Well, here we are in Atlanta again -- this time, I'm feeling much better about our visit. We're interviewing with Fox and Friends tomorrow morning and then Malkolm has his follow-up appointment at the Children's Hospital on Monday.
Gotta admit this is a really nice feeling. I wish Sia could have come with us (so did he), but it seems a coach's work is never done.
I must share something that happened ...
Before his surgery, Malkolm would get winded with a simple walk from the parking lot to the store, or from the parking lot to any restaurant or hotel, or pretty much any place we had to walk more than a few feet. I remember thinking he was just being lazy -- ugh, I really hate the feeling of remembering getting frustrated with him because he was always dragging his feet, always two steps behind, whining about how he couldn't keep up. I just never connected that with his hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. (Wow, I'm such a great mom.)
To know now that it was his heart that was giving him this moving-through-molasses thing ... man I feel so horrible about how frustrated I would get. Always telling him, "Come on son, you have young legs" ... thinking about how many times I would literally drag him forward ... ok, well, I really don't want to think about that anymore.
Well. Tonight when we were walking into the hotel, it was not a short walk -- it was probably about a full city block -- he was ahead of the stroller -- totally nonchalant, walking with Malia, not out of breath, not draggy, not the moving-through-molasses kid I used to know. I'm pushing the stroller, and I have a mixture of guilt, from all those times before and how I handled it, mixed with excitement ... mixed with a wonder if this is just some fluke or is this how it will be for him now -- mixed with total pride of knowing what he has gone through for these nine years; what he has pushed through in order to keep up as well as he has. Watching him walk with his sister without nudging, without encouragement, just strolling. All of this mixed with an immense pride. I was so proud of him for what he has endured without any real complaining, without feeling sorry for himself. Finding his path.
Thinking about the times when he told me that he had to stop running in P.E., because he couldn't breathe, and he was crying. Remembering the time when the little girl in the library asked me if I was Malkolm's mom, and then told me how he was really crying hard in P.E. when everyone was running ... a little girl I never met before, who just knew Malkolm and thought he looked like me. After she told me that, she proceeded to tell me, "But wow, he's soooo smart." Yeah, that's my boy.
When he went to his 3-day field trip to Jekyll Island this year, he did mention to me that some teachers on the trip told him he wasn't going to make it in Atlanta. I asked him what that meant -- and he explained that because he was always last and walked so slowly, the teachers were saying there was much more walking on the Atlanta trip (the fourth grade field trip he may go on next year) than on this Jekyll Island trip ... I'm sure they thought the same thing I had in the past-- that he was just being lazy or something ... but now. NOW, he can breathe and walk and keep up and WOW. I just can't tell you what a difference it was tonight. Even just that short little walk to the hotel was a completely different experience ... for both of us.
I am hoping and praying that this is just the first of many "speedy walks" for him -- that it won't be so hard for him to keep up and that the surgery is doing what it's supposed to -- considerably improve his quality of life. Holy cow. I'm just floored. If you could have seen him ... just strolling. STROLLING!!!
Ok, well, now I'm crying. Better go, pizza is going to be here soon!!