We're home and very happy to be back! Unfortunately Evan came home from the hospital not feeling up to snuff. Hospitals are such germy places! Yesterday we went to the doctor and had a low-key day at the house and he seems to be feeling a little better this morning. Today we are going to get out of the house so Aria can use up some of her saved up energy!
Now that we're home and I've had some time to reflect on our stay at the Ronald McDonald House I have two stories I want to share...
All the Ronald McDonald Houses are privately owned and run, so they are all different. The one in Manhattan, where we stayed on this trip, is reserved for kids with cancer. Although Evan doesn't have cancer, we were able to stay there because they weren't full. A lot of the kids are going through chemotherapy and radiation and it's amazing to see them all running around with big smiles. I remember when my dad had cancer and went through treatment and how horrible he felt -- you just can't keep kids down! What interested me in my own kids is that they seemed completely oblivious to the differences in all the kids staying there -- some were bald, some wore masks to protect them from germs, some had tubing in their hands to be connected to an IV when they went for outpatient therapy. I was waiting for questions from Aria and Evan, but they never came. That's the amazing thing about kids, they can look at people for who they are with a purity adults lack.
There is playroom downstairs and it's huge. There are craft areas and several play areas set up to offer something for everyone. In one corner there is an arcade room with several stand-up video games, driving video games you sit in and PS2 set-ups. Evan was checking everything out and was interested in a driving game that someone was playing. The older boy saw Evan and offered up his seat in the middle of a game to let Evan try. It was very nice of the boy, but offered a challenge too. The boy was in a wheel chair and had gotten out of the chair to play the game and was now supporting the weight of his body with his arms as he helped Evan play the game. I watched as he and Evan played together and was interested to watch both boys work together. When the game was over, Evan hopped down and watched his new friend play. I was struck by the thought that the interaction was probably good for both kids. We all need help sometimes, but what feels best is to be able to help someone else.