The Little Moment: A tale of realization as a dad.

My life, as of late, has been measured by the moment. To some this may be a dad thing, in this case it is amazing. This weekend I took some time and headed to a park with Zoey and David. I have been working with the  City Dads Group and finally was able to get a chapter started here in Richmond, VA. While this has added to the never-ending list of things that I am working on, it is extremely important. I have benefitted through my current journey from countless other dads. This has empowered me to do something to help others. I have watched a community building itself out of awesomeness.  City Dads is a community of fathers that work hard to redefine fatherhood in the 21st century. I am so happy to be bringing this to Richmond, leading the charge, but that is a story for later.

There was a moment while we were walking on the trail that struck me.

moment of joy

The recent rain brought forth a bouquet of fresh aromas under the canopy of the trees. The deep, earthen soil mulling with sweet pine being baked in the humid spring heat brought memories of my childhood forward. I watched as their little bodies would lean and run around the winding path. The joy and excitement of each and every step reverberated through the deep woods.  The rapid scraping sound of little shoes running across fine gravel echoed with a cacophonous tumult, pushed further with the sound of laughter.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Taking this time with my kids means the world to me. It is my honor and duty to raise them up to be better than myself. It was in this moment, far from the sounds of suburban life, that the juxtaposition of the quote struck me.  As I glanced through the trees, over the standing water, and watched the blur of my son and daughter, I smiled. This moment was the embodiment of the quote from Goethe. My children were simultaneously showing their roots and wings. It was beautiful, and inspiring.

This is not a mark of completion, but a trail marker on the way. It is a sign that I am doing something right, that amidst the trials and failures, there is something beginning to grow.

 

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Just when we think that Spring has finally sprung…

Things were looking up.  The sky has been a beautiful shade of blue. The clouds have been white and puffy like marshmallows dancing in the sky. We were able to open the windows and let in some fresh, warm air. Spring had arrived! The birds were chirping, the grass was growing, and all was right with the world.

Then I looked at the ‘spring’ weather today.

Just when you think spring has sprung

First I see that there is rain.  I pay that no mind, it comes with the season. Then I looked a little closer.  How is it getting COLDER? I understand that cold fronts move, and the jet stream does its thing.  But, we were looking great. Incremental climbs every day. We were a little over 70 yesterday, and now, what do I see.  50 degrees, followed by 40 degrees. Then there will be a quick jump back to 70! Followed by another round of declining temperatures.

Perhaps it is a result from being cooped up so long.  Between everyone being sick… forever, and the weather, we have been confined. Haphazardly glancing out the window and sighing, mostly out of remorseful disgust. Having three kids under the age of five, we need spring.  We need the puffy marshmallow-esque clouds and the blue skys to come. To be able to open our doors and let the kids run, carefree and barefoot in the sun warmed grass.

But, it is not meant to be spring, just yet. We will now keep looking to the days that will come. All in hopes that our home, and our sanity can outlast the final thralls of winter.  Do not get me wrong, I am an autumn/winter guy.  But as parents, running low on coffee and chocolate, we need spring. We need spring rather badly.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

A new day, a new fear arises.

“Courage is resistance to fear, master of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

A new, and great, fear that just came across my inbox, is the potential changes that are being discussed for Medicaid.  Five years ago, I would have paid it no mind, but now I have no choice.

Though nothing is final (let alone 100% confirmed) there has been talk about changing Medicaid to a block grant system.  This would (potentially) reduce the funding that states receive, and heavily effect medical waivers. How can this be? After reading the article in Disability Scoop “With Talk Of Medicaid Changes, Waiver Services May Be At Risk” (Link HERE)  I find myself, yet again, typing in a flurry.

My daughter receives the amazing care that she does thanks to a medical waiver for her Craniosynostosis. There are countless ways (too long to discuss here) that her waiver has helped her, and our family.  It was also no easy task working through the waiver. Not because my daughter does not qualify, but because the system was a little broken when we first tried.

After many months, and moving out of a county which we will most likely never move back to (#grudgeholder), our fighting paid off and a waiver was granted. The sigh of relief has yet to cease from this moment. I broke down in tears over reading the letter letting us know Zoey was now covered. Not figurative tears, full on, fall to my knees, hold my baby, rocking back and fourth tears of joy.

So, what am I going to do about it?

First and foremost, I am going to pray.  My prayer is for clarity and discernment for those having these discussions. This includes myself.

Second is that I will continue to speak.  My journey has been to create a place of light, support, and strengthen.  I am unwavering in that.  I also realize my place as a voice for the voiceless.  Even though my daughter is making leaps and bounds in her ability to speak, my voice has yet to grow tired.

Finally, I will research and fight when needed. As I stated, this is not something that is confirmed will happen.  There is a good deal of, shall we call it, “early information” that seems to be making its way to news desks. More needs to be known.  If, as more is known, it becomes clear that this may happen, I need to make my voice louder.  Exactly how, that remains to be seen.

For nearly five years I have fought too long and very hard for my daughter to have a ‘normal’ life, to have a pen stroke take that away…. armor up, it is going to be a heck of a fight.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.