Erik is adjusting well, thank the Lord. Most days he's content and able to interact in his quiet way. He's making friends and is participating in activities. We're so grateful.
Thankfully, there have been more good days than bad. A "good visit" is when we enjoy our time together playing games, teasing each other and he separates well from me when I have to leave. A "hard visit" is when he's confused, tired, and clearly upset when I have to leave. Those partings are painful but, as I said, they have been in the minority. There have been other challenges but they've been minor so far.
Today Erik was wearing my favorite shirt, the green beads from last week's Mardi Gras party and he was wearing the black warm up pants. I've been hoping he would begin to put those on because they don't require a belt and have an elastic waist -- so much easier for him to manage. I said often, "Erik you just look so handsome today!!" While we were visiting we were happy to see our Dad come into the room with goodies for Erik's fridge. The 3 of us had a good visit and even went to exercise time together.
Looking back over the past month I've felt so much gratitude for simple lessons God and Erik are teaching me.
1. Uncomplicated times together are good. Some of Erik's and my best visits are when we sit and sing or play with a balloon together. At times Erik has seemed to me to be in the process of becoming like a little child again. He was a very happy toddler, my mom says, so I'm hoping his cheerfulness will keep going into his older years.
2. Less is best. Keeping Erik's room clutter-free removes decisions he has to make; he experiences less mental stress.
3. Love always works. The older women in his home are becoming grandmothers to him and Erik is loving it. I love it. My love for Erik has grown and grown. And God's presence watches over Erik when I'm not able to be with him.
4. Good food always blesses. Erik came over and ate spaghetti and meatballs a few weeks ago and you would have thought it was the best ever. Food + Erik = happy guy
5. Erik is still a big ham and a polite gentleman. He continues to enjoy being nice to ladies: walking them to the door, holding their door, shaking hands, meeting people. It's so sweet. Well, last week we were hanging out in his room, singing to Kenny Rogers. He put on his blue Cowboy hat. Later we walked to the lobby where many of those sweet grandmothers were sitting. Erik walked right up to them, stood there smiling, held out his hands to his side (like the Fonz) as if to say, "Hey, take a look at me! Aren't I cool?" Well, they showered him with love because he was just SO cute!!
|Erik singing Kenny Rogers, with feeling|