"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."
" Faith makes life possible. Hope makes life workable. Love makes life beautiful."

The Winwards

The Winwards

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Times

This summer we were very busy as a family.  Tanner is now 6.5 and is getting more and more independent using his wheelchair.  Connor is 3.5 and is growing like a weed.  Potty training is going well, but boy is he stubborn!  Hoping he'll be good by the time he is 4. 

The summer started off with a bang for Tanner.  He was awarded a grant by Challenged Athletes Foundation to use for traveling expenses to go to adaptive sports events.  The end of May was the first one of these!  Tanner and I traveled to Santa Monica, CA where he got to go adaptive surfing!  He was scared at first but did it anyway, and ended up loving it! It was put on by a non profit called Life Rolls On.  If you don't know who they are, check out their website -  http://www.liferollson.org/
Such an amazing organization and the bunch of volunteers that helped Tanner were awesome!  This mama was nervous, but it was so exciting to see him surf. 

The first 2 weeks in July, the boys and I visited Utah for Tanner's yearly Shriner's appt in Salt Lake City, Utah. All went well during that appt, his legs and hips look good. So we will go again next summer. We always stay a couple of weeks and visit family.  We also saw some friends, the Paxman's and that is always fun! More pictures from that to come!  

Near the end of July, Tanner and I went to California again for another event.  This one also put on by Life Rolls On, called Let's Skate Again.  The crowds were large, and Tanner got overwhelmed. Tanner is still a beginner at the skate park with his wheelchair, but going was good for him. 

This is Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham.  He does back flips in his chair, at the skate park.  Tanner aspires to be just like him.  Check out his you tube video's.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2D6Iy7m7qI  Tanner says he is awesome! 

School started on Aug 3rd. Tanner is in 1st grade now, attending the same school he went to last year, Paideia Academy.  This year started out way different than last year.  Last year Tanner had a lot of anxiety. Enough anxiety that he would vomit at least 1 time a day for the first 3 months of school.  It was a very stressful time for me, but we worked thought it.  This year Tanner has not vomited 1 time since school started.  It helps that he's already familiar with the school, and he has some friends in his class. Including his best friend, Emily.  They tell everyone that they are going to get married someday.  

I'm so thankful that Tanner has a friend that can help him with his anxiety and fears at school.  She's a great kid! 

In a few weeks, we will be going to Huntington Beach, CA for another adaptive surf event!  Tanner is so excited about it!  Then the last adaptive surf event will be in September for Tanner.  Pictures to come later. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I WISH......

I wish ....   It's something I've heard my 2 boys say over and over about various things.  I wish for a new toy, I wish it would rain, I wish I could have some ice cream.  Most are wishes over silly things, trivial things.
But there is one "I wish"  that absolutely took my breath away when I heard it.  My 6 1/2 year old son, Tanner wished he wasn't born with Spina Bifida.  

Oh sweet, sweet boy.  How I WISH I could make that happen for you.  But its just not in our cards to do so.  I've always hoped he would never wish for that, and have dreaded this day.  The day I knew that would one day happen.

How do you recover from such a wish??  I hugged him and explained that although Spina Bifida is part of how his body works, it doesn't define who he is.  That God doesn't make mistakes, and he is perfect the way he is.  For him, that seemed to be enough for now.  I often wonder what I will say when it comes up again.

Now that his brother, Connor is nearly potty trained, able to run, climb, jump, Tanner is wishing he was more like his brother.  I grew up always comparing myself to others, never thinking I was as good as anyone else.  And now I'm watching my own son struggle with the same thing.  It breaks this mama's heart.

Tanner is an amazing kid.  He is kind, gentle, smart, courageous, strong, empathetic to others, helpful, wise beyond his years, funny, spiritual, profound, a fierce friend, and many more amazing things.  He never gives up, always willing to try new things (even if they are scary),  loves making new friends. He loves telling jokes, and is the greatest story and joke teller ever!

I hope one day that he can see what I see!