Finding Hope, Redemption, Courage... from Cancer

"(At one time) my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend." - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Monday, November 22, 2010

Noelle (Family Christmas Update #2)

Here is our extremely talented creative girl, who unique view of the world consistently provides fresh perspective for those around her. She is thoughtful and enthusiastic, passionate about the things she likes (music, dance, art, school!) and those she loves (mom, dad, elliana, her friends at school, grandma, grandma's dog walter, the cousins... probably in reverse order to what I've put here!) Everything she does is whole-hearted and full of laughter and FUN!

I remember my mom telling me that she was pretty sure I had her and dad figured out by the time I was 18 months, standing up to them and pointing out the things they were doing that was inconsistent with what I'd been taught. Well, this apple certainly does not fall far from the tree. She is quick to see what her mom and dad do wrong and does not tolerate any quick dismissals of our behaviour. And though it can drive us crazy, I really love that Noelle has such a strong sense of self. I know that she won't easily be swayed by other people's opinions. She tests things out for herself.

She's also very aware of what she's feeling and doesn't hesitate to tell us. It makes for some lengthy discussions at times as we work through how to process those feelings, but when we get tired we find ourselves encouraged by writers like Dr. Haim Ginott (Between Parent and Child), Adele Faber (Siblings without Rivalry) and Dr. Sears, as well as Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence," that the effort we're putting in here will one day pay off. Let's hope they're all right!

Noelle is a natural care-taker. She shows compassion for those around her and values equality and justice. She loves learning how to help other people be good friends as she learns to be a good friend herself at work. She's the girl who will look at me and say, 'mom, are you ok? can I bring you a glass of water?'

Noelle is a well-rounded girl who loves a lot of things and wishes she had more time and energy to do all of them - okay, probably wishes her parents had more energy to let her do them!!! She especially would like to play hockey and basketball... but maybe another year, we said. Let's stick with music and dance this year.

As a reward for her piano practicing, as well as for trying new foods and doing her chores, Noelle asked to work for a "hockey buddy jersey." Yeah, I wasn't sure what she meant right away either. Last Christmas David got me a Ryan Kesler jersey, so for his birthday I returned the favor and got him an Alex Burrows one. Noelle told me last week as we watched the game that she wanted to have a "hockey buddy" just like us, and when I asked her to pick who she wanted, she deliberated a long time before picking #33. Not bad, Noelle. Fitting of course, that the true captain and award winner of this house would pick the captain and award winner of the Canucks (though he's not playing like it this week. Yikes). Her sister is also earning her own jersey - though her stickers are for successful potty training days instead of piano and chores. Noelle picked #22 for her. Wouldn't my grandpa laugh to see these girls wear the jerseys of the two players he loved to call the "sisters"!! I can hear him laugh right now. Anyhow, I think Noelle thinks if you put the jersey on then you're as good a player as that person, and they're like your "buddy." That girl just makes me smile.

The best - and hardest - part of Noelle's year has been adjusting to school. She's learning to follow verbal commands and working with a speech pathologist/school counselor to develop further confidence and decreased response time in the classroom. She absolutely loves her classmates and teacher and absolutely hates missing school. She's made a few friends there who she values very dearly and even with a high fever, chills, shakes and thick cough today she cried when I said she needed to stay home and rest.

This weekend my first baby turns five. But she's no longer a baby - far from it. Where did that time go?

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