Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hobé: Kids oncology camp

My youngest 2 boys at camp

My kids are at camp. I had 3 boys gone last week and 2 gone this week. They are at Camp Hobé, a camp for children with cancer and their siblings. It is kind of sad that this will probably be the last year that they will be able to go: Jimmy is done with his cancer treatments. I'm not sad he is done with the cancer, just sad that my kids will not be able to go to Camp Hobé It has been the highlight of their year. Camp Hobé is kind of a magical camp. Where else is a mom going to be comfortable leaving her blind 7 year old brain tumor patient for a week? My boys are not new to going to camp, they have been going to scout camps with their friends for years, but they really love Camp Hobé. The first year that they went I was worried, they did not know anyone there, but they came home having made lots of friends with kids because they have one huge thing in common: Cancer.
I am so grateful that this camp includes the siblings of the children with cancer. Cancer has a profound effect on the patient but, the effect on the siblings is often just as bad and so often overlooked. When you are of sibling of cancer you are ignored while your parents kind of fall apart, you usually have more responsibility instantly, you have to become the one in charge because you parents are always gone, you have to watch your sibling suffer and not understand why, you watch your sibling be showered with gifts and attention while you are ignored, and you can't say anything because you are healthy and your brother is sick. At Camp Hobé my boys are surrounded by kids who understand. These kids have been through it also, and they learn that they are not the only ones.
This camp is so great that my oldest boy passed up a chance to get paid to be a Jr. counselor at scout camp and volunteered to be an unpaid Jr. counselor at Camp Hobé.
I just want to thank Camp Hobé for what they have done for my kids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the marshmallow incident....

By the Sea 5x7 watercolor

My kids were roasting marshmallows for an after dinner treat the other night and offered me some. I told them I don't like marshmallows, I never have.

It reminded me of an incident from my childhood. I was probably 8 years old or so and I got a huge sliver in my foot from trying to climb a wooden fence barefoot. My mom was trying to get me to hold still so she could remove the sliver when she tried to bribe me with marshmallows. "If you'll hold still so I can get the sliver out I'll give you some marshmallows" I didn't like marshmallows, but my brothers did! So the idea of tormenting my brothers with "I get marshmallows and you don't nananana naaanah" became my motivation for holding still. Of course I never said anything about that, If my mom knew it would never work. My mother removed the sliver and then proceeded to hand out marshmallows to me and my brothers saying it was a celebration of my bravery. Boy was I mad! My brothers did not have to have a sliver removed and they still got marshmallows! how unfair! My mom said she never said my brothers would not get marshmallows I should be happy that everyone was benefiting instead of just me.

I was really really mad, but over the years as I thought about it, mom was right. My desire to make my brothers unhappy was ultimately what backfired and made me unhappy. If I had wanted to make those around me happy instead of upset then the whole incident would have turned out different for me.

Again it all comes down to attitude.

Monday, June 9, 2008

breakfast in bed for the boys

"Cats in the Kitchen" commissioned watercolor 18"x24"
My 10 year old had an idea that he wanted to cook his brothers breakfast in bed in celebration of the first day of summer. He did not get up quite as early as he planned so he went around ordering all his brothers to stay in bed because he had a surprise for them. He made them pancakes, scrambled eggs, french fries, and orange juice. Yes, I did suggest hash-browns but, he likes french fries better. Of course I "helped" him with everything. When the boys were served breakfast in their beds my oldest asked if he could eat his breakfast in the kitchen because he did not want to risk spilling syrup in his bed. Then my youngest boy asked if he could eat his breakfast in my bed because he did not want to get syrup in his bed. Later my youngest came in the kitchen for more orange juice he told me what he really needed was someone to stand there while he ate his breakfast in bed and go get him everything he needed. Yeah, right, the service here ain't that good honey. It was a HUGE mess to clean up, there was syrup on the carpet where one son ate sitting on his floor and syrup in the bedding of one boy, not to mention my 10 year old is a very messy cook, and my dishwasher broke, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Introduction to a new school

"Andy" 16"x12" acrylic on canvas

Jimmy is getting "mainstreamed" next year for school. He currently goes to USDB (Utah School for the Deaf and Blind) He is on the bus for an hour each way to school he has 4 kids and 2 teachers in his classroom, only 2 kids in his grade. We have decided to send him to the neighborhood school just down the street, it is a five min. walk away with 30 kids and one teacher in the classroom, naturally he is nervous about the change, so am I.

I took Jimmy to the school he will be going to next year, I thought it would be good for the teacher and the principal to meet Jim and it would make Jim a little more at ease if he met his teacher. When we got to the his new school the principal and teacher were waiting for us. The principal said to him "Hello, Jim, I'm the Principal" Jimmy reached out and took her hand and said very formally "I'm very pleased to meet you" and then turned and shook the hand of the teacher. The principal and teacher both looked very surprised to see such manners from a 6 year old. Believe me I was even more surprised. I do try to teach my children good manners but I don't think I ever taught him this.