While Akila has been at the crisis home, we have been trying hard to do things that are hard to do when she is home. We have missed Akila dearly, but have also really valued this time that we have had to be "normal", to vegetate, to relax, to stay up late and sleep in. But, I have to admit, I am truly and honestly looking forward to Akila coming home. I did not think I would feel like that. I think I only feel like that because the med she is currently on is helping so much. I have hope. Hope is a good thing (it can be a dangerous thing if it isn't mixed with a good dose of reality though-but we have lot so that), it has been a long time.
But back to "normalcy". I always tell my kids that they are weird, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't like normal. That must be why God chose me to be Akila's mom. We are not a normal family, even without the issues Akila brings to our family.
Our kids don't have cell phones. Imani was at a play date yesterday with 5 other 11 year olds. She was the only one without a cell phone. I am proud of this. She does not need a cell phone at 11. I don't mean that as a judgement against parents who have given their 11 year old's cell phones. It is just something we don't believe is necessary in our family situation. Would it be nice? Yes, there are times it would have been very "convenient", and times it would have made it much easier to communicate with Imani, or even Akila.
The thought of giving Akila a cell phone is not an easy thought. She loses everything, so does Imani for that matter. The one thing with Akila though, is that she doesn't have any true friends that she would be texting, so it might not be too bad, initially. All Imani wants to do, is text. The bummer with poor Imani, is that if we were to get her a cell phone, it would send Akila to the moon. But I hate to give her a cell phone just to feel "in"- that would be too normal!!!! I want her to feel cool about not having a cell phone. I have work to do in this area. One of her friends has even offered to give her a cell phone that they could easily fit in their family cell phone plan. A very generous offer, but again, I am not ready.
We don't have a cell phone plan. My cell phone is through the dance studio where I work. Michael rarely uses his so we have a pay as you go plan for him. So, to do a cell phone family plan would be a huge addition to our monthly budget, especially since Michael's new job and salary, will be lower than what we have been living on. I'm looking at this as a great new challenge that God has placed before us.
Anyway, my point is, we are not normal. We don't sign up for many activities, our kids are not over scheduled. As a matter of fact, when I leave one night week sometimes for an activity (speaking event, meeting, etc.), most of my kids whine that I am leaving too much. They have no idea what "normal" families are like. If you are a "normal" family, God bless you. I am truly not judging you, please know this. I just love being weird. I have always wanted to teach my kids the value of being weird. I want them to know it is OK to have dread locks. It is OK to wear socks that don't match (I do not match socks after laundered). It is OK to wear the hat with the jingle bell attached to it. When I was in junior high, I had a green sweatshirt that had s0 metal rivets in through one of the sleeves, and each rivet had a different colored ribbon tied through it. It was hideous. I loved it. My science teacher (whom was a total GEEK- not "normal"), would sing some song called "Buttons and Bows" that made me sick. Not because it wasn't "normal", but because he was a horrible singer.
I have mentioned in the past that my mom was a member of the Willmar 8. She was a quiet rebel, not normal at all for a small town mom in the 70's. I just think that "normal" is what the Lord planned for me. I am by no means saying He thinks I am going to be a superstar. Or that I will be famous. What I mean, is that I am not going to go by what the world says I should be doing. That I should vote for this candidate, or that candidate because I have a special needs child. Or because my kids receive assistance and go tot he public schools. Or because I believe strongly, to the core of my heart, in service and giving back. I will not do what the party line tells me to do. I am not normal, I am weird.
I do not make sense. Many people assume I am conservative because of my religious views. Many people assume I am liberal because of my experience/views on education and special needs kids. Again, I am weird. You cannot be guaranteed of either viewpoint with me. I am not normal. And I am so thankful to God for that stance. I am weird!!!! Wahooooo!!!
So, here is a picture of Zeke's birthday party, he had 3 buddies over. The boys got to have an overnight party this year, as it was possible with Akila being gone.
Here is Hezekiah's birthday party and the 3 buddies he had sleep over
The picture on the right, is of an Air Swimmers flying shark. The boys each got one for their birthday, Zeke got a clown fish one (don't have a pic of that one). They are honestly one of the coolest toys I have ever seen. They are basically a helium balloon that has a remote control and "swims" (flies) in the air. It is so cool, can't even explain it. Highly recommended for a Christmas gift.