Let me start off this post by saying that there are many times throughout each day that I think to myself, "Where have Joel and I gone wrong as parents?" Our boys are great, but they are constantly doing something that raises my blood pressure and makes me wonder if they will ever turn out to be decent young men. This week I was blessed to be able to see the depth of their character.
This year Joel and I were talking about doing something different to celebrate the holidays. We knew that we wanted to 'give back' in some way, but we weren't sure how. We have always been so blessed and, quite frankly, spoiled this time of year. Our boys are given so much, being the only grandchildren on my side and always get way too many presents and I often go away from the holiday season feeling overwhelmed and somewhat miserable. This year I knew that I wanted to do something in a more giving manner and to really celebrate this season in the way that it should be celebrated. I just didn't know how. Then I read a post,(November 20, titled; "No more excuses, Be there"), of a dear blogger friend of mine at www.newkindofnormal.blogspot.com She wrote about how it felt to be in the hospital with her son a year ago and that we should be there for others going through a difficult time. All of the feelings that I felt while in the hospital with Gavin came flooding back, and right then and there, I knew what we should do! Thanks Jessica for the inspiration!
Anyway, we decided to make 'goodie bags' for patients and their families in the Pediatric ICU, where Gavin spent a lot of time. My mom is helping us with this and we decided that the items that we should put in the bags, are items that we seemed to use a lot of during our hospital stays. Things such as: gum, mints, lotion, chapstick, thank you cards, a fleece blanket, and a small stuffed animal for the child. I know how emotionally draining and depressing it is to be in the hospital with your child. I know how important it was for me to be shown kindness during that time. I also know how much more difficult the days were during holidays. So, we thought this was a perfect idea and way to celebrate the holiday season.
Now, back to our boys. We decided to use the money that we would normally have spent on giving Christmas gifts, to pay for these gift bags. This meant that we needed to ask family and friends to please not buy anything for our family this year, because we would not be buying gifts for those that we usually would. Telling a child that they would not be getting any gifts?!, I wasn't sure how well this would go over! I knew that Jacob would be on board with our idea since he kept telling people that he didn't want anything for Christmas, but I wasn't sure about Nolan and Caleb. I told them our plan and asked what they thought about it.....Nolan said, "Great idea!" and Caleb said, "That's O.K., we have enough toys already." I must say, I was surprised by their answers. They are so excited helping me buy things and coming up with ideas! And, they seem totally cool with not getting any gifts! This makes me feel so proud and makes me think that maybe, just maybe, Joel and I are doing a few things right in raising them! Don't feel too bad for them, about not getting any gifts, they will be getting a couple of things from us. (SHH! Don't tell them!) I always shop throughout the year, so I had already bought some items before we started talking about this idea.
If you are thinking that this is an unselfish thing for us to do, think again! I've decided that it may be more selfish than I thought! We are getting way too much joy out of this, for it to be unselfish. Plus, we always felt a little weird when others did so much for us during our days in the hospital, so this is a way for us to give back just a small amount of what was given to us. For all of you who showed us kindness during our trying time, please know that we have so much gratitude for you! God blessed us so much with you!
Also, friends and family, we meant it when we said that we wanted NOTHING this year! If you feel that you need to give, then give it to someone who needs it more than we do! Thanks for understanding!
As for being proud of Gavin, he did awesome during physical therapy yesterday! Momma was so proud of him! He sat up better than he ever has! Now, don't get too excited, he is FAR from sitting up on his own, but he was trying. I wish that I got pictures of him during it, but I didn't. But, he didn't fall over to the side like he normally does and you could tell that he was working hard and seemed to even enjoy it! It's exciting to see him make even the littlest bit of progress, especially since many of his doctors have basically told us not to expect much more from him, due to the severity of the stroke that he had. So, needless to say, I'm a proud mom today! Thank You God for the little things...actually, Thank You God for everything!
"Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches." Galatians 6:6