Monday, June 15, 2009

Tacos + Shadows + Legos

ItalicEli, Isaac and Pablo this morning at Lego camp

Dean and I dropped Pablo at Lego camp today at 9:30 a.m. Lego camp is also known as Eli's living room in Bronson Canyon. Helen put together a great program—a professional Lego builder comes to the house every day this week, and guides Eli and seven friends through a Mies van der Rohe master class in plastic block building. It's every bit as cool as you think it is. I kind of wanted to hang out and take the class myself! Jo Ann very wisely told me to hang in the kitchen for a while when we got there. Pablo has been away from group activity for over a year, and he is definitely shy and removed in group settings. We want him to feel our presence in situations like that. We also want his social confidence and independence to build back up. These things take time. And consistency. Two things Pablo hasn't had much of for the past 13 months.

So Dean and I hung in the kitchen with Eli's parents Scott and Helen, and Isaac's mom Dorrie, and I peeked into the living room every couple minutes. The first time I looked, I saw Pablo sitting by himself, staring out the window. My heart shattered. My lungs stopped accepting air. I froze and at the same time wanted to run over and put my arms around him. Just then, Eli ran over and sat down in front of Pablo. My assessment of the situation was dead wrong: P and Eli were building a giant truck together. At the precise moment I looked in, Eli had run to the supply bin to grab some parts. Seeing Pablo's face light up as he and Eli continued building their vehicle was my cue to pop back into the kitchen. And to breathe again.

When we left, Dean and I both kissed Pablo goodbye. He asked when Mommy was coming over. He said goodbye. And he kept on building. I bet by Friday, he'll be back to the quick hug n kiss routine he built up to at the Walther School. Can't wait to see how this week goes.... It's damn exciting for us to shepherd Pablo back into an educational / social setting. Pablo is lucky to have a mommy as sweet and thoughtful as Jo Ann—she jumped on this camp idea the minute Helen mentioned it, knowing this week would be the ideal time for P to do a camp in terms of his immune function, and his recovery from the gnarly side effects of chemo.

¶ Sunday, we rode two-and-a-half laps round the Silverlake Reservoir. We were set to do four, but I was too tired after a brisk 40 mile ride earlier that morning. I had to break it to Pablo that my 37-year-old bones and lungs were tired. He wasn't too happy. But when I diverted his attention to all the Geronimo jumps he could do on the stone railing at the park, all turned out well. Plus, we were excited to have Mommy and Beans join us at the park when they made their way around the reservoir.
Another snapshot from the park: Pablo loves chasing games. Is this something all boys like? I dunno, but I know my boy does. The saddest aspect of his diminished lung capacity was (can I say was?) his diminished ability to run and run and run and scream and scream and scream.

Yesterday at Silverlake Park, there was no evidence of lung impingement. Pablo invented a chase game to put all others to shame: he was a monster who chased me and made a scary monster grrrrrrrowl, and I rode my bike (with his connect bike attached), desperately trying to avoid his evil claws. All of this took place on the mushy, moist grass of the soccer field—not the easiest surface to ride a heavy vintage racing bike on. Pablo was out-of-his-mind excited. I took turns paying attention to what I was doing physically and letting Pablo's joy and reckless abandon seep into my heart. That was some good stuff, and I didn't want to miss the moment.

After playtime, we went to Malo for dinner. For years, this was our Sunday night jam. Since P's diet has gone essentially vegan n fish, we've shifted to mostly in-home dining. We haven't been at Malo for a family dinner in two months. We got crafty—brought baked corn chips for Pablo, and ordered him Soyrizo tacos on corn shells—and it worked like a charm. He'd never eaten either of those items, so it was 100% risk. It worked out so well that he actually tried—and loved—guacamole and my fave salsa for the first time.

Here are Dean's snapshots from our late Sunday afternoon jaunt. No captions needed. The shadow shot is Dean and Pablo.

Align CenterDean + Pablo


Anonymous said...

How cool! To learn Lego building from a master! Lots of postive energy from NOLA.


Unknown said...

Lego camp??!! WOW! My son Colin - now almost 17 - lived and breathed Legos at Pablo's age. He would have been out-of-his-mind excited to meet a master Lego builder!! Pablo looks happy happy in these pictures - surrounded by so much love, family and friends - you can feel the positive energy!!
xx lynn

Lisa Hickey said...

Wow! I can't think of anything more fun for a kid than Lego camp!!! My boys would go wild for it! Really happy for Pablo, that he is having this experience and has such amazing parents to support him.

Dawn: said...

So great to see you all out last night. Pablo looks really scary in that mask; I'm glad I don't own a bank. ;)