We have two July birthdays in our family now.
My sister’s middle son “S” has just turned 10- and what a little prankster he is. Every time I see a joke book or a magic kit I think of blonde; blue-eyed S. He has this quiet unobtrusive sort of sense of humour and he laughs at things a lot of other people don’t even notice, and he can make you leap out of your seat with a whisper (just ask his dad!) I must tell you more about my sister and her boys some time, its one special family that one.
And then today is my youngest nephew’s first birthday. I haven’t said much about “N” except to mention him as my brother’s son, but there is so much about this little boy that is special. He has these huge blue eyes that hypnotise you when you so much as look at him, and if you can make him laugh for you- you’re hooked! He has a deep grosgrain voice that is just so adorable in a little person. He absolutely loves books (pop-up books especially) and cars. I cannot explain how much this kid loves cars- people think we’re exaggerating ‘coz we’re family. But this is a one year old who will sit on his father’s lap and watch almost a whole F1 grand prix- making all the appropriate noises as well, and then he moans like hell when there’s an ad break and the cars disappear. He is happiest when he can walk around the parking lot in his walking ring and examine wheels up close. And don’t dare take him inside until he decides he’s had enough! He gets so excited when a car drives past him his whole body literally quivers! And the extra special thing about N is that when his mommy was about twelve weeks pregnant, they discovered through intense & specialised sonar check ups that he has Radial-Renal Syndrome. This syndrome affects the radius (the big bone in the forearm), the thumbs, the ears and the kidneys. As a result, N has one normal kidney and one little one that functions and sits low in his pelvic area. He also has one ear smaller than the other one with normal hearing, and both his arms end where his elbows are. He has two hands with four fingers each on the inside of each arm, all in perfect working order- minus the thumbs (and no- there isn’t and will not be any surgery or prosthetics involved) . He has adapted, and continues to adapt, learning like any baby would. One thing he did learn to do was use his feet when he couldn’t reach with his hands, his foot-eye coordination is amazing! He is also beautifully balanced- which a lot of people who have this syndrome aren’t lucky enough to be. Since both his arms are almost the same length he doesn’t battle with balancing, and they grow with him, by the time he goes to school they should reach the top of his head. Something we had to learn was to interpret N’s facial expressions when something was bothering him, where most babies would rub their eyes, ears or nose, N has no such luxury and we have to do it for him… after working out where the itch (or whatever) is. The things we take for granted! The incredible thing is that a few people suggested my brother and his wife terminate the pregnancy when it was discovered N had problems. Needless to say it was a few weeks of intense prayer, tears, discussion, doctor’s visits and angst. Now N is here and we do not know what we would have done without him! He is a treasure and an inspiration to everyone! So happy birthday N, here’s wishing you many, many, many more!!
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.