The Carroll boys had a great week! With so many medical appointments each week I get really excited when we get a whole 24 hours without having to be at a doctor’s office or therapy…this week that special day was Friday. It feels so nice to just spend some time at the house being “typical”.
Levi is mobile now, pulling up to standing and doing his best to take cautious steps while clinging to furniture. He is also officially into EVERYTHING…his favorite place is the pantry, particularly the baking shelf…I caught him sucking on the brown sugar bag earlier this week.
Levi’s new favorite game is climbing Malachi. I took this picture of him playing in his canoe and I stepped out for about 12 seconds and came back to find him like this.
We also went to battle again with the bears this week. Most of the time when they come up to the house it is in the middle of the night while we are sleeping. But for some reason they have been coming up shortly after we get home at night, between 10:00p-11:00p. I was able to finally get a good look at the one that visited Friday night; he looks like a teenager, not too big and not too small.
I tried beating on the window right next to it’s face but that only deterred him for about 3 seconds so I got out the 12 gauge shotgun and took a shot into the air on the back porch (we would NEVER kill the bear or actually shoot him unless he was threatening our lives). The sound made him start to run for the tree line but after a few steps he turned around and headed right back to the porch. I fired another one a little closer to the trees he was near and that one kept him away for the rest of that night.
It is in situations like these that I can’t help but laugh. Our life is just bonkers.
On Saturday Jake had the opportunity to go to an Atlanta United FC game in downtown Atlanta. My brother lives on the outer edge of Atlanta so we decided that all four of us would make the trip and the kids and I would spend time with my brother and his family while Jake went to the game.
Malachi really enjoyed seeing his cousins and listening to them play. I tried letting Levi play in the grass, which as you can see didn’t go so well.
My brother’s sweet dog Kenya snuck over and gave Malachi a bath of kisses. We pulled him off of Malachi and asked him if that scared him and Malachi animatedly signed “MORE”, smiling ear to ear. Malachi absolutely loves dogs!
Jake and I adopted a dog back in 2006 and named him Boomer, a german shepherd mix. When Levi was born and then went on to spend nearly 5 months in the hospital we had to send him to stay with Jake’s parents in Ohio. Levi was discharged but we still didn’t feel like it was the right time to bring Boomer back home. We were afraid with all the wires Boomer might accidentally pull something out of/off of Levi. It was a tough decision but leaving him in Ohio a bit longer seemed like the best decision.
When Levi was cleared to go off daytime oxygen we talked about bringing him home. I have missed him so much, and I know Malachi has missed his puppy dog.
Unfortunately Boomer passed away suddenly on Friday night. I am so disappointed that I didn’t get to see him again. I know he is just a dog but he was such a big part of our lives prior to having kids.
Malachi was able to make it to school several days this week and on Thursday they attempted graduation pictures for all of the Kindergartners. They sent home the order form and I looked at it all week trying to decide whether to play the optimist and believe they will be exceptional, or play the rehearsed part of pessimist and assume the lack of a good picture would devastate me.
In true Leah fashion I made my mental pros/cons list. As I thought long and hard, my mind started to transition to that weird place that special needs moms tend to go sometimes. I caught myself considering “What if this is the only ‘graduation’ that Malachi will live to see?” These thoughts sound so morbid when I repeat them to myself, but the reality of them keeps them coming to mind.
So I wrote the check and pre-paid for those silly graduation pictures.
Typical parents dreams about the long lives that their child will live. As a mom of a warrior, dreaming about a long life for my child brings me so much anxiety. I don’t ever pray for a specific number of years for Malachi, but rather I focus on the quality of life that he has during his time on earth. I pray that God blesses him with a pain-free life filled with joy! And I pray that if God chooses to allow Malachi to live a full, long life that surpasses mine that He prepares the way before him.
My biggest desire is that Malachi always feels loved, wanted, and valued. I pray that others see Malachi through the eyes of God his creator.
Luke 12:17 says “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
There is so much hidden beauty that our eyes often miss when we search for the “perfect” in our world. Sometimes God’s beauty speaks louder in the mundane and even the ugly parts of our lives…the stark contrasts allow it to stand out.
Malachi is a beautiful wild flower, clothed in a beauty that only comes from God.
When my mind wanders like it does to possible outcomes for Malachi’s life I often feel a pang of guilt allowing those thoughts into my head. But my heart needs to process these things and allow these brief moments of mourning.
Please be in prayer over Levi this week as we prep for his surgery #22 and #23 (I think…I might have lost track). The surgeon will be working with the muscles of his right eye attempting to straighten it out a bit. We will also be scoping his throat to check his vocal cords to see if there is any new movement or anything else we can trim in his airway. I am starting to feel anxious about surgery day which leads to an emotionally exhausting week for all of us!
Please join us in praying for miracles and routine, best-case scenarios. These are expected to be outpatient which is always a blessing.
Much love to you this week,