Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Kids First Graduation

Another vain attempt at a family photo!

Love the look on Micah's face

Playground at Kids First


Wayne walking Micah with Miriam behind Wayne's right shoulder

Wayne in a chair made for 4 year olds

Grandma & Grandpa and Gabriel

One of several attempts to get his cap on; never worked

Getting his "diploma" from his teacher Lisa

Micah graduated from Kids First last Saturday. It was a cute little ceremony which lasted thirty or forty minutes at the most. Micah did so well sitting; Wayne only had to make him sit down once or twice. They had asked us to decide beforehand which parent would sit with the child and we decided it would be Wayne. We were surprised when we got there and they had all little chairs for kids and adults! So it was quite comical to see Wayne sit in one of those tiny chairs. Most everyone laughed when he sat down and I felt slightly bad for him all the while laughing myself. He was a good sport about it. Gabriel did so well too and sat with Grandpa the whole time.
They played "Pomp & Circumstance" as the kids walked in. I had asked jokingly if the Fort Smith symphony would be there to perform that song; the answer was "No, but maybe we'll look into it for next year." The kids sang songs they had learned for the year and then got their diplomas. I included the picture of Emma because she was the only student in Micah's class who he would let hold his hand when they walked places and had to hold someone's hand. I guess she has been his little friend.
Even though he graduated, he will still be going for the summer until Kindergarten starts in August.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Circle of Friends camp

One shot of the camp;wish I had taken more!

One of the counselors sharing a powerful song he wrote

Micah again trying to be a part of the talent show

One of many attempts to keep Micah occupied

Entertainment/Talent show & Micah

"Ride, Ride?!" He kept seeing these golf carts and wanted to ride one.


Katie and John

Many of you know that for Memorial Day weekend we went to Camp Gilmont in East Texas for Circle of Friends weekend. We have been on a waiting list to go to this for 2 years. It is funded by grants and donations, therefore, no cost to us. Circle of Friends is a weekend for families of kids with special needs in which volunteers/counselors attend to the children for most of the weekend while the parents do whatever they want. The options were hiking, canoeing, swimming, taking a nap, reading, and talking with other parents. We chose all of those at one time or another throughout the weekend. The counselors were also responsible for eating with/feeding the kids for meals. We took the kids back around 8 both nights.

We went down on Friday to visit with my sister and her family (this is the camp where they live and work) and the Circle of Friends camp started on Saturday. From the minute we registered, the volunteers assigned to the kids took over. Micah was off and running and his counselors started following him immediately. He was able to run and go wherever he wanted: outside into the woods (not too far), inside to play for a bit, back get the idea. They also had swim time for the kids, which Micah loved. He seemed to really be comfortable with his "followers" as I liked to call them. Katie is a college student and John will be a junior in high school and they were great with Micah. I know they had to be exhausted by Monday morning!

Gabriel did fairly well, but was not exceptionally keen on being away from us. We would see them both periodically and Micah would smile or sometimes come over and give us one of his lean in hugs and then go back to roaming at his heart's content. Gabriel needed us to pick him up or take him for small increments at times. He seemed a little lost, but then I was reminded that it wasn't just 2 people at church that he only sees once a week, it was about 80 with an occasional glimpse of the two tall Womack's he calls Mom and Dad. I think next year he will do better, but he is only 2 (almost) after all. I didn't take as many photos as I should have. Kim and Thomas have been at this camp for 12 years, I think, and in all those years I'm not sure I've taken any pictures of the camp! I didn't do much better this time, and the ones I did take are not that quality. We are supposed to be getting a CD of photos of the weekend sometime soon. There was a talent show/entertainment show on Sat. night and Micah kept wanting to be in the middle of everyone's act. That's why there are a few pics of him with other people. I was slightly concerned about it, but know that they pretty much expect that to happen every year. If there was music involved he would usually do his funny little dance moves!

Wayne and I enjoyed time to ourselves and it was a little strange, but nice to have so much free time. I got to hang out with my sister some, so that's always great when I get to see her! One of the best things about the weekend was meeting Laura, who has a son with Tuberous Sclerosis. Her son is now 21, has his own lawn mowing business and is doing well. I had talked to her on the phone when Micah was first diagnosed but had never met her until this weekend. She is on the leadership for the Circle of Friends camp and had a workshop time for parents on Saturday. We also had a couple of blocks of time to compare stories and identify with struggles and hardships. I was really blessed by meeting her because she has a lot of insight; some things that I haven't even considered up to this point concerning Micah's future which I may go into on another post. This was the first time I had met someone face to face who has a child with TS and knows exactly how I feel. I can't describe how encouraging that was. Before we left she said "If I could walk a couple of miles for you, I would." To which I replied "You've already done your miles."