What do you do when it rains? Go outside and have fun!
It is no surprise that it rains in British Columbia. After all, the largest temperate rainforest in the world is found here in British Columbia. This spring also seems to have brought an abundance of rain to many regions across Canada. Emmett usually scrunches up his face and anxiously waits to be carried out of this ridiculous wet stuff. Alisha and Josh are gently pushing this little prima donna into exploring new horizons. Basic stuff like getting his hands dirty (guaranteed tears when that happens) and getting outside in the rain. Of course, with his first power chair we quickly learned that it was just as temperamental in rain as Emmett was - it would just stop working for a day or so if it even sensed inclement weather. This second chair is more robust but no chances are being taken so, with a giant blue poncho that protects both of them, we ventured out into the light rain. Emmett went a metre or two and just stopped. Unsure of what he was unsure about, we checked to make sure all health needs were okay and they were. Then realization dawned ... Emmett was listening to the raindrops pitter patter on the poncho. Just like you've probably listened to rain falling on a tent (which it always does when you go camping) or a barn tin roof (which if you've never experienced that, find a farmer and ask if you can sit in her/his barn the next time it rains). After a few moments of listening and contemplation, Emmett was off and then it was a challenge to get him to come back inside! In fact, when we finished our outside play and took off the poncho in the garage, Emmett turned his chair around and headed right back out into the rain where he just kept on going. Running after him with the poncho, we got them both covered up and then stayed outside for another 15 or 20 minutes of enjoyment.
With the occasional arrival of wonderful spring weather, Emmett has been taking more and more excursions. Neighbourhood walks, excursions to hardware stores, and to local parks. Believe it or not, Emmett attracts attention. It is quite something to see this little boy proficiently wheeling his chair about and walks often take longer due to conversations. While Emmett still plays bashful with strangers, he is getting to be more and more of a showman. He does love people and attention. Alisha and Josh were a bit wary, though, when a group of boys approached Emmett in a park. All was well as they were quite excited about this little 'baby' and his awesome wheelchair. They coined the term 'techno baby' and asked a lot of questions about Emmett and his chair that Josh and Alisha answered. Another outing was to the local Tulip fields organized by Canuck Place Abbotsford. It was a beautiful day and the colours were fantastic. (Remember, click on the photos to get a larger version.)
Another excursion was to our local library. They have a wonderful ramp for ease of access and Emmett hasn't been to the library since before his diagnosis, so this was a special moment. The library staff was wonderful and Alisha left with several new books for this voracious listener. I'm pretty sure that we've mentioned before that Emmett simply loves books. The best was Emmett waking up the other day, looking at his mom and wailing 'boo(k)'. The 'k' was maybe more implied than pronounced - but the intent was quite clear. He wanted a story and he wanted it now! This little boy is an avid listener (we don't think he can read yet!). And he loves to talk. Emmett is quite verbal when he warms up to people and so he responds too - not quite in a form that is understandable yet. His vocabulary is increasing and we are hearing more and more words every week. His two year old talk is incessant at times - so as he continues to jabber and get words out, we truly anticipate that sentences will follow.
Of course, family photos would not be complete without a pic including Wendell the cat! Emmett also had a great time finding Easter Eggs - so much so that after finding every single one, they had to be removed from his Easter basket and re-hidden. Just so that Emmett could do it all over again!
Alisha and Josh also got the news that we have really known all along. The study was unblinded and Emmett has been receiving the actual drug throughout the trial period. As I say, we have known simply because of the miraculous improvements we have seen. Of course, we have to caution you that miracles when dealing with SMA Type 1 are small. Small, but when compiled together they are absolutely HUGE! Yes, small miracles are so fantastic. For example, I was preparing to pick him up the other day and my hand was underneath him when he arched his back and there was literally air between my hand and his back as he was stretched out on the table. Simply incredible. Not to mention holding him and while supporting only his body and back, he holds his head on his own! Each of these little steps, so often taken for granted with little ones, is a major feat for Emmett.
Emmett truly is a bundle of blessings.