Today it’s hair cut day for Nick and Luke. Nick just wants a trim. Luke decides to do something special for Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month. He gets a purple Mohawk! I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about it, but it is just hair. It grows back.
And he does look pretty cute!
I didn’t go as drastic as a purple Mohawk, but I did get purple and blue feather extensions. Fun!
Lucas is such a soft-hearted little guy. While Nancy (our stylist) was doing his hair, he had a few people ask why the Mohawk and why purple. I told him to explain. He would speak so softly and put his head down. He told them it was for his brother because he couldn’t use his right hand and had a stroke as a baby.
After the hair appointment, we were on our way back to the lake (still camping). We were going to a graduation party that evening, and I wanted him to be comfortable with answering questions. I tried to get him to practice with me. We talked a little about Zack. He started crying – told me he couldn’t do it, and wanted to cut off the Mohawk. He was feeling very sad for Zack. We talked him into keeping it, but he was bothered for days. It’s like he’s just discovering why his brother is “different”. I’m very proud of Lucas. He carried a card at school the following Monday and let people read about Streak for Pediatric Stroke.
Look at this beautiful flower! I love it. Makes me happy to know I made it.
We also headed to the lake for the weekend. It’s May 12, Mac’s birthday (he’s old, btw), and he wanted to camp. We got the Cyclone out and set up fairly early in the day. I only had the camera on my phone, but I wanted to record the lush green trees. So pretty. Felt like I was in a magical forest.
I wanted a photo of the two of us. He’s always on his phone!
Just streaking (aka: crafting) away…
This isn’t finished. I decoupaged green tissue paper onto a canvas. I think these sheet music roses look pretty with it. I found these little wooden letter tiles – thinking of using them.
Mother’s Day. I made some pretty corsages using a few of my previous flower creations. That was my creativeness for Day 8.
Me and my loves.
(the other is taking the picture)
Day 7 was festival day!! Cherryvale Blossom Festival that is. Mac had to go early to fulfill his Chamber of Commerce duties, and then spent the rest of the day at the Cherryvale Football Boosters booth.
I wasn’t such an early riser. I did spend all afternoon there. I wore purple and put purple braids in my hair for the day! I told people about pediatric stroke. I also purchased a few bracelets, and checked out all the great crafts… gathered a few ideas as well.
Here I am wearing my purple.
My baby had a stroke. He really did. It’s not something we went around telling people. Why? I don’t know. If someone asked, we’d tell a little of his history. I guess for the most part, we just wanted him to grow up like any other child. We didn’t dwell on the negative; we always talked about what he could do.
If he needed medical attention, we got it. We didn’t do excessive therapies – just what was offered through the early intervention program and then through school. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t do enough. Then, I’ll look at him and realize, he didn’t need me to push him. He didn’t need to spend hours and hours AND hours (he probably did spend hours) in therapy. He just needed me to love him, encourage him, and let him grow.
So why now? Why am I talking so much about it now? For one, it’s pediatric stroke awareness month. I do want people to know that babies and children CAN (and DO) have strokes.
I also feel it’s time that people get to really know and understand my Zack. He’s such a great kid. I realize that it’s sometimes difficult for people to see past a disability or difference, especially if they don’t know what’s “wrong” with a person.
He wears a brace on his leg… people look at it. He can’t use his right hand… people stare at it. He can’t completely feel his face and will sometimes have bits of his last meal stuck to it… people giggle. Or he might even drool a little if he’s concentrating on a task or talking excitedly… people get disgusted. It’s my job to educate people about this amazing boy.
Why is he so amazing? Well, most of us are fortunate – we get to function with a complete brain… and we still do embarrassing things. Zack is definitely at a disadvantage. His stroke damaged brain tissue – quite a bit of it.
When we first learned about Zack’s stroke, the doctors couldn’t tell us if he would even be able to walk or talk!! With brain injuries, it’s difficult to say how the person will get along. It’s one of those “time will tell” situations.
I think back to that time, then I look at him now, and I stare… in awe!
Here is a picture of Zack’s brain.
(His is on the right – the brain on the left is not his.)
Yep, he’s awesome!
P.S. I did ask Zack if he’d be okay with me sharing this. He said I could.