April 2001

Sherwood Family at Church on Easter Just because Keith was on crutches and in a leg cast/brace, things didn’t slow down in April.  Doug’s sixth birthday, Easter, and Kristi’s parents visiting would leave little time for self-pity (although somehow Keith did find the time).

Keith returned to work on April 2nd.  He is a computer jockey, so work itself proved no issue.  Getting to and from work, however, was an issue, since his car is a standard, and his booted left foot was not going to be pushing a clutch any time soon.  So he spent the month carpooling with various coworkers who also lived in Rancho Penasquitos.

Keith went to physical therapy once a week.  He also had numerous daily exercises and stretches to do at home, always finishing with elevation and ice.  Still slept with the cast on and leg elevated on pillows.  He tried to convince the doctor and physical therapists that he was healing quickly (for indeed he was) and therefore the recovery regimen should be accelerated.  They politely replied they thought it was wonderful that he was doing so well, but that the schedule could not be short circuited. Doug describes his father's injury.

Being on crutches got really old by the end of the month.  Looking for a personal growth opportunity, I can say it taught patience and dispelled the myth of control.  But then again, I should have learned that lesson as a parent long ago...

Brad and Doug flying kite on Easter On Easter, we met the extended family for a picnic on the bay after church.  The extended family in San Diego is Kristi’s brother Jeff’s wife Chrysanne’s family.  For those of you unfamiliar with San Diego geography, we are blessed with two bays: a natural deep water bay (San Diego bay) and a dredged recreational bay (Mission Bay).  Downtown is on San Diego Bay, while Seaworld and parks surround Mission Bay.  Arriving just before noon, we captured one of the last parking spaces, but we’re still a couple of hundred yards from our party. Seemed like forever on crutches.  Kristi continues to gain invaluable experience, here and at Little League games, at carrying multiple folding chairs, coolers and food bags without help from her crutch bound husband.
Keith and Kristi relax watching kites on Easter We were quite a banged up group.  In addition to Keith’s Achilles, Chrysanne’s brother had a broken wrist (we compared high-tech Velcro casts) and her sister was recovering from major surgery. They had selected an area of Mission Bay known for its conduciveness for kite flying.  The weather cooperated with a gorgeous spring day, although several hours of sun and wind did wear on you.  Chrysanne's family brought along a wide selection of kites, and had a clipper ship kite for Doug for his birthday.  Doug got pretty good at flying it, really, learning to tug on the string to make it go up.  They also gave each of the boys an Easter Beta fish.  Here's hoping they last awhile (but not too long...).
Black holes have less gravity then kids crowding around to watch presents being opened April 23 was Douglas’ sixth birthday.  About a week prior, he informed us he no longer wished to be addressed as "Dougie," but preferred Doug or Douglas.  We’re attempting to respect his wishes, although sometimes we slip.  (Wasn’t it about this age that his older brother announced his name was Brad and not Bradley?).  After last year’s blow-out fifth birthday party with the fire truck (and two years ago with the jumper in the backyard), we decided to make the party a low key affair.  And most importantly, have it some where else rather than our house.  So the theme was Picnic in the park with a tent, a kite, and…whiffle balls and bats for all attendees.  Brad gave Doug a skateboard he had bought for him several months earlier at a garage sale, and which we had been hiding in the garage.  Other parents were a great help organizing the kids and lugging gear from the car.  Keith was still on crutches, but did hop around videoing. Unfortunately, no photographic evidence exists of the ride Keith took on the skateboard, using his crutches to propel himself along.
Grandma, Doug, Pa-pa, Brad The end of the month brought Kristi’s parents for a 5 day visit, on their way back to Illinois from Hawaii.  They got to see one Doug Tball game, two Brad baseball games (including one pitching appearance), plus innumerable backyard whiffle ball games.  We put them right to work: Bob doing little handy jobs around the house that had gone undone due to Keith’s incapacitation, and JoAnn helping Kristi around the house where I wasn’t helping any more.  Now I don’t want to suggest that Bob spoiled his grandsons, but every morning he took them out to breakfast before school, often in two separate waves due to different internal clocks (like Pa pa, Brad gets up early) and different dietary preferences (Doug prefers donuts while Brad favors Carl Jr’s).
Pa pa watches Brad pitch One of the highlights of the trip was supposed to be Sunday, April 29th.  Kristi and her mom were to go shopping while the boys would all go to the Padre game on Little League day.  Since the event is a fund raiser for Little League (a buck from every ticket), we bought two from each boys team.  Kristi and I figured Keith would sit with one boy and his team, and Bob would sit with the other and his team.  All of Penasquitos is in one section, so we wouldn't be too far apart.  But on game day Keith was still on crutches, and was just not going to make it up to the nose bleed seats at the top of the stadium.  So Bob took the boys himself.  When they returned that evening, we were all dumbfounded to hear they didn't see any one they knew from their teams, or even our League.  A quick check of the ticket stubs revealed they had reversed their row and section!  Brad thought Pa Pa knew where he was going, and Pa Pa thought Brad was leading.  They sat in the wrong section, but each thought the other had determined they were in the right seats. (Apparently, Pa Pa never got to use his seat much anyway as the boys kept him running to the snack bar...)
Brad is opening day pitcher with the neighborhood in attendance Brad’s biggest deal this month was "Opening Day."  Not for Little League, or the Padres, but for the whiffle ball stadium he is constantly constructing in the backyard.  Many a father-son head butting session has occurred over the make up and longevity of said stadium.  The stadium is a classic of 9 year old imagination, with spare lumber and cinder blocks used to construct foul poles, bleachers and player benches.  My personal favorite, however, is the bull pen constructed in the gravel side yard: a mound has been built up and a 2x4 embedded in the top, like a railroad tie in ballast…or, admittedly,  a pitching rubber. Brad put up signs in the tree in the front yard 
Brad bats against a south paw from the neighborhood I am afraid to say Mom and Dad were not very supportive of Brad's fantasy.  We allowed the signs in the tree in the front yard directing the fans to the backyard, but only after extracting promises that this would not be a repeat of last year when he figured he would charge patrons 25 cents to watch him play.  (Not to worry, he was kindly going let Mom and Dad enjoy the show for the reduced, family rate of a nickel.)  We tried to calm him down when that afternoon his friends hadn't returned his desperate calls for their appearance.  "Brad, it's just not as important to everyone else besides you."  30 minutes later there were half a dozen kids in the backyard, including the really cool fourth grader from the street below.   When our adult dinner guests arrived, we went outside to watch the show. Brad loved every minute of the attention as his great dream reached fruition, just as he imagined it would.
On the very last day of April, Keith had his six week doctor appointment.  He was found to be coming along nicely, and taken off crutches.  A couple days into June, he discarded the walking cast and transitioned completely to limping along unaided.  Neither Keith nor Kristi can remember a happier time in their respective lives...
Reading List:
The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #6) (Brad)
Rebuilding the Indian (Keith)
Harry Potter and the Sourceror's Stone (Keith to Doug)
A Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia #5) (Keith to Brad)
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