Most, if not all, of you probably found your way here via our Caring Bridge site so you already know my family, but just in case, and for the sake of introducing their pseudonyms, I want to dedicate one post to telling you about my little inspirations and their pet rats.
Pseudonyms probably aren’t necessary since my ignorance of the blogosphere is surely preventing me from having the best privacy settings available. But I do know enough to know that despite settings, it can’t possibly be a good idea to scream to the potential crazies on the internet, “Hey, here’s my kiddos’ names, address, and pictures! Aren’t they cute?!” Besides, who doesn’t want a pseudonym, right? So we will have internet names, a fact the boy is particularly excited about, and I probably won’t share full pictures of them. And I will throw out this plea just in case:
If you are a psycho computer-hacking pedophile who waits for ignorant mommas like me to make moves like this blog, PLEASE do not take my babies. They are my life’s treasure. I love them more than breathing. Truly. And I want nothing more out of life than to watch them grow up and change the world.
That being said, please let me introduce you to two of the greatest humans alive. They hit a tree going 80 mph, but refuse to let that define them, or even stop them from loving life and living it to the fullest. They inspire me everyday. When I am tired or angry or confused or bothered or sad or even just feeling lazy, I only have to think about what these two have been through and how well they have handled it all and I check myself, quickly. I am humbled and delighted that God chose me to be their Momma.
Meet Angel May
This little girl has a heart more beautiful than that smile. I know, hard to believe, right? I’ve called her Angel May for as long as I can remember because it’s a sweet Southern nickname and she is a sweet Southern girl. The last eight months have been rough for her, but she’s a trooper. The accident caused her to have a traumatic brain injury, 5 spinal fractures, 3 broken ribs, a broken right wrist, left forearm, tailbone, and right scapula (that’s your chicken wing for those of you who, like me, struggle to remember high school science). She also had ocular fractures on both eyes. Those are the bones surrounding our eyes. Ouch, huh? But she’s singing in my kitchen right now, whole again, plus a few screws and minus a few brain cells. Her brain damage has made school very hard for her, but she still manages to make mostly good grades. The one C on her report card last quarter was the first in her life and it broke her heart, one of the few things that the tree hadn’t broken already. It also changed her personality some, a very common after-effect of TBI, but we’ll talk more about that some other time. She loves to sing and dance and wants to be a pop star when she grows up. In fact, she asked me today how soon she could get started. When Super Man and I upset her, which we do more than I’d like to admit, she writes songs about it. Then, when she’s put all of that anger and sadness into her lyrics, she grabs her guitar or her violin and she sings them to me. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And it makes my heart full with happy. She has a collection of stuffed dolls who, because of the sheer number of them, could definitely take over the world if they ever decided to riot. But she mothers them so well, I don’t know why they’d ever get unhappy enough for that. Every night before she drifts off to sleep surrounded by babies, I turn on her stars and moon night lights and she tells me what we will be in her dreams and challenges me with, “I’ll beat you there!” I’m almost always a pink unicorn with a purple mohawk and she almost always beats me there.
Meet Super Man
This little dude is something else. He truly is. He is as smart as most adults he knows, a fact that sometimes gets him into trouble. But since his traumatic brain injury, he has been a little bit less sassy, a post-TBI personality change that we haven’t minded so much. In addition to the brain injury, the tree crushed his face and the cracked sinus bones tore into his brain tissue. I realize I am a wee bit biased, but when I tell you that he is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen, I do not exaggerate. This amazing doctor in New Orleans put my baby’s face back together so well that now he just has a cool Harry Potter scar that he uses to impress the ladies. He is Dyslexic and ADHD, so school has always been hard for him and the TBI did not help with that, but he too continues to succeed despite great odds against him. I am often in awe of his ability to reason, strategize, and do the worm or the dougie. I can’t do any of those things well. He didn’t get his smarts or his rhythm from his Momma. But he did get some sweet angel kisses (freckles, across his nose) from me. When he grows up he wants to be an anesthesiologist, “…because they make the most money for the least amount of work,” and own condos at the beach that he rents to vacationers. I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff, but it sounds like a solid plan to me.
Why Super Man you ask? Well, because of this:
“Hey buddy, I’m starting a blog and I need an internet name for you. I’ve always called your sister Angel May, but your nickname has your name in it. What do you want me to call you online?”
He didn’t even hesitate. I did though. For a split second, I considered talking him out of that one, but after, “Seriously, Mom, I wanna be Super Man,” I realized how perfect it is.
He is fast despite a foot injury from the accident. He is incredibly smart despite three different disabilities getting in the way of his accessing those smarts. And like I said before, he is dashingly handsome. Watch out Clark Kent. Most importantly, he is the strongest boy I know. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. He has heard, seen, and been through way too much in his short eleven years, yet he continues to amaze me every day with his resiliency. Super Man indeed, little guy.
I am blessed beyond measure.
Oh and these two guinea pigs live with us too.
Meet Jabba and Chewbacca (Chewy). Clearly, Chewy is the cooler one, but Jabba is much sweeter. Plus, he’s the one with the hut in the cage, so Chewy better be nice. Angel May really hates it when I call them the rats, but it makes me and Super Man giggle, so I do it anyway. A dear friend gave them to us after the accident and her daughter had already chosen their epic names. I wish I could take credit for them. They are sweet and fat and cute, cute, cute. I hate pets, but I kinda like these little guys. They are very low maintenance and often the calmest things in this house. But more importantly, they make my Angel May smile big, which makes me smile bigger. Super Man only liked them for one day. Then, he realized that they “sleep in their poop” and quickly gave Angel May full ownership. I can’t say I blame him; that is pretty gross. He is cleaner than most eleven-year-old boys. I guess that’s because he lives with two chicks; I have a feeling his future wife will appreciate it one day. I’m trying to train him right for you, girl. 😉
I usually refer to Angel May and Super Man as the Minis, a nickname that their daddy and I gave them years ago because they looked and acted so much like us. I can’t pretend to know the plan, but I’m confident that God has big plans for my Minis. He wouldn’t save them from this for nothing.
Big plans I tell ya.
The rats and I are just along for the ride.