The latest on Sean — rolling along (but not for long?)

15 October 2011

(The caption is a quote from rapper Chamillionaire’s song “Ridin’.”  Rest assured that it’s the first — and likely the last — time I’ll be quoting Chamillionaire on this blog.)

So I’m picking my son Sean up from school a couple of days ago, and I’m talking to his teacher, Mr. Cornelison, as I load his wheelchair into the back of our van.  (This is always a bit of low comedy, as we have a ramp we could use for that purpose — except there’s enough room in the van for the wheelchair OR the ramp, not both.  So I have to lever the chair up by getting the foot pedals up on the lip of the hatch, then using them as the fulcrum to bring up the rest of the chair.  Great for my arms, but it sure does look goony.  And sometimes the pedals slip, and I have to start all over …)

Anyway, Mr. Cornelison is watching my struggles, and he says something that absolutely floors me: “Ya know, ya don’t have to bring the wheelchair if you don’t want to — he doesn’t really need it here.”

If you were to ask me to sum up Sean’s continued recovery from the ravages of Leigh’s disease, in one sentence, I don’t think I could compose one better than that.  “Ya don’t have to bring the wheelchair if you don’t want to — he doesn’t really need it here.”

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Thinking inside the box(es): the blessing of a schedule

16 August 2011

I’m coming up on three years of being unemployed now.

Now, I will admit there are a couple of asterisks attached to that statement.  I did a three-week temp job riding public transportation for a consulting firm.  I’ve also done a little freelance wordsmithing (business letters and the like) for a couple of friends who needed such things done.  And from August 2009 until last month, I was spending several hours a day caring for a severely disabled child.  But still, I haven’t had semi-permanent, full-time employment since just after Lehman Brothers went splat.  (Probably not coincidental.)

All that time NOT spent on a 9-5 or similar schedule has been rough on me.  I’m someone that needs to be busy — even if I’m doing nothing much, it needs to be a “doing nothing much” that keeps me focused and occupied.  (Prayer isn’t a problem; that’s “doing something,” and I have to be focused so I don’t miss what God might say.  But no silent meditation for me, thanks.)  Which means that I end up finding things to fill the time, but without the requirements of a job, filling the time can end up meaning looking at funny captions on pictures of cats for two hours at a clip.  And that sort of thing was beginning to happen more and more.

Clearly, I needed to get myself on a schedule.

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Proud Dad moment — summer 2011 edition

4 August 2011

Tonight was back-to-school night at my daughter Charlotte’s school.

Some of you may have just read that and gone “WHAAAAA?!?”  Well, Stockton Unified School District, for no logical reason that I can discern, currently starts its school year the last week of July and ends it in mid-May.  Last year it ended just before Memorial Day, but they decided to shorten the schedule by a week this year to save money.  (I suspect they could save almost as much simply by starting the school year in September and ending it in June, thus not having to run the A/C in hundreds of classrooms through all of August, but hey, whatever.)  So that’s why there’s a back-to-school night on the first week of August: ’cause that’s just how Stockton Unified rolls …

But I’m not here to talk about that.  I’m here to brag about my brilliant kid.

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The latest on Sean: full time and getting stronger

2 August 2011

For all of you who have been praying for my son Sean for the last two years in his continuing battle against Leigh’s disease, I want to give you my thanks.  I also want to apologize, as it has been five months since I’ve given you a full post on Sean’s condition.  Things have been busy here, but not THAT busy.  But now, with him in school full-time, I have extra time (and extra incentive) to fill you in on the happy details.

Yes, you read that right – Sean is now, finally, in school.  Not just home instruction; actual, six-hours-a-day, I-have-to-get-him-there-by-8-o’clock SCHOOL!  And therein lies a tale …

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The blog, the blog, the blog, the blog is back!

30 July 2011

(With apologies to Elton John, lol …)

I can’t believe it’s been four months (and change) since I last wrote!  Where did the time go?

Oh, yeah, I remember where it went …

  • My wife was working full-time, then not working at all, and is now working again (kinda sorta).
  • Our son Sean started school (yes, you read that right — he’s started school!).
  • Our daughter graduated from fifth grade and started sixth — with a reading level FIVE grades ahead of her grade level — and passed two swimming courses.
  • As for me, I’ve been through a barrage of medical tests and had two surgeries (almost three), done some more fiction writing (including my continuing Iron Man fanfic), and bought an exercise machine after discovering I was more overweight than even I’d suspected.

So yeah, things were a little busy.  When you throw in all the other doctor’s appointments (our family has more than most, it seems), all the other summer activities, and just the general stress of being around each other more than usual, it can get hectic.  Too hectic to write?  Wellllll … possibly.  But now I’m setting my distractions aside (or trying to, more accurately), exercising a little more discipline and getting back to the keyboard to commune with you, dear reader.  I might even make tea, if you’re up for it.

And while we sip our cuppa, what can we discuss?  Besides, all of the above, it’s been a wild four months:

  • May 21 passed without incident (and by “incident,” I mean “Harold Camping getting a beatdown from a justifiably angry mob”).
  • Stockton got a miniature heat wave, but nothing compared to the rest of the country.
  • The Democrats and the Republicans are engaging in a wonderful spirit of bipartisanship to bankrupt the country through their joint ineptitude.
  • The Giants got Carlos Beltran, the US men’s soccer team got Juergen Klinsmann (after five years of flirting), and the 49ers got to sit at home for months on end while the  lawyers fought over crap none of us really care about.
  • The American church rolled on … toward a cliff, far as can be told, but it’s rolling!
  • Et cetera.

So I think we can find things to talk about.  I do apologize for the long silence, and I’ll understand if you’ve been seeing other blogs in my absence.  It can get lonely out there, I know.  But now, we can be together again, and “all the pleasures prove,” as the poet said.  (Which poet was that?  Let me Google it … ah, Christopher Marlowe.  Also Charles Emerson Winchester III.  Gotta love Google.)  And I will try my darnedest, by the grace of God, to not leave any more mullti-month gaps in the record.  Tune in Tuesday for a thorough update on the Seanster Monster (that wasn’t a typo, folks — school!).  Until then … it’s good to be back.  Action!

The latest on Sean – school time!

25 October 2010

We’re now full-on into autumn, which means a lot of things around Chez Anselmeau.  It means long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, added blankets and comforters.  It means hauling the fans down to the basement and bringing up the space heaters (Chez Anselmeau, you may recall, doesn’t have central anything).  It means worrying less about mowing the lawn and more about raking the leaves.  It means my lovely wife Nina starts making her should-be-legendary soups and her soft gingerbread cookies.  It means working on the Christmas gift list; we usually have our shopping done by early November.  And it means our daughter Charlotte starts asking to do more chores around the house, so she can earn Christmas spending money.

Most of all, around here autumn means school is in full swing.  Charlotte, of course, has been in class since late July, and Nina went back to work for the school district around the end of August.  But now – the best news of all – after waiting a year due to his Leigh’s disease, Sean has started school as well!

Well … sort of.

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Proud dad moment

12 October 2010

Sometimes, you just have to brag a little.

I’m uncomfortable with anything that hints of boasting — even when I’m just stating facts, I always want to check myself and ask if I’m looking like a jerk while doing it.  It’s a tough balance, and I blow it more often than not.

When it comes to bragging about my kids, though, I have no qualms whatsoever.  So allow me to promote my daughter Charlotte a bit.

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