I have been so happy for the last 24 hours. Kalyn and I woke up early and in good moods on Friday because we were both so excited to see Fred. She was a champ on the drive to Denver, singing with me, eating snacks, watched a movie and took a nap. What a trooper! For me, it was an enjoyable drive. I felt like it gave me time to process the last 2 months a little. Reflecting on how far he has come, the really scary moments I went through and the strength of our community. It is a beautiful drive, but every town I went through, no matter how scenic it was, the community support wouldn't compare to what we have felt from Durango. We are so lucky to be where we are and have all of you!
We pulled into the apartment parking lot, and Fred was outside waiting for us. He picked Kalyn up and she snuggled right in for the biggest daddy hug/snuggle that brought tears to my eyes. Since we got here, she won't let him out of her sight. I have to say it is nice to see. Fred appreciates it, and I appreciate having a break from being number 1.
We had a nice quiet evening together where Fred and I got a chance to catch up, and Kalyn laughed a lot while playing with balloons with Fred. It is amazing the difference I see in Fred after being gone for more than 3 weeks. He is back! I haven't seen anything related to the brain injury other than the fact that he still doesn't want to admit to what was difficult for him a month ago. He was trying to argue that his balance wasn't that bad a month ago, and I told him to just accept it and move on because he is doing wonderful right now. I'll know more next week about what their recommendations are for Fred, but it seems like their only concerns are when he gets overwhelmed with distractions or an overly stimulating environment. He is trying to find ways to show them he is fine, and I suggested telling them he is aware of when he reaches his point of not being able to focus might be the best way. Knowing when he reaches that point before it becomes a problem seems like what they want him to be able to be aware of and step away from whatever is the cause.
This morning we went and got bagels and then went to the Children's Museum. At first Kalyn was being timid and cautious, not thinking that she could touch anything. I had to tell her everything was here for her to play with and she could use whatever she wanted. The first exhibit was a real fire engine, and she got to put on a hat and jacket and play with the engine. Next we went to the bubble exhibit, and she really started to have fun. This girl loves bubbles, and this was a really fun place to play. We built a big train track next. Between the three of us, we made a nice one and had a hard time pulling her away from it. Luckily, she got to dress up in a bug costume next and crawl through tunnels in a make believe bug environment. We made one last stop at the fire engine to turn on the lights and sirens and pretend-drive the engine. After all that is anyone surprised that she is sleeping now? Fred did really well with all of the stimulation and tons of kids running around. I might have been the first of all of us to get overwhelmed with the whole environment. They would have stayed longer, but I was the one that said it was time to go.
I feel like I have my family back. The three of us are all so happy to be together again, and there is such a difference in Fred actually being better and showing up mentally. When I last saw him, he was still checking out a lot mentally. He hasn't done that once that I've noticed and has been very engaging with Kalyn and me. This transition period is good to get reacquainted just the three of us before we are flung back into home life with other responsibilities and chores. In a week we should be home, and we are ready to take the next step!
He is reading a book right now that had a quote in it about a story not meaning anything unless it is told. I thought it was a good sign that he liked that quote because I'll come back and remind him of that if he doesn't like the story I've told here! He hasn't read anything I've written yet, and I told him I'm not ready for him to read it yet. I think this makes him more nervous about what I've written.