Sunday, December 27, 2009

TO: wwwwwwwwwww FROM: wwwwwwwwwwww

Kurt's strong will and mind of his own has been a blessing. Like the Energizer Bunny, Kurt keeps going. As a little boy, he played while his hands twitched and his head bobbed due to hundreds of myoclonic seizures. When, in 1999, his legs became paralyzed from seizures, he persevered through hours and days of physical therapy to walk again.

That same strong will can be a curse, as far as parenting goes. Kurt doesn't settle. He stubbornly knows what he wants and will not be persuaded otherwise. As a caregiver, sometimes that drives me crazy. Christmas shopping with Kurt was one of those times.

My mom took Kurt to three stores so he could purchase a snow scraper for his brother, Kelly, who had broken the one he used for his Blazer. A scraper's a scraper, right? Kurt didn't like the ones at Shopco or Walgreens. However, as soon as he saw the scraper at Ace Hardware with an extendable yellow handle, he knew.

My own shopping experience with Kurt was similar. I had to take him to two stores to find the right DVD for Keith's fiance.

While this made shopping more time-consuming, I appreciated his newfound excitement for gift giving. Past Christmases had always been about what he would receive. And when someone opened a package from Kurt, he would deny even buying it.

What really clenched the change in Kurt from recipient to gift giver was his determination to wrap the gifts himself, struggling to tear the tape from its dispenser and place it on the wrapping paper before the sticky side got all mangled. Most notably were the gift tags. Kurt insisted on filling out each one, although he only pre-writes. He scribbled sloppy 'w's from left to right, top to bottom until the tag was filled to his liking.

Christmas morning brought chuckles from everyone when they "read" the gift tags. Kurt sat on the couch and smiled.

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Kurt at 19