Rory Gardiner's Webpage

19, Feb, 2010

Friday 19th February 2010


It was difficult for me to watch Sam head off with his class for senior camp on Wednesday.  In some ways he seems older than his peers, but he is only 10, and my first born.  He loves to go on camp with his mates.  He loves being independent, and revels in the adventure.  The Dargaville Primary staff take good care of their students.  I can't help but feel anxious when either of the boys are out of my sight, particularly when we are separated by distance.  I don't think I will ever get over Rory's diagnosis.  It is hard to explain to others what it is like when something pulls the rug of life out from under your feet.  Before it happened you were oblivious to how fragile the thread of life is.  You took health for granted, and only occasionally gave it a second thought.  When it is nearly severed it is not possible to go back.  You have the experience and knowledge it could happen at any time, in any way, to anyone.  With it comes a fear so strong it is hard to breathe.  When the boys are in my sight I have some degree of control over their safety, when they are away I do not.  My greatest fear is that their lives will be threatened and I will not be able to get to them in time to make a difference.  That I will lose them.  I love my family and I do not intend to take them for granted again.  I look back at my life and I think I have spent too much time being restless, always looking for something else to get stuck into.  I have crammed plenty in to my life, and I intend to continue to do so, but I think I have often been side tracked from the thing which is most important, my family.  I have not always fully appreciated them, or revelled in the moment with them.  I have changed. 

On Wednesday morning Sam went to camp at Moirs Point, Mangawhai with his class (Rm 6) and Room 5, two of the senior classes at Dargaville Primary.  At school he was packed and ready to let go while I was anxious and hovering.  Rory's class started the day writing a story about Christmas Day, then Rory had a reading test with Miss Hallet.  He managed to work through four levels.  This is good news.  The class are working on a shared story 'Duck Diary'.  After morning tea Rory played Brainy Kids Games on the computer while the class went swimming.  The children then had their maths basic facts (division) test.  Rory said he didn't understand division and didn't know any answers, and looking around the class I know he wasn't alone.  At lunch time the Senior classes were away so I took Rory over to the playground and he climbed to the top and slid down the slide.  I cleared the way for him so he wouldn't be knocked by the other children.  He was reluctant and nervous (I was too) but he did it.  I have spoken to Sean and he is going to get Rory involved on the play ground during his day at school.  After lunch the class had a visit from two surf lifesavers for Surf2School.  They spread the slip, slop, slap, wrap message which has now been extended to slide into the shade, step into your shoes (for us westies with black sand), and slurp some water.  They spoke about Rip currents.  It was a hot afternoon and Rory quickly tired so we went for a swim in the Dargaville Pool.  The High School had just finished their swimming sports so the main pool was packed.  We had a lovely surprise, seeing Leesa and Sam the boys swimming teachers.  At home on Wednesday night I was a bit worried about how easily Rory would get to sleep without Sam in his room but he settled quietly.  I was pleased as it is progress. 

Yesterday (Thursday) Rory and I had a quiet day at home.  It was good not to have to make the drive, and to enjoy the space and quiet at Whakapara.  There isn't much space and quiet in our lives at the moment.  While Rory did some drawing and built with the lego I worked on our Make a Wish itinerary.  The two of us cooked tea and baked a cake.  We played on the playstation, completed Rory's homework, and his therapy.  Sean took the day off work to so to camp with Sam.  He enjoyed helping out with the beach (surf life saving) activities, riding the long water slide, and teaching the children how to shoot with the air rifles.  While Sam was comfortable to have Sean there he preferred the company of his mates.