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1. The graduation season continues. My niece, Natalie, graduated from medical school. I now have another doctor in my family! And I'm thrilled about that... also concerned.
My brother-in-law is also an MD. For every medical calamity in the family, for over the past 40 years, he has been called in to represent the family and to consult with the other physicians. For example, he probably knew my mother-in-law was dying before she did, and then of course he had to share that with all of us. And he was just awesome at being that bridge between the medical world and the family. But I get that it's a difficult place to be.
And now my dear niece, the baby girl I held, and babysat and played with, will also probably some day be in that position. My concern for her and the weight of this responsibility is tempered by the thought that if there was ever anyone I would want on my side when it came to making difficult decisions or hearing impossible facts, it would be her. And I know she will bless the lives of all of her future patients.
2. That said, I guess it's okay to mention a little medical emergency my niece and I shared. Her mother (my sister), had invited my family to come with them to Geagua Lake Park. We were having as good a time as you can have when you have a gaggle of little kids to watch in a hot amusement park filled with thousands of other people who also had gaggles of little kids to watch. My sister went to go take one of her other kids to the bathroom and asked me to stay there and watch Natalie, who was probably somewhere between 18 and 36 months old or so at the time.
Nat would have none of it. She screamed, she yelled, she kicked, and worst of all, she pulled away. And in wrenching her little arm away from my firm grip she managed to dislocate her elbow. Long story short, my niece was in pain, my sister was pissed, and we left the park. Luckily, Sis was able to get her tickets refunded and could go to the park again - but we weren't invited back.
However, the experience was not a total loss. When my own kid later dislocated his elbow some months later, (in the bank waiting in line of all places!) I knew how to fix it. And after that incident, I learned that when a little kid pulls away, it is better to just let them go. I think I also became a strong believer in using the stroller with straps in public places. 24 years, five more kids, and one granddaughter later, I am happy to report that I have managed to avoid any more incidents of nursemaid's elbow!
3. Sometimes my kids surprise me in a good way. Last week was the official Lord of The Rings, homeschool dance. Noah and Izzy gave a local boy in our neighborhood a ride to the dance. He's new in the area but they have socialized with him at youth group and he went with them to the winter formal. He's a nice kid from a very nice family and we're lucky to have another Catholic homeschool family so close to us!
So when the official photos of the dance came in my e-mail this morning, I was surprised but delighted to see that they included him in the official photo.
4. We had the end-of-season track banquet last week. It was bittersweet.
Noah did finally letter in track, and he also won an award for coming in 2nd for the City Championship 3200 meet.
But he also had to say goodbye to these guys! He has practiced with this group for four years, and been allowed to compete with them for three years.
In all kinds of weather, in all the different seasons, he has made a bond with these guys.
John, Darcy and Noah- the senior distance runners.
The distance running family.
And none of that would have been possible without this coach - who always offered support and encouragement. His influence will extend into other areas of Noah's life in a positive way, for years to come.
but I'm really going to miss scenes like this...
5. I have all my NCAA paperwork completed, I just have to print it out and send it in. They prefer e-mail and I hope to comply, but I'm not sure that my scanner will!
Noah only has one more class to complete, and that's World Literature. He's been working very hard to finish it up. Today we came home from mass and found him sitting at the table studying again.
"Noah," I said, "are you doing school work on Sunday again?"
He quickly closed his book, looked at me and said, "Uh... no?"
and then he put his book away and found something else to do. One thing I love about this kid is he rebels in the wrong way. I have never EVER had to scold one of my kids for doing too much school work. Noah has been a welcome change of pace!
6. My Father-in-law, Isadore LaVictoire, was a scout for General Patton. He was also severly wounded in a skirmish that took out most of his fellow soldiers. He never talked about it much and one of his daughters told me that even when she asked him questions about it, it was hard for him to open up about his experiences.
I did learn this spring that his mother, Margaret, had the determination of a pit bull. She called and wrote and otherwise bugged the war department until her son got the medals that he was due.
7. This memorial day, we remember all of our veterans, but especially the five LaVictoire brothers, who served their country heroically in world war II - and their parents who were also heroic on the home front