Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The smile is back

Last summer we noticed something about our run-loving girl. The smile was gone. She wanted to run. We'd take her to the park or to the track. We'd sign her up for a 5K. She'd go with a smile but very soon it was gone. We didn't know what was happening. She tends to have an ailment du jour so we thought maybe she was over-reacting. We did wonder if if could be asthma but since she'd start running again just a few minutes after crying and complaining, we thought it couldn't be.

This continued into the fall when she once again participated in the 5 week Healthy Kids Running Series. Each week's race ended with tears. It got so that the timer knew her by name and would give her a pep talk each week, "It's okay that you came in second, Hopie. There's nothing wrong with second. You have great form. You're just one of the younger kids. I know you're going to do great. You don't need to cry." And Hope was so out of breath that she couldn't tell him it had nothing to do with what place she was in. And she was so confused about what was happening that she couldn't explain it to us. Having no idea what was going on, we just kept encouraging her to push through the pain. That's what you tell athletes, right?

When I took her for her well-check in November, I mentioned her running and the missing smile. I said, "But it can't be asthma, can it? She always self-recovers. Wouldn't we end up in the ambulance each time if it was asthma?" Wrong. Apparently not with sports-induced asthma. So, they prescribed an inhaler with instructions to use it before running, and to repeat as necessary throughout.

Since it was winter, most of our running was indoors at this point. She'd use the inhaler and make it about a mile but then would need more. While things were better, and she was smiling part of the way, something still seemed off.

A few weeks ago, at Track and Field Camp, on a damp and rainy evening, they called to say that Hope's chest was really tight. Yes, something was still not right. I called the doctor's office and they wanted to see her. While there is nothing wrong in the office, they decided to try a medication.

That night she came home from Track and Field Camp and the smile was back. She was thrilled to tell me how much she ran and ran and didn't have any trouble at all.

The next Sunday, which was the 4th race in the spring Health Kids Running Series, she was able to give it her all and come in first for the girls, the first time in a year. And this past Sunday, after coming in first again, she won the trophy as the overall winner in Grades 4 and 5.

The smile is definitely back! Thank you, Jesus!

Speaking of smiles. This guy loves to run with Healthy Kids Running Series, too. Last fall, he ran with an adult. This spring he insisted he wanted to run by himself. So, with Mom and Dad, and sometimes siblings and grandparents at the beginning, sides, and finish, off he went. He looks out of the side of that one good eye, with that fine tunnel of vision, occasionally slowing or stopping, to line up the kids in his sights, and smiling the whole way, he happily comes in last (or almost last).

This week there were too many adults clumped along the side and he mistook them for the kids. He ran right through the cones and out of the lane, running right into a woman who didn't bother sending him in the right direction but just set him on a course straight up the side. Well, it could have been straight if he had been able to see the cones lining the path. But Jesse caught up with him at this point and steered him in the right direction. Running is fun -whether on the course or not.

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