Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It Would Be A Shame

(Anonymous -- The song is by a group called the F 50’s. If you browse iTunes, you’ll find some oldies that they’ve remixed into dance/exercise tunes, including a really fun version of Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini that I just love. The rest of you Anonymous {Anonymi??} - thanks for putting your names in your comments, I appreciate getting a chance to know who's who.)

I drove Kendrie to Atlanta today for her regularly scheduled three-month follow up visit at the oncology clinic. Because she is doing so well, because she is having no complications, or late-term side effects to date (knock knock, who's there? Oh, me! With the wood!) these visits are not stressful for me. They’re actually sort of fun, since we occasionally run into other cancer families we know, and get to see staff and employees (Hi, Kati!) that we miss from our regular-days.

And, every three months, it’s a great reminder to me (I know, STILL with the reminders, when will I shut up already??) about how blessed and lucky and fortunate we are, with how great Kendrie handled her treatment. Although it’s probably silly, I’m like a new parent at a well-baby exam, eager to show off my beautiful daughter and how wonderfully she is doing.

Today, waiting in the exam room for the doctor to come in, I looked over at Kendrie with pride, noting her growth and energy and vigor. Such a far, far cry from the days I had to push her in a stroller because she didn’t have the strength to walk from the parking lot -- bald, nauseous, fatigued. I felt so proud and happy today, and let my eyes drink in a good long look at the beauty and miracle that is my daughter.

And I noticed a few things.

Like the fact she seriously needs a haircut.

And what I thought was a rosy complexion is actually a sunburn from where I forgot to put sunscreen on her face at last weekend’s soccer game.

And how desperately her nails need to be clipped. And how despite taking a bath last night, there was dirt and grime under them. Eww.

And the huge ugly bruise on the back of her thigh that makes it look as though I’ve been beating her with a tire iron, which is in fact from falling off her brother’s bike ramp and landing on a scooter. {I have witnesses.}

And how the knees of her cargo pants were both stained, and one knee actually had a hole in it.

And how the toe of one of her tennis shoes has rubbed almost completely through, so I expect to see the toe of her sock (most likely a sock with a hole in the bottom, if I checked) will pop through any day now.

And I thought to myself, “Great. We got her through leukemia treatment and made it to the other side. It would be a shame now to lose her to DHS for neglect.”

And I said, “Kendrie, why are you wearing those old tennis shoes? The toes are practically worn out.”

She ignored me, so I tried again, “Honey, why didn’t you wear your school shoes? Or at least some that aren’t so worn out?”

And she shrugged, never taking her eyes off the television, and grunted, “Dunno”

So I figure if it’s not neglect, they’ll take her away in an attempt to improve her social skills. Although to be fair, she was mesmerized with the Timon and Pumba episode that the clinic had playing. It’s hard to carry on a conversation with your boring mother, when those two start their rascally shenanigans.

18 comments:

Stacie W from MN said...

It is so nice to know I'm not the only mom that critiques how my children look when we're in public (okay, maybe even at home, because you just never know when someone might stop buy & see them.) Somedays I think they pick out clothes that don't match or have holes & stains just because they know how much it bothers me. The worst part for me it the fact that my husband is oblivious to it, since he's the one home with them when they get ready for school...does he really NOT know that navy dress pants do not go with a black t-shirt?!

PS can we say addicted to your blog? I think I probably checked it 15 times today to see if you'd posted another blog yet.

Anonymous said...

Never apologize for the reminders. We've been given the gift of appreciating what can easily be taken for granted. Continue to celebrate!!!!

Claire in Indiana (by the way, I see you have another Claire who lives in Texas. Cool. I thought I was the only Claire over the age of ten and under the age of 90!)

liz from sumner said...

I followed Kendrie's site for a long time on CB - can't even remember from which site I found you guys from. It's been over 4 years since my friend Angie's little boy passed away (www.caringbridge.wa.kyle)...so many children since then that I've seen lose their battles. So, to see Kendrie and how healthy she is now is a gift, one that makes me so very, very thankful. Kendrie - you rock, girlfriend (that's a terminally-white-middle-aged woman's attempt at being cool!). Kristie - what size are Kendrie's shoes?? Would love to send her a new pair of tennies!!

Anonymous said...

Kristi-
This is the first time I have left you a comment, but I come to your blog at the end of the day because you make me laugh! I am so glad that I am not the only parent that notices how funky my kids look *after* it is too late to fix it!

Thanks for the (almost) daily laughs! You rock!
Heather in Nebraska

Cindy said...

I have just recently found your blog, and really love it.

Personally, I don't think Kendrie's appearance sounds like you're neglectful...it sounds like she is now a healthy, active child...with a mother that allows her to make independent decisions! All good things!

I hope it was a great appointment.

kim said...

