Saturday, March 14, 2015

Angels in Disguise

To the manager named Tiffany at Schlotzskys on Camp Bowie Street, in Fort Worth, Texas:  Thank you.  There are so many things I want to thank you for, but I will start with this...Thank you for your excellent service.  You were so helpful, friendly and truly exuberant.    Thank you for checking on us at our table, asking if we needed anything.  I have always loved Schlotzskys, and it is one of my favorite sandwich shops, but I will say that I plan on making a point to specifically visit your store again, and here is why:

Thank you for introducing yourself to my boys, first to my oldest son who has a rare craniofacial syndrome called Apert Syndrome.  You introduced yourself to him, asked him his name and shook his hand, and told him that he was a very handsome young man.   He then said, without prompting from his mom, to you, "thank you," and you said, "you're welcome."  This in itself is a huge accomplishment.  You see, we are used to stares and avoidance.   But on top of that, Logan is an introvert.  You have no idea how much this meant to me as his mom, to see someone acknowledge him, seeing him as a person and not someone to avoid. Thank you for not being afraid of taking that chance that no matter what, you might make someone's day.  Well rest assured Tiffany, you did.  You made all of us smile, and you made a thirteen year-old boy who has had 11 surgeries to correct his skull and facial bones, feel like he was just like every other customer in that restaurant.  Not only are you an exceptional manager and a true testimony of what kindness is, but an angel in disguise.
Lisa Brown

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Finding the Silver Linings

Two and a half days of ice, and no school, which also means no work.  One day back to school, wait, what day is it? I'm confused.  Oh, yes, it's Thursday, our first full day that seems like Monday.  Friday, school again, and a Texas blizzard arrives, so after two hours of school, back home it is.  But this time, it is a very long and treacherous drive.  Normally my drive to school is about 35 to 40 minutes since we live out in the country.  However, this time it took me an hour and 4o minutes to get home.  It was snowing so much that I couldn't even tell where the road was.  Cars were sliding all around me and getting stuck.  At one point, I'm pretty sure Logan could tell that I was nervous and scared as I gripped the steering wheel with all my might and concentrated on what my plan of action was for driving in this madness.  So he turned to me, put his hand on my arm and patted me and said, "just take it slow and easy."  And then I looked over at him, and he had his hands together and was praying.  Hold on.  I thought I was always the one that had to keep it together and stay calm.  I guess my body language gave me away.  This sweet, grumpy, hormonal thirteen-year-old is one who tends to panic when things go awry, or if he thinks he will be one minute late to anything.  I am happy to learn that he was able to find calmness amidst this storm.  And believe me, he has made it through numerous storms, medical storms, some I would rate as hurricanes, those of which I have had to be the calm, the still.  So this time, he was "my" calm.  I thanked Jesus for this boy who always shows me hope, and prayed for our safe return home.  Meanwhile, Landon is in the back, taking video of the snow as well as cars that are spinning out everywhere and sending them to his cousins who live in Wyoming!  Of course they are used to snow, but are also aware of how often Texas gets weather like this, so they thought it was cool.  He puts his headphones on and be-bops away with no worries.  I thanked Jesus for this boy, the one who reminds me to laugh, and definitely keeps me on my toes.

So here we are. days of rest and recuperation.  It's fun for the first few days and then cabin fever sets in.  I am content, but the kids become bored and restless.  They play, argue, play and argue.  This cycle repeats...We decide to watch the movie, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  This is a good family movie and quite hilarious.  So hilarious that Logan laughs so hysterically loud that Landon and I cannot even enjoy the movie.  It's a forceful laugh sometimes.  Let me just say, that this is how Logan works.  He either laughs really really loud or talks the entire time making comments or asking questions.  This makes it hard to enjoy a family show or movie, without feeling annoyed.  My other Apert moms whom I've talked to about quirks our kids do, will get this.  But, regardless of the conditions our kids have, or do not have, they all do things that get on our nerves.  This is where we are a normal family.  We disagree, love, bicker, hug, cry, laugh and forgive despite having different circumstances than most families do.
Luckily, Landon and I had already seen this movie, so it made it a little easier to tolerate.
This moment reminded me of the times when Logan was in the hospital after surgeries.  I would tell Steve that I couldn't wait to hear his loud forced laugh again.  It would be so much better than his crying and moaning in pain and agony that I could not take away, but just try to soothe by remaining calm.  In those times I longed for things to be back to our normal.  

When I have moments of not feeling so normal, and the kids have strung my nerves as tight as a violin, I try to find my silver lining, and that is, being so thankful that my kids are healthy, breathing, smiling, laughing, arguing and rough-housing.  Thanking God that right now, we are, in our own way, a normal family, and He has blessed us time after time after time.
And He never leaves our side.  This is my silver lining.