Thursday, July 12, 2012


This blog, of course, started just as a way to keep people (mainly grandparents) up to date on our family's life.  I never dreamed that it would become a cancer blog, or that it would become the chronicle of a grieving family.  I'm glad I didn't know what was ahead.

But life continues, and kids need clothes.  Especially Nathan.  He has decided in the last few months that he only likes polyester clothes.  (He was clearly born in the wrong decade.)  And not just any polyester clothes, but clothes that do not have itchy seams.  So he's been rotating two outfits, while begging me to get him some of the exact same clothes, just in different colors.  His perpetual athletic wear ensures that he is ready at a moment's notice for a run, a bike ride, or gymnastics.

So, yesterday evening, we ventured to Academy- land of multi-colored polyester clothing.  We all piled out of the van, and I realized that Steffen (he's two) was not wearing shoes.  (Before you start feeling sorry for me, thinking that our recent tragedy has caused me to lose my mind to the point where my children are running around shoeless, let me set your mind at ease.  Arriving somewhere with at least one barefooted child is a common occurrence in our life.)  No problem.  I brought the stroller so I popped him in the stroller, put Austin in the Ergo front pack, and we were off.

Academy had LOTS of options for my polyester-loving son.  Too many options.  They all had to be tried on, of course, before a decision could be made.  Otherwise, we might have gotten home with itchy seams.  Steffen was not happy about being in the stroller.  He thinks he is an adult and the indignity of being strapped in is just too much for him to bear.  I decided to have him and Austin switch places.  I put Steffen in the front pack.  Sometimes that works, but on this occasion, it didn't.  Steffen just kept insisting, "I can't breathe!  I can't breathe!"  I kept calmly asking him if he was ready to be strapped into the stroller.  He finally relented, and I strapped him in securely.

Then, we headed to get Megan some tennis shoes.  At this point, Steffen was apparently having the same breathing problems in the stroller.  The buckle around his waist, he was quite certain, was going to suffocate him.  As I helped Megan find shoes, while simultaneously keeping an eye on the other boys and telling them that they were NOT in need of new shoes, I turned around and saw that the stroller was empty.

A few feet in front of it, I saw Steffen, who was not only without shoes, but without pants.  Or underwear.  In the middle of the shoe aisle.  At first I thought that he had stripped in protest, like a mini PETA activist, but then I looked back in the stroller.  Apparently, I had buckled him so tightly that the only way he was able to get out was to actually pull himself out of the stroller and his pants at the same time. 

I grabbed his pants, put them back on him, and decided that we'd worry about obedience later.  Right now, it was all about getting those shoes and getting out of there!  Which we did.  (After we checked out and then had to trek all the way to the back of the store to stop at the bathroom.)

As I wrestled Steffen into his car seat, I looked down at Austin in the Ergo.  As is generally the case, he hadn't made a peep during the entire trip.  He had his head back and the rain drops were falling on his face.  Every time one hit him, he giggled.

Yes, life continues.


Jean Grant said...

Dear Aimee

You are an amazing writer!!! Your blogs are amazing to read. We are praying for you and the children. I would like to watch the children one day before school starts.

leslie said...

I can just picture it ;)

Kathy Sellers said...

Hi Amy -- I'm Kathy Sellers, a member of your church (the one with the 26 yr old son in the wheelchair). I started reading your blog to know how to pray for Brian and your family. Every day I check to see if you've posted something -- because you are an amazing writer and usually find some way to glorify God through your writings. I was laughing as I read the blog today, and I'm so proud that you held it together at Academy!! I think next time you go shopping you should bring Steffen and a few others by my house, so that you can have a more relaxed time. I'm serious I would love to help you out any way I could. My number is 830-228-5474. Praying for you and your family. Kathy Sellers

VA Kaeppel said...

Hi Aimee,

It's funny how I was thinking, as I was reading the blog, that you are a wonderful writer, and that maybe you might even write a book someday; and, of course, my fellow commenters made the same observation. Divine message? You be the judge.

I loved the Academy story -- I can relate! Matthew, my younger son, had a similar reaction to clothing a few years ago. We still joke about him treating pockets as the epitome of all things evil! It just so happens he has allergies which produce itchy, sensitive skin. Once we started a daily dose of Zyrtec and switched to a "free" detergent, he no longer hated wearing pants, even those with pockets. Or, perhaps he simply outgrew the need to "drop trou" the minute he walked in ANY door.

As for the polyester athletic wear so voluminously available at Academy, Andrew loved wearing those warm-up pants, and has outgrown all of them rather rapidly. Since Matthew is more than seven years younger, as well as significantly shorter, I have a bunch of very gently used pants that I can't bring myself to discard -- probably because I know Matthew will fit them some day. Nevertheless, I would be more than happy to give/loan them to your Nathan, even if only to see if he could find some to meet and/or supplement his specific requirements.

No worries if that is not something you are comfortable doing, but given the blog post, I just had to make the offer. It's really too funny about the boys and their need for "smooth" clothing! Let me know what you think about the idea. Be blessed today, and know that you and your children are always in our prayers.

Vivian Kaeppel

Tiffany Janney said...

Dear Aimee,

Although we have never officially met, I am a member of the BBC family and work the welcome desk at the church. I agree with the other ladies' posts. You are an amazing writer. While reading your Academy story, I "cracked up" laughing. As I read what you wrote, I could just picture your shopping experience :).

On a different note, our family has been praying for your family. We started coming to BBC about 2 1/2 years ago. I remember going into the gymnasium and seeing you, Bryan and your children. I thought to myself, "wow, their children are so well behaved" and I could see the love radiating amoung you. I don't quite know the right words to say, but I want you to know Bryan touched our lives through his kindness. I remember he was encouraging us to attend the meal around Christmas time and he always had a smile on his face.

If I can help you in any way, please contact me. I can be reached at 830-570-5426 (cell) or 830-714-7018 (home).

Tiffany Janney