Okay, there's what you saw when you looked at Kendrie while at the clinic. Now, here's what other parents of sick children would see when THEY looked at Kendrie while at the clinic. HOPE. She's one of the ones that not only made it through, but did it in stellar fashion! Which is very, very good since it may be a number of years until any other type of fashion will be even a remote possibility--HAHA! As I said in the "dad drinking alcohol" post, ya gotta love the spunky ones; and I'd say Kendrie is definitely a spunky one! Due in large part, I think, to the fact that YOU ROCK! :)

Not that anybody really cares, but I just have to say--to Claire in IN and Claire in TX, and any other Claire who reads this--I LOVE the name Claire. I think it is a beautiful, classy, ageless name.

Anonymous said...

Kristi
I too look at my children that way with chocolate milk moustaches in teh middle of Walmart thinking.. what the heck is that on their face? dont they know how to wash? must i do everything! But i then think oh i better not drag them by the arm to the bathroom like that lday did the last time i was here to her child and i sat and looked at her like she was evil!
Im glad that you got to go to the clinic and felt blessed to have a healthy child. We often forget that we are blesses in the midst of the insanity that is better known as children!
Kris from ND

Anonymous said...

We just had a 6 month check up with Ryder, our 11 year old son who had Hodgkins 3 years ago now. All of these same thoughts ran through my head. I also looked at the mop of hair he is sporting, which I hate and thought how much better he looked now compared to that balled, sick little boy we had not that long ago! Thankful....that we are!
Lorianne Lytle
Manitoba

Briana said...

So glad to know that Kendrie is doing so well.

It was scary reading about how Kendrie looked - for a moment there, I thought Dalton might be with you, because that's what I see when I look at him! The boy loves soccer, and so any time there is a ball (including inside t he house) he is kicking it. His shoes wear out sooooo fast. And he always has grass stains on his jeans. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie! Hope Kendrie had a GREAT appointment. Let us know the results.

And yes, this is Claire in TX - named for my mother's middle name. I was the ONLY Claire growing up. But now, my kids have friends whose name is Claire! It's becoming popular!! I love it!

Claire in Texas

Anonymous said...

Tammy from Fort Worth says, Kristi, why must you ruin a good cry at how wonderful Kendrie is doing with all that petty stuff about her nails, hair, clothes, shoes, ect, lol! I have a pre-k little darl'in, and she wears the same 2 pair of pants all week, like she does'nt have 50 really cute outfits hanging in her closet, why? Good question, its because they don't look 'cute' with her shoes, can you beleive that crap! So I tell her "Savannah, your teacher must think we are the poorest people around, she says, nope, she does'nt care, she likes my pants!

Anonymous said...

personality...that's what I say about my 8 year old. He definitely shows his personality in the clothes he chooses to wear. His favorite thing to wear right now is baseball socks with shorts and the socks are 2 different colors. I learned along time ago - which battles to fight and that is not one of them! He does have to match (my opinion not his) when we are going out in public. He doesn't know what the words jacket or coat mean either! I often wonder how 4 children with the same parents are so different!
Glad to hear Kendrie is doing well!
Kristina
Ohio

D said...

As usual LOL- Ahhh, Beautiful Kendrie!!!! I can just imagine how happy you must feel as you finish another appointment and get a step closer to Kendrie being declared CURED by the doctors, though we know she is! And, as Claire wrote, never apologize for reminders! It's super for those of us who have been following your journey to be reminded just how far you guys have come. It gives us hope and helps us ot realize that those "major" issues we are facing aren't really that major after all.

Marysienka said...

Ah! I see it's not only my mom who comments on how we look (me and my sisters... we are 15-21-25 btw) ;) I'm glad Kendrie is doing so well, she went through all of this like a champ! Here's hoping everything continues in the right direction!

Renee in Canada

Anonymous said...

So, you know, right about now, I'd settle for naked and OT, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). Heck, no one at the clinic cares how you dress Kendrie and believe me, none of the other moms are looking at her clothes. They are checking out her hair (man, she has a lot, I wonder where she is in treatment?), how full of energy she is and thinking, "I will be there someday...."

Heck, you could dress her in ashes and a sack cloth and she'd still be beautiful.

Marie
www.caringbridge.org/visit/marielle

Anonymous said...

Kim always says what I'm thinking...and she says it better.

Dixie (who also loves the name Claire)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,
Kendrie sounds so cute, certainly independant, that's good!! I love the photo' of her in her football kit going to school, that's so funny!!! My daughter would never wear things I wanted her to wear, she often went around in jeans frayed at the bottom, but that was the fashion. I remember trying to persuade her to stop parting her hair down the middle and brushing it very straight, it would have looked so nice with no parting or a side parting but she wouldn't listen to me then, now she's 22 she often asks me what I think of things, it's nice, not sure exactly how much notice she takes when I tell her though!

Take care,
Love Angela

Melissa said...

It must be quite a change of pace and a huge relief to only have to worry about her appearance rather than her counts and health. Actually sounds really silly...but a mom's got to be a mom. So happy that she's doing so well!