Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Little Guy

Little Guy, age one, who goes to day care with my own little man, got his new arm yesterday.

Little Guy's foster (hoping to adopt) mommy is the daughter of Little Man's day care providers. She's had him since he was very young. Little Guy was born with only half of his right arm. His mommy took him to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. Over several visits in a several month period, they evaluated him, casted the very first of many prosthetic arms he will use in his lifetime, and presented him with it just yesterday. We had dinner at their church this evening and his mommy was proudly showing off how well he was doing with it.

Being only one year old, Little Guy doesn't quite understand all about it, how it works or what to do. The new arm is very simple and doesn't have too many functions. After all, it's mostly just for him to get used to the feel of wearing a prosthesis.

Little Guy will have many choices in his life. Will he mostly use the prosthesis, or will he be more comfortable simply learning to do things one handed? (I've been impressed by how well he does one-handed already.) How will he deal with his disability, and what will his attitude be? Right now, he's a sweet little baby and his mommy is encouraging him to do everything he possibly can in whatever way works best.

He's fortunate that he has the Shriners, the Ronald McDonald House, and that wonderful woman who is the mommy of his heart even if the social workers haven't yet made her his mommy on paper.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


There's so much clutter everywhere.

At home, where we REALLY need to clean out the garage. (Imagine actually being able to park a car in there!) Some things are gone now--Little Man's baby bath and his Pack 'n Play; his high chair and his bouncy seat; emergency food from y2k that probably isn't in that great a shape any more. Some things stay--His water table for the backyard in the summers; our growing "Christmas stuff" collection (Why Dear Hubby insists on buying several new strands of outdoor lights each year when the size of our house has remained the same is a mystery); our wedding albums; Little Man's adoption files. And some things have been added: a tricycle, a child's helmet, a big preschool art easel/chalkboard that we REALLY need to drag inside more often for little man to play with.

At work, it's much the same. Old adaptive equipment catalogs and workshop notes hid volunteer hour time sheets that were lost in October and just found 2 weeks ago (a month after the final 2006 totals were due). Cardboard packaging for cassette machines seems to multiply on its own. There are the zip code directories from 1995, and a microfiche (yes MICROFICHE!) reader machine from who knows when. And there is more scratch paper on my 2 bottom shelves than I could ever use even if I didn't retire until age 70. Lots of that will go as we prepare for Extreme Makeover/TBL Edition.

Some things will stay: Our tape-playing teddy bear mascot; art from a reading disabled inmate patron advertising "NLS Books on TAP"; a handmade sculpture of a girl sitting and listening to a Talking Book record player; just one old flexible disc record that I HAVE to keep as a souvenir. Things that mean something to our library and remind us of what we do. And what will be added: new carpet; new paint; a new collection of descriptive videos; and the constant flow of more new books than we can ever hope to shelve.

Life is like that. You have to make the energy to move with the changes, to get rid of what's no longer needed, keep what is meaningful, and make room for what must be added. Sometimes it's easier just to keep the status quo rather than investing the time. But in the end, it is worth the effort.