2012; Charlie turned 15 and it was a very good year though given the two ER visits for stitches in the back of his head; instances of head-banging-inflicted property damage (same neighbor's tan car twice, same spot on the trunk; two different cars belonging to the same family); three tree trunks and the pole at school that were sites of similar; a call to the police; a new gallery of holes in the walls; the thumbnail Jim lost and the long sleeves and pants I taught in through the hottest fall days rather than field questions such as 'what happened to your leg, Dr. Chew?" -- given all this, it was the usual epic tale we have been honored and lucky to live with our boy.
4,000 - 5,000 miles were biked by Jim and Charlie and some couple/several hundred walked, sprinted, dashed and run by Charlie and me and/or Jim.
There were not a lot of hours slept in spring, summer and the start of the fall (so we were both 'night owls' and 'larks' for quite awhile).
Charlie's neurologist opened an office in north Jersey, I had a long consultation with him and another neurologist and a nurse just before Hurricane Sandy and the possibility of Charlie having long-term gastrointestinal distress was revisited, acted upon with a reworking of Charlie's diet (sushi begone! Fuji apples by the bushel!) and a bevy of over-the-counter medicaments, and is currently being investigated. No, we are not going DAN-ish -- this is the same neurologist who prescribes the four medications Charlie takes plus the fifth for emergencies.
We have been getting a fairly routine amount of sleep though not tonight, this last day and hour of 2012. Charlie has had a great winter break with a quite high amount of bike riding in cold weather every day; he has one more day off before returning to school so it is anticipation-anxiety time and there's the sound of noisemakers, rockets, better not be rifles, in our neighborhood, not to mention a longer than usual full moon. It's a recipe for no, or at best fitful, sleep.
It's all right.
It's been a full year of extremes and elemental experiences.
Sunday, December 30, we made a second trip to the ocean and encountered far less snowy roads but 45 mph wind that meant for a very short bike ride prior to which the white car was splattered with salt water spray.
Monday, New Year's Eve day, we went to the place Charlie has asked most to go on this break, the Jersey horse country trail.
He and Jim did not ride much on the trail because it is snowy, icy and inviting to cross country skiers.
They headed for the street instead.
Clear though with icy patches and minimal traffic (the horses were on the trail).
They did a solid nine miles uphill in just above 0 degrees Celsius temperatures.
Needless to say, Jim teaching Charlie to ride ranks as one of the Best Things Ever, in any year, decade, century, era, millennium, etc..
Afterwards, Charlie said no to his customary post-bike burrito and very much enjoyed some shrimp chow fun (he had the fortune cookie first) and a drive by the house he knew as 'Grandpa Grandma's.'
Through to be honest, Charlie called it 'Gramma Gramma house' because when he was younger he couldn't quite work in the "p" sound and the pronunciation stuck.
Just glad that we're all still together; that we stick together,
Wishing everyone some excellent adventures in the new year and thank you, thank you, for sticking with us and reading Charlie's story. Knowing you are all out there -- it means a lot.