Sunday, March 18, 2012

Experiencing Life

Here’s something you need to know about my husband: He is the best Daddy anyone could hope for. Especially for our Avery.

He’s been saying for a few months that he wanted to take Avery skiing. I have to admit that I thought he was sort of crazy. Who else looks at a little girl who struggles to take more than a few steps on her own and thinks “I need to take her skiing.” I thought, at best, Avery would be happy to sit in the snow, and at worst, it would end in tears of frustration. Wii Ski is another video game Avery loves to play, and I was afraid that her excitement at the prospect of learning to ski for real would be quickly squashed when she realised how impossibly difficult it was.

As our boys grow up, their desire and ability to go out and experience the world will increase. They will be able to go out and climb mountains, run races, scuba dive, ski, snowboard, skate, and do anything else they might want to do. What Gabe and I have come to realise is that, for Avery, the ability to really experience the outdoors may not increase – may, in fact, decrease – even if her desire to do so grows. Gabe feels a huge desire to give Avery all of these experiences, or as many as possible, while she is still small enough and while he is still strong enough to do the work for her. Gabe has taken Avery on a few hiking excursions – a few where he pushed her in a stroller, and even one where he strapped her to his back and carried her most of the way up, when she was almost five and weighed about 40lbs.

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Gabe does those things, because he wants Avery to experience these things:

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If I didn’t already love my husband, his devotion to Avery in this way would be enough to make me fall in love with him. I don’t know if he knows how teary-eyed I get when I look at pictures like these, and see how determined he is that Avery gets to experience the many wonderful things this world has to offer.
On Thursday of last week, we drove to Snowshoe, WV, to give Avery her first experience with skiing. I was very nervous, and almost wanted to call the whole thing off. But we went through with it, and Avery spent about an hour on the slope with her Daddy, who lovingly and patiently helped her figure out how to stay upright on her skis, shuffle forward, and fall without hurting herself. Then he took her on the ski lift and her world was a very happy place.


Here she is, all ready to hit the slopes!! And I was feeling nervous… I didn’t want that excitement and joy to be wiped off her face.

Here is the video Gabe put together of our day. He wasn’t particularly proud of this video, so he just uploaded it to his personal youtube rather than his Four-Eyed Fish one, and made it unlisted. However, I love this video. It has all three of my children being adorable, it shows what a great day we had seeing the giant radio telescope and playing at the ski resort, and it also shows how amazingly well Avery did on skis for the first time, and what a blessed and lucky girl she is to have Gabe as her Daddy.

PS, If you happen to agree with me that this video deserves to be made public instead of unlisted, because Avery and Gabe are awesome, please "like" it on youtube :)


Valerie said...

I too have often been moved to tears by Gabe's utter and complete devotion to his little girl. I was there when he took her to the cascades, pushing the buggy literally miles up that mountain while everyone else had a hard enough time just getting themselves up that steep climb. Then picking her up and holding onto her as he clambered over those rocks so she could have the best view of the waterfall. His energy, thoughtfulness and determination are amazing. Avery is truly a blessed child to have the parents she does. I love the video - not everything has to be a 5-star production. That boy Brogan needs to be in the movies; his perfectly arranged fall and that amazing reveal from behind his hat are too, too perfect. I love Oliver's boos and his smiles and his journey from tragedy to complete satisfaction for the sake of a spoonful of jelly. Wonderful!

Freda Ng said...

Hi, I'm Freda from Hong Kong in Asia. I just happened to discover your blog when I was searching for info on hydrocephalus as my third boy Ryan was just found to have meningitis and, as a result of the infection, hydrocephalus, grade 4 pariventricular leukomalacia and is expected to have the VP shunt inserted in a couple weeks time. Our family was in complete misery. This was especially traumatic to us as our first son Ayden was born severely premature (less than 2 pounds) and stayed in NICU for 3 months. We went through a lot in the last 4 years (and God bless he's all fine now). We honestly lacked strength to deal with all these again and to an even more severe degree this time around.

But I must say all these changed when we found your blog.

Avery is amazing. The way you and Gabe cope with the situation is truly inspirational, and I'm touched to see you taking Gabe to experience the world. This is what we determined to do on Ryan as he grows up too.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, and the miracles that happens on Avery. We know we are not alone. Keep it up with the blog!

Josephine said...

Freda, thank you so much for your kind words. It does my heart good to know that some of my words and experiences may have helped somebody else along the way. I do hope that Ryan is doing well. I'll keep your family in my prayers, and if you ever do start that blog, I'd be sure to read it. Thank you for not only reading, but for leaving a comment. I appreciate the time you took to tell me, it really made me feel good about my efforts to share our experiences with Avery xx