Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We're walking again

Last year, we fulfilled a promise to Will and honored his memory with the Walk for Will and Hope, a 2-mile leisurely trek to raise money for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. We didn't know what to expect, fumbled our way through and were knocked over by the reception, raising more than $6,000 for the foundation.

This year, the pressure is on. Between getting ready for Hope to start school next week (Lord almighty) a host of doctors' appointments, potential surgery to address Hope's tracheomalacia and figuring out when Oscar ever sleeps, we're sponsoring the walk again. It's at 9 a.m. Oct. 10 at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township. Same Bat Time and Channel as last year.

More appropriately, Mo is putting it on again. She's the captain, quartermaster and ringleader. I'm the dork who yells into the bullhorn.

Like last year, we're not sure what to expect. Times are tough. We're reluctant to hit people up again after giving so generously last year. It's a long drive.

But we've always been surprised by folks' generosity. And, like last year, we know we can count on support from hither and yon. Unlike last year, we're making it easier for you hither and yonners.

Partnering with the foundation, we've set up a site through First Giving to donate directly to the CdLS Foundation in honor of Will and Hope. It's www.firstgiving.com/walkforwillandhope. We're also putting a link directly on the blog near Hope's photo. If you're more comfortable, you can donate directly to the foundation. The address is on that site.

Of course, we'd prefer to see folks at the walk. Like last year, we'll be doughnuts. New this year is a special guest appearance all the way from Bangor, Maine, of my parents. Some kid named Oscar will be there as well.

As will Hope, who if all goes well, will actually be walking part of the walk. She's getting very close and very determined. If not, she'll sleep through it like she did last year. Either way, it should be a hootenany.

Hope to see you there. And thanks for enduring the sales pitch.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


A lot of folks ask if Hope enjoys being a big sister. We think she might.

The first day back from the hospital, I had Oscar in my lap. Hope scampered up and reached toward Oscar. My heart began to melt. She reached farther and farther toward his head. "Get the camera, Mo," I whispered, certain that Hope was responding to her biological wiring to pat the head of her little brother.

Hope inched farther still across my knee. My heart thump-a-lumped. She got closer still. My mind raced with ooey-gooey thoughts, daydreaming in fast-forward that my life from now on would be filled with sticky-sweet confectionary moments like these.

Hope's little hand almost snatched Oscar's pacifier from his mouth before I got wise.

It was a lot like that for the first few weeks. We tried to force bonding moments. Hope seemed vaguely interested that we brought home a new receptacle for binkies and bottles. She seemed to think Oscar was OK but no more so than a wooden peg or her necklace of milk jug caps.

Since then, Hope is far more cognizant of the 12-pound kid than the 90-pound dog she's spent a lifetime ignoring. When she thinks we're paying too much attention to Ozzie, Hope grabs our knees, sticks her head in our face and whines. She had a rough couple weeks with frequent crying spells that could have been attributable to sibling rivalry, the arrival of her last two molars or something else.

But she's warming to him as well. She seems to like Oscar, but quite as much as her cat, Jack. Hope pats his head. She looks at him lovingly. She gets a big smile whenever he wails in agony. We like to think it's a smile of "I've got your back, kid" rather than one of sheer sadism, but you never know.