(written by Eric Saarela) First off the Hall Party fund raiser on Friday night was such a great time! I was able to see old friends that I really haven't had a chance to see in quite a long time. Thank you once again, Kristi, April and Denise.....We had a terrific time, as did everbody else.
Our family had a small gathering on Saturday, which served the duel purpose of a Birthday party for my dad (he wanted to wait until Kevin was home) and a welcome home for Kevin. Rachel, Scotty, Mike, and Jacob were there as well. We had a pretty simple but fun time eating pizza, opening gifts, then finally playing Kevin's new Nintendo Wii. Kevin's strength and stamina has been excellent. We played the Wii off and on all weekend, which involves a lot of movement on the part of the participants.....I think I wore out quicker then Kevin. After the party we all went to Scotty's soccer game. It was a lot of fun watching Scotty run around after the ball. He's still not 100% sure what to do once he gets close to the ball, but that will come in time, as he gains some more confidence. Kevin said he wants to help Scotty improve his game. After the game Scotty came over, and the 3 of us played on the Wii throught the afternoon and evening. Scotty was quite the boxer, and Kevin is a good bowler and can beat me in Tennis. Kevin was so happy to sleep in his bed again (well actually he slept in daddy's bed, but it was still nice). He's really using this period of time to get some normalcy back in his life. I can't help but admire his strength and determination. We also went to target on Saturday to get a second controller for his Wii. Kevin had a moment while we were eating that was a bit emotional and an opportunity for both of us to learn. Kevin's very proud and a bit stubborn regarding wearing a hat (he wanted no part in it). He figures people will have to accept him for what he is. Our only rule is he must wear a hat outside because of the sun. Any way, this works in Memphis when people are accustomed to seeing kids undergoing treatment. In Commerce Twp though it's still a bit of a shock. We had a couple of incidences in Target where people approached him directly. They were trying to be nice, but after the second episode while we were trying to eat, Kevin looked at me straight in the eyes and eloquently said "daddy, I think I want to start wearing a hat". He went on to explain that although he's proud of who he is, he wants to be treated like a normal kid. He doesn't want people making such a fuss (much less strangers) whenever he's out in public. He just wants to be normal, especially during this period of time back home before the chemo. It was a learning experience and quite the epiphany for a seven year old boy.
Sunday was a day Kevin's been awaiting for quite some time; he got to play with his best friend Kyle. Kyle had a Detroit Pistons hat and Jersey for Kevin. Kyle actually won the opportunity to be a Piston's junior ball boy, for 1 game. Kevin was touched that Kyle thought of Kevin while having the time of his life at the game. At any rate, Kevin and Kyle played and played and played from 10:45 a.m. until 7 p.m. on sunday. The played Wii, colored, board games, more wii, and played with more toys. Kevin had such a good time with Kyle, and it was hear-warming watching the smiles on both of their faces. Kevin was on his best behavior, and both of them even obediently cleaned up their multiple messes when it was time for Kevin and I to walk Kyle home. Afterward he did his homework and watched the pistons game with daddy. this was not as much fun as they lost to the inferior 76ers.
From what I hear Kevin's had a great time at school as well. He really likes his teacher Mrs. Stout (as do Rachel, Mike and I). He's felt at home in his class room, and it seems with his home bound schooling at St. Jude, he has not fallen much behind. He wants to soak in every day back home, and school is a big part of this. He had one nasuea incident his first day back, but has been good since then (he didn't take his medicine that day). Wednesday is Kevin's cub scout pack meeting. They're awarding rank badges, and the troup leader indicated kevin will be awarded his Wolf badge despite missing the last few months with his illness. Kevin's excited to see all his friends at Cub Scouts as well.
Sorry for writting so much, but I don't have the opportunity to write on this site very often, and I had a lot of updates to share with everybody. Everybody has been so terrific, and i can't thank you all enough!