Friday, September 2, 2011

being 11...

People ask me all the time how the kids are doing and I answer they are doing well.  And they are.  But  after spending 3 months with them all day, I have a better sense that I am not the only one touched by cancer.  Its just more subtle with the boys, and they don't always have words to articulate how it makes them feel.

We laughed at Colton the other day.  His comment was, "well I don't get to do anything cause mom is sick in bed every day..."  We had to laugh, because its simply not true.  We teased him about all the things we've done and he had to admit that might have been an exaggeration.  But I do get that is how he perceives me.

And Nolan?

Being 11 hasn't been easy on him.  We've tried unsuccessfully several times now to rescue a golden retriever.  The organization warned us that the young dogs go fast.  Every time we've inquired about just corresponding with a foster family, we've been told that dog is spoken for already.  Nolan gets his hopes up so high- theres been Jack, Susie, Gunner, and Booster as of late.  All spoken for.  We were a step closer with Jack than we've been with the other dogs- our family's file made it to the foster family to review.  But it was rejected because they felt Jack needed a fence.   Nolan sobbed.   He had already picked out the spot where Jack was going to sleep, next to his bed of course.  I know he just desperately wants that unconditional bond of love with a pet that he misses.

He has such a big heart.  His emotions can be so intense sometimes and anger flashes at times when he is covering up for how hurt he is.  Its later that he verbalizes how filled with remorse he is over his words, and how defeated he feels.

He's been camping out on our bedroom floor at night.  He waits till we are asleep and then sneaks quietly in with his pillow and blanket.   He has turned down going to 3 birthday parties this summer, and two sleep overs. He doesn't want to leave my side.  Its all I can do to convince him to go play at one or two friends houses on occasion.  But he either can't stay long or his friends can't play at all and I see how sad it makes him, but he'll tell me its okay, he just wants to be close to home and check on me anyways.   He is 11 sometimes, sometimes 30.

So we're bonding- this togetherness of him and I.  I see how very Tween he really is.  He and his Dad built this form for stick handling.  He is out in the garage every day with his stick and a ball weaving it in and out.  He is creating discipline.   He has also gotten strong enough to help Rick do some demo at my mom's old house.  He swung the hammer like a pro and stuck with it all day.  He has grown a ton this summer and is long and lean.  But I still find the little boy in him.  I'll find him making a team out of his stuffed animals and turning the basement into a baseball field.  The couch cushions double for bases and his stuffed animals get a work out around those bases.  

He is excited for 5th grade.  Many of his friends are in his class this year and he has such a fun teacher again. And then I see that smile fill his face when he speaks of seeing his friends every day at school... and I am hopeful for him.  For us.  Cancer is leaving its mark on both of us- our hearts just continue to expand together. 


  1. Good morning Moorhead friend. Thanks for another heartfelt and rich post. Of course, it about broke my heart to hear the reality of it. But it's also good for us to hear that. We out here need to know how your whole family is being affected so we can respond appropriately. When I pray for you now, I'm going to throw in a few extra for your guys. :) Guys are special; they are told not to express their feelings by our society, but they are inwardly full of emotions that need out somehow. I'm glad you're giving him ways to express himself. In the end, the very best gift we can give our children is knowledge of our Lord, because at some point, we are all going to be separated from them for times, and we will not be there to catch their falls. If they have God there to lean on, they will be okay! So, we all have the same task together, and you are doing a beautiful job of it. XXOO, Roxane

  2. Oh, Vicky, I always said that sometimes the hard part of cancer is watching those who love you "watch" you. For me, this was more my husband and family since my boys were so little, I can only imagine how hard it is for your boys and then for you to see how it affects them. Cancer unfortunately happens to a family and not just the person diagnosed. definitely praying for your boys, that God will give them peace and comfort as well.

  3. I can really relate to this post and Nolan. When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, we all felt like we wanted to stay close by him. My Mom and brother stayed close by his side for a year. Me, living across the country, called on the phone as much as possible. We just wanted my Dad to know he was loved, needed and cared about. Yes, cancer does touch the whole family but you having this special time with Nolan is a blessing all into itself. God knows just what you need.

    Hugs my friend!

  4. Hey Vicky--great post. When my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 when I was 16 all notions of college outside of Mhd, globe trotting vacations, everything was erased and I made the choice to be by her forever. I have never, ever had a change in that thought process in 15+ years. You are right, cancer does change you and leaves its mark on you forever. I couldn't be happier with the results of that time I spent reflecting on what was important to me. I hope that Nolan will recognize that feeling someday. Give that big boy/guy a hug from us.

  5. A tug-at-heart post, my friend.
    Finding the little boy in them is one of the most wonderful finds you will ever make.
    Much love to you....

  6. What a sweet, sensitive, attuned, beautiful boy - just like his Mom.

  7. You write beautifully of difficult places of the heart ... for all of you.

  8. Oh, I think watching your family watch you go through cancer is so hard! Camden, who is 8, has a much harder time dealing with my cancer. He doesn't know how to talk about it or show his fears. On the other hand, he has also been more compassionate in these last 5 months than in his life so I do appreciate the growth in that area. Rory, my 4 year old girly, is so much more emotional about the cancer, both in being sad, but also in being so verbal about wanting to take care of me, and she has held my hand and prayed for me so many times. Such a sweet time with both of them.

  9. Oh this is so true Vicky.
    I can just imagine what the poor boys are going through watching the anchor in their lives suffering.
    So far you have every reason to believe in a good ending and this should help a lot to keep them going.
    Its good school started and they will be busy doing boy things.
    Just keep going Vicky and don't look back.

  10. Your son will become one who draws people to him, because he understands compassion.

  11. What a beautifully written post about a special kid.

  12. Your boys' and your husband's love for you is the warmest comforter that you could ever have.

    Beautiful post from beautiful you once again, my friend.

    P.S. I have to show the ball weaving picture to my son John. Very cool.

  13. I'm just so impressed at your family's closeness. I think about you and your family all the time.

    Yup, 11 yrs. old is that age of changing bodies and emotions. Both your boys are great kids!!!

    P.S. Trying to catch up on all my blog reading....way behind.


    this is a trained border collie

  15. How tight and special this close relationship is with your son. I also have an 11 years old and can relate with lots of what you wrote.
    Thank you for sharing :-)
    Sending healing energy your way


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