Monday, October 8, 2007

A great kid named Sofie

I promise I'll write more on my retreat experience, but this isn't an entry about that. This is an entry about what a great kid Sofie is and about what a hard time she's having with Debra's illness.

Homework started this past week for our dear Sofie. She's not a big fan of having to do work at home since she works so hard during the day to get her classwork done. Being super nerd that I am, I was kind of excited about the new way homework was being organized and presented to the lower elementary kids at Sofie's school. All the kids in each grade level 1-3 were given a binder with the entire years homework enclosed. For 2nd graders, homework consists of spelling, reading and math. It gives parents the chance to prepare a little more for homework.

Purely by accident, I introduced SchoolHouse Rock to her. We were "high fiving" when I continued on with counting in FIVES. (I actually hadn't realized that this was part of her math homework!) As I was saying, "5, 10, 15, 20..." the SchoolHouse Rock segment of Fives popped into my head. Since my video collection of these are actually video tapes, I figured we could find them on You Tube. I was correct in that assumption, so we watched a few online. She enjoyed them. If she only knew how much I relied on those to learn things like the preamble to the Constitution, the reason for the American Revolution, and how a Bill is introduced and it's path to becoming a law! Now many parents of my generation are using what we loved as kids to educate our own children. It's even cooler that they get 24/7 access when we had to wait until Saturday morning. The wonders of DVDs!!

Sofie's still lacking some basic self confidence around many aspects of learning. From what I've been reading, much of this is tied to the ADHD as that is one of the "signs" in girls. She is noticing that her "concentration pill" (Debra's term, not mine!) is helping her get her work done during each day, allowing her to participate in Fun Friday. Hey, everyone's gotta have goals!

Saturday, after a long day including a play date, scootering in the park and dinner at Sharon and Tracey's Sofie and I had another one of those "Mama Jamie/Sofie moments" discussing what's going on with Debra. We're in car after leaving the dinner party when we get into a conversation about something I can't recall. The talk evolved into Sofie making the statement that included, "when Mama Debra finishes treatment." I replied, "Honey, Mama Debra is never going to be finished with treatment." (I know that's not true, but didn't want to go into the discussion of what actually will happen if and when Mama Debra stops treatment.) "Whaaat? Whhhhyy?!?!" was her emotional reply. I could literally hear the pain and confusion in her voice. I teared up thinking of the best way to answer this plea. In my strongest, most confident voice I said,

"Honey, we don't want Mama Debra to be finished with treatment. She's having treatment to try to keep the Cancer out of her body."

"Mommy, Mama Debra has had Cancer TWO TIMES!!" she replies.

"Actually honey, it's the same Cancer."

And then in a rambling that I know was too much information, I tried to explain how Mama Debra's body just isn't responding to the treatment and how most people do, but a small percentage don't. I reiterated that my body did, so I'm okay.

Sofie got really quiet. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a sad, confused girl. I asked her if this made her sad. Quietly, she responded, "Yeah." Then in the way that kids do, she changed the subject to a benign topic.

She had a pretty fitful night of sleep that evening. I wonder what she dreamed about?

My girl is taking care of herself the best way she can. I'm doing all I can to support her in this journey. I know we'll all come out okay, I'm not looking forward to the last part of this ride.

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