Rory Gardiner's Webpage

16, Jun, 2013

June 2013 update

The wet weather has brought our household to a standstill this afternoon.  Sean and Colt are asleep in their chairs while Sam and Rory watch a movie.  It was a good opportunity for me to update the website as it’s not very often the pause button is pushed.

The arrival of winter, and the departure of our long hot sunny summer, has curtailed our regular adventures into the wild.  Soccer now consumes Saturday mornings, with Sean and I often heading in different directions to watch the boys play.  Unfortunately Rory’s team has had more losses than wins after having a strong season last year.  Rory is also playing inter-school soccer with the Senior team from Inglewood Primary.  They had their first win on Friday.  Sam’s Inglewood AFC team play very well on a good day and they are currently sitting in third place on the table.  Sam has started playing social basketball with his mates in the Inglewood High School gym on a Friday night.  Their team is getting better every week and the boys are having a great time.  Sam is keeping fit by riding with me while I run several mornings a week.  It is dark, cold and often wet but his company ensures it is safe for me to go out (we both glow in the dark with lights and hi-vis gear).  Sam was lucky enough to go away with the Canteen Taranaki Committee for a bonding weekend to Rotorua.  They stayed at Ronald McDonald House and took part in lots of action packed activities; riding the luge, zorbing, trying the Swoop, Shweeb and Xtreme freefall at Agroventures, soaking in the thermal pools, and visiting Paradise Springs Wildlife Park.  He had a Canteen meeting on Tuesday night, and has decided to put his name down again for the General Committee in 2013/14.

At this point on his journey to us most of the time Rory is like all the other Year 6s at Inglewood Primary.  He is growing up, learning, and enjoying being involved in many of the activities on offer.  Reminders of his difference are like little electric shocks.  At inter-school soccer on Friday one of the spectators from the other school said something unpleasant about Rory’s appearance which Rory overheard.  He shrugged it off but it angers me.  Rory has had his hearing checked.  It is stable for the moment, and will be re-tested in three months.  He has had the flu jab, and will have his eyes checked by a Specialist in July.  He has been complaining of funny eyes and dizziness intermittently so this appointment is timely.  The Camp Quality Central Districts 2013 magazine arrived in the mail this week and Rory has enjoyed showing us the photos and explaining the activities he was involved in.  Camp Quality is one of the highlights of Rory’s year, and he has been lucky to have had Mike at his side for the last three years.  Sean attended a LEAP (Starship Late Affects Assessment Programme) meeting in New Plymouth organised by the Child Cancer Foundation.  There are many unanswered questions as to the late effects Rory will face, and whether we will be able to get quality medical care quickly in response to any effects which might occur.  It is frightening, and the road ahead is going to be peppered with bumps and battles for Sean and I as parents to give Rory the best quality of life possible.  Sean and I had dinner out with some of the other Child Cancer Foundation parents.  They are a good source of support, and I take heart (and note) from hearing how other children are doing who are further ahead on the journey than Rory.

Substantial change is ahead for Colt.  Sharon the Porse Educator who has looked after Colt since he was five months old, while I have been at work, is leaving Taranaki in mid-July.  Sharon has looked after Colt well, providing a safe, warm, familiar and stimulating home away from home.  Colt will miss Sharon and his friends Dee-ann, Sophie and Cooper.  I will miss Sharon too.  Her impending departure has thrown my life into a bit of a spin.  I have Colt on the waiting list at Inglewood Community Childcare, and I hope they can find a space for him, and the transition goes smoothly for both of us.  Colt will be 2 ½.  One morning when we arrived at Sharon’s this month there was snow on the ground.  “Crunchy” Colt said as he walked through it to the door.  He enjoyed the walk in a field later in the day in his gumboots.  Colt and I continue to be regulars at Playcentre on a Monday morning.  On fine days we walk there and Colt explores everything providing continuous chatter.  A couple of weeks ago I ran a sticky session.  I made playdough and slime, and we made yarn balls with PVA, and toffee apples.  Unfortunately I burnt Colts finger with the hot toffee and it was sore for quite a while.  On Friday night we attended a Family Fun night at Playcentre.  It was bulging at the seams, and there were children of all ages having fun cooking damper and sausages over the fire, toasting marshmellows, eating pizza, making things, and running around in the dark with torches.

We have tried to get outside as often as possible.  On Mothers Day we tramped up Maud track to Mangakotukutuku Falls (12m) at the base of Mt Taranaki.  A maori oven (umu) is present near the Falls.  We spent a showery day hunting and tramping at Mangamingi.  Sean shot 11 goats and Colt did lots of walking.  The NZ passionfruit and Mahoe were heavy with berries and there were lots of tame wax eyes feeding, even on the ground near our feet.  We tramped our favourite short loop at Whitecliffs.  As it had been raining the cliffs were wet which showed their vivid and beautiful colours, shapes and textures.  Two young feral kids (goats) bounded out of the bush onto the track and stopped only a foot from Rory.  They scarpered quickly when they realised he wasn’t their mum.  On the way out we found a Green and golden bell frog on the road.  Winter and the rain herald the start of the planting season.  I have been to three community plantings in the last week; a coastal cliff, a stream side and an outdoor environmental classroom at a primary school.  It is a privilege to be part of something which will benefit the environment for years to come.  I would like to wish my nephew Corbyn a Happy 9th Birthday, and send a big hug to all you wonderful Mothers out there for Mothers Day.  You do an amazing job 24/7.  xox