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Fun Tuesday

Peyton has developed this ongoing no/yes relationship with school….already. I feel like telling her that she has many years yet to go, so get used to it. Then I can almost hear her in my head saying “I survive cancer to be forced to go to school? Are you kidding me?” Yeah well, that whole sympathy thing wears off eventually, I guess.

She has this thing she does every night just before bed. She asks the question “Where are we going tomorrow?” This started back during the early days of chemo, when we were going up to the clinic 5 days a week and she wanted to be mentally prepared I suppose. She was also checking to see if there was anything fun on the schedule, the CCC, a playdate, Grandma time, whatever…if the kid had a Palm Pilot it would be embarrassingly busy.

But now, every night she asks “Where am I going tomorrow?” And I tell her “School”…”No, I’m not”…”Yes, you are”….”I don’t want to go to school”…and it always ends the same way “You’re going to school or we stay home and you hang in bed all day”…”Fine, I’ll go to school”.

The thing is, it’s like there’s some strange force field of happiness around her classroom. She pulls back and I have to tug her across the threshold of the door, but once she’s in – she’s all “oh yeah, I like this place!” She’s adjusting well to the more organized structure of the classroom, she follows instructions pretty well, she’s already got the rhythm of the day down pat and she’s figuring out the whole cold lunch thing.

Very proud of her. Totally over that whole emotional fit of leaving her at school.

Monday the kids and I headed south to Bradenton. Each year the [url=http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org]Leukemia and Lymphoma Society[/url] holds a nationwide fundraiser called Pennies-for-Pasta. I hope all of you parents have heard of it because your school participates in it. The Olive Garden restaurant chain is the sponsor of this fundraiser. Each school commits to a 3 week change drive and the classroom that raises the most money gets a wonderful catered in dinner from Olive Garden to their room. Last year, out local schools raised just under 300,000$!!! So, it’s amazing what kids can do with the change that falls into the couch, in the car, in the laundry.

Each school district has an Honored Hero that represents their efforts, they raise funds in honor of that child. Peyton is the Honored Hero for the Bradenton area. You might be wondering why she’s not the hero for the Brandon area, seeing as how she has made it her mission in life to ensure that the Brandon store never goes out of business. Well, there are lots of Leukemia kids in Brandon and our very precious friend Sierra will be representing our local Brandon schools. Bradenton has 4 schools participating this year, I’m absolutely thrilled that Brandon has 34 schools participating!!

On Monday the kids and I went down and met with the people from the schools who are participating and got to explain a little about our life with cancer, how Leukemia has touched us. Our hope is that in meeting a family who directly benefits from the L&L programs, the research they fund, it will help put faces with the disease and let the kids know that cancer isn’t just a grown-ups disease, that kids their own ages are get it too.

We are hoping for a fantastically successful event for each school. If you’re interested in having a Pennies-for-Pasta event in your area, PLEASE contact the L&L, it’s not hard and it’s a fantastic way to teach kids the value of a compassionate heart.

Peyton announced at dinner that she loved Cody Bertoch…again…but this time it was followed by the words “I’m going to marry that boy.” I’m sure that Peter is going to just love that!

Today I had a special treat! Peyton and I got the kids off to school and instead of heading straight to Little Tales, we went by the hospital to pick up Mathew Gliddon’s little brother Andrew. We had the wonderful pleasure of taking Andrew with us to Little Tales for the morning. He is one of the happiest kids I’ve ever seen, he’s got the shiniest eyes and I forgot how exciting everything is at 2. It was nice to be able to do something to lighten the load for the Gliddons, and I ended up having the best time with Andrew.

Just in case you were wondering, I don’t want any more kids. But I would totally adopt Andrew if they ever decide to put him on the market.

After dropping Andrew back with his family, Peyton and I got to join Kay and Dana Bertoch and our newest friends Susan and Presley Dickson for a wonderful mall excursion. We ate lunch, we window-shopped for shoes, it was fun. Poor Presley is in the throws of a long round of steroids and I remember those days well. The 5 day pulses that Peyton does are not always fun, but they are nothing compared to her during the 21 day rounds. There were days I would stand in the shower and just cry and cry because I couldn’t take the changes that happened to her. It was emotionally, physically and psychologically draining for both of us, not to mention the rest of the family who walked around in fear of tripping some mental wire that would set off the grenade that was STEROID-PEYTON.

I’m so glad those days are behind us, but I’m glad that because we went through them I can look the parents in the eyes and say “You’ll make it…it goes away…the changes aren’t permanent, your child will someday be human again.” I remember when that big wrestling guy went berserk and killed his family and the news announced that he was on steroids and they thought it was part of the cause.

Nathaniel looked at me and, all wide eyed seriousness, “Peyton’s not going to kill us is she?”

I don’t make promises I can’t keep, son. I hope not.

I got a call from the school today about Rachael. Poor kid. She apparently got her fingers slammed in a door. Three fingers from her left hand slammed on the first knuckles. They’re a little swollen and they’ll be bruised up but she’s bending them and no complaints. But the call that I got was “RACHAEL’S HURT! She blah blah blah blah blah.”

Is she bleeding? No. Is she still crying? No. Can she move her fingers? Yes. Did you ice them? Yes. Does she need to go the ER for any reason? No.

Why are you people calling me!?

No, really, I’m glad they let me know ASAP, but she was fine when I talked to her and although her scream apparently scared the living daylights out of every person in the middle school building, she is a-ok.

One of the middle school kids walked up to me after school and said “Your daughter can really scream.”

Yes, I know, it’s good to have skills to fall back on in case college doesn’t pan out for her.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

2 Comments on “Fun Tuesday”

  1. #1 Maryellen Flint
    on Jan 15th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Anissa, I'm so glad God decided that you were "the one" that would ask me to go for coffee.=) I so needed that. Next time, and yes there will be a next time, I promise!!!, I can do the listening. The boys love having Peyton at school. Each day they tell me about their Peyton sightings. It's hilarious! Today, though, was especially funny in the car after school. James- "Mom, there was this girl that slammed her fingers in the library door" interrupted by Justin – "That was Rachel." James- "Holy cow can she scream! She scared the living daylights out of me!" Justin- "She can scream real loud, especially when she slams her fingers in the door." As if this was done on purpose as to see exactly how loud and how much echo she could cause in the MS building. Although, I would of love to have had cameras set up to see teachers/kids reactions. You know that had to have been funny. Tell Rachel we are so sorry and if she wants to put a hit out on the culprit who slammed the door to let Justin know and he can take care of business for her. J/K (That probably sounded horrible to those who don't know the Flint Family's warped sense of humor. But, then again they do know you so they shouldn't be surprised. LOL)

  2. #2 Angela
    on Jan 16th, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Tears are in my eyes. After reading the line that poor Rachael was going to be okey, I laughed so hard. I will NEVER forget the scream that stopped the mouse dead in its tracks in Indiana. It is a family trait, she cannot help it. One scream at school, and hey she is famous. :SMILE

    I am glad Peyton loves school. I have had several that once they are through the door they were okay too. (hint: keep little stickers with you and once through the door give her one on her hand. She will be able to look at it for about 15 minutes and know that you will miss her but know she is having fun and when it comes off at school it won't matter cause she will be happy.