pat's, National Karaoke Week, Cinco de Mayo, and my all-time favorite: Knut Day. These are perfect holidays for me to be crafting and creating. Then when I bomb a project, I mean nail it, I can rest easy knowing no one else will have done anything at all for teacher.

This year I engaged in a hunt for licorice the colors of the rainbow. That was a super idea. You can read about my struggle to pull all this together at my sewing blog. Or just see a picture of the finished gift below. Entirely up to you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Not My Child

Not long ago, after a beautiful day of playing in the park with my healthy family I got a somewhat panicked call from a friend. At the time we were just getting to know each other, we both had children in the same class at school, and really all I knew about her is that she is gorgeous, her husband is a talented musician, all four of her children are beautiful, and that she had just found out that one of her twin sons had cancer.

I believe all she knew about me is that I always have a camera on my face. I am not a professional photographer. But desperate times call for desperate measures. She was calling me to ask if I would please drop everything, come to her house -- directly -- and photograph her family because her son was loosing his hair. It was that day. The day all patients with cancer dread, the first day it all falls out.

With all the struggles that cancer warriors face, the hair seems trivial. The diagnosis, the treatments, the uncertain fate, the ... well, actually when I start thinking about it, it is so upsetting I can hardly breathe. But I have never met a cancer warrior or survivor who has not made some profound reflection about loosing their hair all on one day. In essence, to the outside world one day they look healthy, and the next they appear every bit as sick as they must feel. Which for many is the first day the people around them show their own fears.
Of course I raced to this family's house. Of course I tried my best. Of course they tried their best. Of course the pictures were horrible. Of course every time I went to brush something off his face I realized it was his hair and trembled as I tried to act like I wasn't brushing away more hair.

That day -- so early in their battle -- Kim, the mother, said to me, "I just look at him and I think, why not my child? His odds are his odds. But who is to say he won't be counted among the percentage to fight and win."

During their fight Kim was the most extraordinary medical consumer. She got in there and asked questions and asked for more. Accepting pain and accepting the way the treatment made her son feel was not OK with her. She wanted more for him. She wanted to help him. And she did. This is her story, told in her words. Please go watch. Then tell other people to watch.


And would you believe she was right?!?!? He's in remission. And why not?