Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grinch Lessons

I've been feeling a little "Grinch-y" lately... but don't tell Andrew!  After the past couple of weeks, he has come to "loathe" the Grinch (to quote the movie!).  Let me tell you why.  Why I'm "Grinchy" and why Andrew now despises him.

First, the other night my mom called to let us know The Grinch movie was on, the Jim Carrey version.  She thought Andrew might like it and he hadn't seen it before.  He is not usually scared of TV stuff anymore, so I figured it would be safe.  I mean, the kid is obsessed with Scooby Doo, and there are plenty of scary monsters on that show!  Anyway.  I turn the station.  Andrew is a little hesitant at first.  He wants to sit on my lap.  Pretty soon he said "I no like this movie.  Give it back to Ga Ga."  Ha!  I had told him it was Ga Ga's suggestion.  I requested that he try it for 2 more minutes (to use language he understands!).  He agreed.  It was the part where the Grinch is a baby and then a boy and for some reason, Andrew loves "baby" versions of characters (he loves "Scrappy" Doo, and "Baby Shreks").  He fell in love with the Grinch at this point.
Then I got an idea.  I remembered that I had an old Grinch from years ago that I had in my classroom.  I went searching as he continued watching.  Boxes and boxes of old teaching stuff in the basement- it was in box #3, brand new and the tag was still on it!  I gave it to him and he just went nuts.  Hugging it and would not let it go.  He wanted to take it to bed, and to school the next day.

When we got home from school the following day, he asked to watch it again.  Luckily I had a copy on VHS from years back.  So I put it in for him.  Well, this time,  I went all "teacher" on him and felt the need to explain why the Grinch was taking all the trees, decorations and presents away.  He looked so sad during that part so I gently told him that the Grinch was taking Christmas away, but that he gives it back at the end.  Big mistake.

Well, Andrew was having none of it.  Anyone who takes Christmas away is NOT okay in his book!

He picked up the Grinch doll that he was so lovingly becoming attached to, tossed it across the room and declared "I NO LIKE THAT GRINCH!"  And that was the end of that.  The movie was shut off and he has never asked to watch it, or played with the Grinch doll again.

Andrew loves Christmas.  In fact, I am almost nervous about taking the tree down when Christmas is over.  We decided to make the little tree in our family room "Andrew's tree" (or at least that is what he calls it!)  I moved most of the "kid" ornaments to that tree and got new ornaments on sale last year at 75% off for our big tree.  Andrew loves the ornaments. 
He has been really into them this year.  I have several Grinch ornaments (which he now has no time for!  Ha!) but also we have Thomas the train, Ralphie (from A Christmas Story) and a Toy Story one.   And Mater from Disneyworld.

Sometimes I catch him just standing there, staring at the tree.  He loves his ornaments.  It is so precious.  What is he going to say when mommy "takes Christmas away!?"

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. The Grinch hated Christmas - the whole Christmas season. Oh, please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or maybe his head wasn't screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small. 

I am feeling Grinchy because we got a phone call today.  From Iowa City.  I mentioned a while back that Andrew had a cardiology appointment in November.  Well, I never posted about it (but I had several people ask me about it!  Sorry I never posted).  But honestly, I had nothing to post about.  Yet.  Our cardiologist said things were stable (as usual).  But for Andrew, "stable" doesn't necessarily mean "good."  His pressures have remained high for almost 2 years now.  Sure, they haven't gotten worse, but they haven't gotten any better either.  And frankly, it is dangerous letting him go much longer without surgery.  We knew it was coming, but why does it still feel like a slap in the face?

He told us he was going to consult Iowa City and let us know what the next step would be.  So we've just been waiting.  I kept thinking I should call, but just never got around to it.  I figured the time would come where they'd call us, and I guess deep down I was willing to put it off as long as I could.

So they called this afternoon.  Right as I was getting Andrew ready for his big Christmas program at school.  They want us to come for a consultation with the surgeon.  And that most likely he was going to want to do it "sooner than later."  I wasn't quite prepared for this, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  What?? Like, how soon?  All of a sudden I just wanted to take him and run again.  Like I wanted to do when he was 7 months old the last time this happened.  Now he's my big boy.  I thought it was hard before, but now I know him.  I really know him.  He's a little person now.  With a personality, and a smile that lights up a room.  How can we possibly go through this again, so many years later?  

The truth is, we don't have a choice.  The time has come.  (Enter my "Grinch" feelings).  The Grinch's heart was too small.  But why did Andrew's have to be? (Sure, it's not his actual heart, it's his pulmonary arteries, but just play along with me for the analogy).  All we've heard since he was born was how small everything about him was.  He was born small, his heart was the size of a nickel.  His pulmonary arteries have failed to grow- they are too small.  

He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!

And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches plus two. 

It's time for us to let Andrew's pulmonary arteries grow.  It is selfish of me to want to shelter him from that.  It is time to cling to hope and faith in God, now more than ever.  And what better time to remember this lesson than the blessed Christmas season?  Andrew needs to have this done.  It will make him healthy.  The problem is, to us, he is already healthy.  On the outside.  He lives every day like a normal little boy who loves life and no one would ever suspect his heart is hiding a problem.  

So, like the Grinch opened his heart to Christmas, we are choosing to do the same.  God has put Andrew on this Earth for a very special purpose.  We know he is destined for great things.  We couldn't be more proud of the courageous little boy that he is.  And he deserves for his heart to be given the chance to grow!  

But this... this sound wasn't sad. Why... this sound sounded glad. Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all!  He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came! Somehow or other, it came just the same. 

That is the inevitable.  It is coming, whether we want it to or not.  And for the Grinch, it all turned out okay!  We know this will too.  Please pray for us as we have our consult in Iowa City on December 27th.  From there we will determine an upcoming date and start making plans.
Our hearts couldn't be more full this Christmas.  Just look at the blessings He's poured down upon us!

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