Don’t You Dare



We found ourselves in downtown Raleigh on a Thursday evening, walking about Fayetteville Street Mall, looking for some reasonably priced grub for the crew.  This was another spontaneous outing while we escaped from an eerily clean house for a last minute showing.

There were lots of food trucks and people selling their wares.  Live music was pulsing in the air and my children spied a booth hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes.  It was an inflatable slap shot zone where kids are given five attempts to shoot a puck and hit winning targets.  The prize was a red t-shirt.  8/9 O’Melias gave it a go.  Maddie was our only winner.

Gabby passed on making her best slap shot attempt.  I was secretly relieved.  I knew it would be a struggle for her to one-handedly grasp the hockey stick and make contact with a puck sitting on pavement.  We moved onward.  We contemplated our need for ice cream.  It was then that Gabby decided, yes, she needed to step up and give this hockey challenge her very best go.  Ugh. My feelings were so very mixed.  I was thrilled she was being courageous, yet concerned she would be discouraged or suffer embarrassment.  I stood and watched as she stepped right up to the young man running the show.  He handed her the stick. [Read more...]

What More Could We Ask For?

Gabby Turns 10


I recently took my Gabby girl back to UNC for a follow-up appointment with her orthopaedic doctor.

I swung our 12-passenger van widely to make the turn into the parking space.

“Oops.  We can’t park here.  This is a handicap spot,” I remarked.


“What is handicapped even for?” she asked.

I began to explain.  I began to tell her how much some people struggle to get around…


And then I saw them.

A mom pushing her severely handicapped child.  They exited from the front of the building and walked toward us.

“We thought that would be you, Gabby.  We didn’t know if you would ever learn to walk, talk, or read.”

[Read more...]