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Archive for February, 2012

As a Mom of a child with a severe physical disability and multiple health challenges, I do my fair share of heavy lifting and cleaning up bodily fluids each day.  Tasks that Moms of normally developing children only handle when their kid’s are babies or sick. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have some sort of stain on my clothes. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact of my life. However, when I walked into Ella’s room the other day after a recent play-date I found this beautiful mess. I must admit I cried tears of joy as I picked up the dress-up clothes and toys scattered all over the floor, a chore I rarely do, turning me into a beautiful mess as well. 

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This week I’ve been working on memorizing dialogue for Bikram Teacher Training in April. One phrase that keeps replaying in my mind over and over is “with your smiling, happy face,” as in, “Try to lock your knees, creating a tremendous stretching feeling, pain sensation all over underneath you legs, inside-out, from bones to skin, coccyx to the toes, with your smiling happy face.”  I love to smile and try to as much as I can all day long. A good smile can change a bad mood into a good one pretty fast and has the power to elevate the mood of those around you.  In my Bikram practice this week I have been smiling a lot, while I hold postures, after the postures and while resting in savasana (dead body pose). I have many reasons to smile during class: I love to practice yoga, I am grateful that I have a wonderful, warm studio to practice in and an incredible yoga community to practice with, I am very lucky that I have the time each day to devote to my Bikram practice and most of all I feel so blessed that I have a supportive family that is allowing me to spend two months in Los Angeles at Bikram Teacher Training. Three days into my week of smiling during class one of my teachers noticed, commented on my smiling, happy face, and smiled too.

I suppose the infectious nature of a good smile is really nothing new in my family. In fact, I live with two people who have already figured out the power of a genuine smile.

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In the 9 years that Ella has been in our lives Dave and I have fallen into certain roles when it comes to her care each day. I prepare and blend most of her food, bathe her, take her to therapy appointments, research new therapies and treatments, design, decorate and bedazzle adaptive equipment, plan playdates and activities for playdates, cut and paint her nails and make sure she is always dressed in the latest styles. Dave builds the adaptive equipment, manages Ella’s complicated medicaid insurance and trust fund, programs her communication computer, is her arms and legs, makes her laugh all of the time and takes her to school as her para-educator (HUGE). Dave and I have never discussed these roles it’s just the way it happened and if I really think about our roles it makes perfect sense. I am really good with a bedazzler and nail polish and Dave is beyond amazing with Ella at school, a job I have come to realize I could never ever do. He is calm, understanding, loving and open to the many questions that kids in elementary school have about Ella. Me, on the other hand, consider pushing kids down the stairs if they look at Ella sideways (Did I say that out loud?). So this works for us. 

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