Wheelchair challenges

Shade’s had his new wheelchair for a week and a half. In that time, we’ve discovered that, though it’s more back and butt supportive, it’s definitely not as stable or maneuverable on any surface more dimpled than a basketball court. The front wheels find every crack in the sidewalk and kink sideways, often jamming the wheelchair to a complete stop and causing Shade to lurch forward. Just this afternoon, Mayan was wheeling Shade out the front door. The front wheels got stuck on the lip of the threshold, so Mayan went around the front of the chair and yanked them over the edge. Once the front wheels are over an obstacle, Shade can Monster Truck the back wheels over anything. So Shade cleared the lip and rolled down the small front door ramp. Then the wheels jammed in the crack where the ramp meets the path. Shade’s feet planted and he would have performed a not-too-graceful somersault if Mayan hadn’t jumped up, caught him under the armpits and shoulder slammed against the wall to keep them both upright. Nice save, Mayan. Shade outweighs Mayan by at least 40 pounds and is a good foot taller, so Mayan took a bruising but he sacrificed his own body to keep his brother’s face from turning into hamburger. Because of these situations, we use the old wheelchair for any outdoor rugged adventures. We save the new wheelchair for school and therapy where his posture benefits from the added support. It’s so comfy, in fact, that the first time he used it all day at school, his backside breathed a sigh of relief. Or perhaps that was from the tacos he ate the night before.

This weekend, we went back to New Smyrna Beach for a little getaway. It was Aitza and my 14th anniversary. (14 is the digital anniversary so I got her the Rosetta Stone Portuguese language program. Used, I might add, but still usable. Thanks Craigslist.) It was just the four of us and Tropical Storm Beryl which meant we stayed in the apartment much of the time. When we first left, the kids were in a foul mood because the wanted us to invite friends, which we often do. But this time we said, “Family only.” They moaned and moped and bickered with each other until we got to NSB and then suddenly it was like a switch got flipped. Shade and Mayan were best buddies for the whole weekend. And we had no video games either. When the boys are at home playing on the Xbox, the quarreling is ceaseless, but without it, they teamed up and played Legos and blocks, and joked with each other and wrestled. Suddenly they were back to their old kiddie selves. That was breath of fresh air (not from the same breath as in the last paragraph). I think I may have to bury the Xbox in the back yard.

School is almost over for the boys, and Aitza and I can’t wait. The pressure of Shade’s studying has taken its toll on us. It’s the area that we can’t seem to keep up with. After his school day and therapy and exercise and acupuncture and tutors and dinner, there never seems to be enough time to study. So we’re constantly worried about his grades. Plus, Shade’s brain fatigues easily and he has an inability to focus or take anything seriously which makes every study session a struggle. We are hoping that the summer break will give Shade’s brain a bit of a rest and maybe some healing will happen in that rest period so next year he’ll have an easier time studying.

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