Casting a very aware 4 year old is vastly different from our experience casting an infant. This morning the questioning once again started, "How many more sleeps until my cast off party?"
I pull my phone from my pocket and answer, " 14 more sleeps William."
He then goes through the process, "then you will cut it off, we will have my party, and I will be free?"
"Yep, you will be free for a whole week and then we get to go to Chicago and pick out your new cast!"
"And I will get to see Giana and Kiya and get a sticker for being good and I will get a shot instead of the medicine because I am brave and want to get the shot and not the medicine."
Itching like he has poison ivy he heads to the kitchen to pick out his breakfast and we move forward with our day. We are usually the ones who bring up cast off. William goes through life and rarely, if ever, questions how much longer and why of wearing his armor. It is very much an extension of him, as normal as an arm or leg. When he is getting ready for his sponge bath or changing his clothes in the morning, he still laughs with glee at being so naked although his torso is covered in plaster and fiberglass. He is content with his reality. His acceptance has made our angst and unrest truly a non-issue. It is really hard to miss what you don't know. Out of the 163 weeks since we started casting, William has spent only 15 weeks cast free.
Perspective is a healthy dose of reality. It wasn't long ago I felt angst towards where we were in life. If we hadn't lived those moments we would have never found today. Age, maturity have made William more aware of his special powers. Although he is surrounded daily with kids without a cast, it is his friends who have transitioned to a brace that seem to peak the most curiosity. He watched in wonder as both Massi and Chloe removed their brace to swim at our pool party this summer. What was the wonderful contraption they each were sporting? You can take it off and put it on? We then had to explain it would come someday, just not today. Two of our casting constants will be moving to bracing for the summer. It will be as much a transition for us as it will for them. Almost two years of casting with the same group of friends and we will be flying solo for a while. His precious Giana and Kiya are getting their wings and will get to fly free for a time. I don't regret a minute of the time we have spent with them, although my heart aches for the fully aware little guy who will desperately miss his most sought after part of casting, his friends.
I recently read a quote by Albert Einstein, "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
I like this perspective. I have spent to many "what if" moments in my life. Although, William is fully aware of the now, my role is to shield him from the soon enough. I am not God and do not know the plan. I can embrace his knowledge of the known and help him embrace what tomorrow brings. We started this process just the 4 of us, the amazing staff at Shriner's Hospital for Children-Chicago and this summer we will embrace this road again. Because we were blessed with such amazing friends on our journey, a cast or two solo will not weaken our bond.
11 more sleeps my friends!
Until Next Time, Keep it CuRvY~
Catie(Scoliosis Sucks) D.