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Monday, January 21, 2013

It's the Little Things

Cliff has always had a thing for giraffes.  We're not really sure why.

Perhaps he likes their long necks or their keen sense of humor. Either way, he loves them.

So it was especially fitting that for Christmas Cliff received a giraffe WubbaNub.  It has proved to be Heaven sent. After Cliff's heart catheter procedure, the doctors all said that if we could get Cliff to take a pacifier it might be easier on him, especially if his future had some surgeries in it.  Cliff has never been one to like pacifiers and so we didn't really hold out much hope that he would suddenly change his mind. But apparently if you throw a giraffe on the end of a pacifier all bets are off.

Cliff took to his WubbaNub like they were long lost pals.  And it definitely helped him as he got done with the surgery for the g-tube placement.  It's actually really cute.  He and his giraffe are inseparable.

All of this made what happened this morning all the more cute. Cliff always seems to have trouble sleeping after about 2 AM. Before he got his nasal tube out he'd be up all the time fussing and crying and not letting anyone else get sleep. That seems to have subsided at least a little bit. Cliff still wakes up fairly frequently after 2 AM but now he seems to give at least some consideration to the idea of going back to sleep.

This morning was no different. Cliff woke up at varying points during the night, but after 5:30 AM he just wasn't going to go back to sleep. He wanted to have some interaction with people. But Teri was still asleep and I was tired so I figured I would lay him down next to me that way I could interact with him without having to be too energetic.  Cliff, as usual, is ok with this plan because he spends most of his day laying around anyway so if someone wants to see the world from his perspective he doesn't seem to mind.

As Cliff and I were lying there babbling back and forth to one another Cliff reached up to his mouth with both hands and grabbed his giraffe WubbaNub and pulled it out of his mouth and then moved it over to my mouth.  He didn't have the coordination to actually get the pacifier end into my mouth, and I wouldn't have accepted his generous offer even if he did have the ability to offer it, but I did get a soft giraffe rubbed on my face for a few moments.

It sounds funny, but I was very touched by the gesture. I have no idea if Cliff understands what it means to share, but I hope that he understands what it means to love and to be loved. I know Cliff loves that giraffe and I hope that what he meant by his little act was that he wanted me to share in something that gave him great joy. And although I may never know what Cliff was actually thinking, I know what I will take from the experience.

I grateful to have such a neat family. Teri and I love all of our boys. Cliff, in case you don't know our family, is our fourth child, all four of which are little boys. I am grateful for my wife, Teri, as well. And I am also grateful for Cliff.  I know Teri is too. We wish he was better. We wish he was healthy. We wish there was a clear cut path for what we could do. But even if the path is rough and a bit murky ahead, we are grateful to share in those little things that brighten our days even in the face of everything else going on. Cliff really is a special kid. I'm glad I get to love him.


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Huge Thanks

We are so grateful for all the wonderful people who have helped us, are are helping us through this experience.

Our families have been great support systems for us and have given so much of their time and their talents to benefit Cliff.

We also have so many good friends who have given way more than we could have possibly imagined, sometimes a moment's notice.

To everyone we offer a heartfelt thanks! We really, truly could not do this without you.

An Inspiring Thought

Here's one quote that inspires us.
"There is no growth in the comfort zone; there is no comfort in the growth zone."
If I could figure out who to attribute this to I would, but the Internet isn't quite sure who said it.

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