Posts Tagged 'Avi'

Every Little Thing

In my last post I explained that Avi would be staying at the hospital for at least the beginning of Passover. Since then Marsha and I have tried very hard to come up with a way to allow Avi to experience some of Passover. Thank God, every little thing we have put out there has come together. The hospital staff has been very accommodating with this, and although it is not the ideal, I think that Avi will be happy.

I said yesterday that we are going to bring some Seder food. We are definitely bringing some Matza, some chicken soup with Matza balls and some Haroset. Perhaps we will come up with a few other things. A few weeks ago, Avi and I were looking through my Haggadah collection (I have quite a lot) and I told him that he could pick one that would be his Haggadah. Believe it or not, he happened to choose the one that was given to me as a gift when I was a boy. I told him that this would now be his Haggadah for every year (this Haggadah is a reprint of the famous Szyk Haggadah. You can see images from it here). We will bring this with us tonight as well, and some other materials from when he was at Schechter. The staff will be told when to give him the food so he can eat some of the Seder food at the same time as we are (or close to it).

Then I got the idea to get in touch with the Rabbi at the Conservative Synagogue that is near the hospital. It happens that both Marsha and I have a history with this Synagogue as we were both USY advisor there at different times. I was also friends with the Cantor and her husband when I was at JTS. I spoke to the Rabbi and he is being so nice and he will go visit Avi on Thursday or Friday afternoon. He will sit with Avi and do a little mini-Seder and sing a few songs with him etc. I think that given the circumstances Avi will be quite happy.

I reported yesterday that Avi started taking Prozac for depression. This morning when I spoke to him he was in very good spirits. He understands that he is not coming home for the Seders and he did not cry about it like all of our other phone conversations. I don’t know if Prozac works that fast, but something clearly is working (perhaps he is also moving into the acceptance stage and is ready to start getting better).

I don’t know if I will be able to post any updates before Pesah starts tomorrow evening. Tonight and tomorrow during the day will be dominated by final preparations for the Seders. So Marsha and I wish everyone a חג כשר ושמח and a זיסן פסח A Sweet, Kosher and Joyous Passover!

Getting Better

Marsha and I visited with Avi this afternoon. He was obviously happy to see us; he was waiting in the common area watching the doorway to see when we would come through. He ran ahead of us to the room where we had our visit and was so happy we were there. He was very playful and giggly while we were there. This was the first time in a long time that I remember seeing Avi so happy. I know much of that is from our visit, but I really think that the meds might be at a place now where he really stabilizing.

On Tuesday Marsha will be meeting at the hospital with Avi’s therapist and we should get some idea of when he will be able to come home. Hopefully he will be able to go back to Princeton House for a few weeks and we will be working our town’s school district to find a good placement for him.

A big thank you to everyone who included Avi in their prayers this weekend, I am sure it helped.

Busy day

Yesterday was kind of slow, but today, at least tonight will be a bit busier. Tonight will be my first pack meeting as the new cubmaster for my son’s cub scout pack. I am a bit nervous, but I am sure everything will work out ok. Avi love the cub scouts and I hope that he will continue in scouting all the way to Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. Below is a photo of Avi in his Cub uniform.

Avi in Uniform

After scouts, we have to put the finishing touches on Avi’s Purim costume (photo on Friday). I discussed some about Purim the other day, but we get dressed up in costume the kids usually have some sort of costume parade before or after the public reading of the book of Esther at our Synagogue (Thursday night). It is a lot of fun and the kids also get goody bags. This will be the first time we have Purim in our Synagogue building since the fire last August, so hopefully it will be even more fun!

Then on Friday the kids will have a carnival at school and I even have off that day, being that the calendar has been nice enough to put Good Friday on the same day as Purim.

So I am looking forward to a fun few days and a nice little vacation from work.

Here are some fun Purim videos.

This next one requires a few definitions. A Gmach is a communal organization where someone will have a bunch of a particular item that people use a lot and loan them out to other members of the community. A good example is a one in my community that has artificial flowers that can be borrowed for different events. A Purim Shpeil is a funny skit that is traditional to do on Purim. And finally many families who have moved from the US to Israel have kept some part of their business or work life in America, so the husbands often fly back to the US for short trips.

Now the video

Out of the Mouth of Seven Year Olds

mykidsmom told me this story to me last night.  Avi has a playdate scheduled with a friend from school for Sunday morning.  He comes home the other day and says:

“eema, I don’t think I can have my playdate with _____. ”  When mkm asked him why not, he said: “Because he has a hole in his heart and if we play it might make it worse.” (or something to that effect).

Understanding that there could be conditions like this, mkm tells Avi that if it were a problem, _____’s parents would have done what was needed to make it better.

The next day at the bus stop, mkm asked _______’s mom about this.  She asked ______ and we found out that the day before, ______ had a pimple on his chest that popped and he bled a bit.  At school the nurse had to change the bandage, so everyone in class found out that he was bleeding from his chest (a hole in his heart).

I laughed at the story as it is funny.  I also felt very proud of Avi at his concern for his friend.

Avi and The Beatles

So today my regular daily post and the song of the day are combined into one posting. All three of my kids love music and given my particular obsession, they of course have a love of The Beatles. Recently, we moved Avi into his own bed room. He had been sharing with Noam but that caused bedtime problems, so now Noam and Shayna share a room and Avi has his own.

Soon after we bought him a clock radio/cd player for his room. He quickly figured out that his “alarm” could be a CD. I had burned a few CDs for him, but last night he came to me and said, “Abba, can you make a CD for me with “Good Morning, Good Morning” by The Beatles? That would be a great song to wake up to.”

Does my son have good taste or what?

So today’s song is “Good Morning, Good Morning”

And….on top of everything it continues my “middle Beatles” theme that I started yesterday and now I think will continue the rest of the week. “Good Morning, Good Mornin” appears on the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Album.


Its been a tough week

Mykidsmom and I have been struggling to figure out what to do about Avi’s schooling. Right now, Avi is in first grade at The Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley in East Brunswick, NJ. He is mostly happy here but things have been difficult. He is very defiant and sometimes will sit in class and do nothing, or even worse disrupt the class. Avi started his school career in pre-school at the Gan Yeladeem Learning Center at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick. Things were ok at the start, but after a while he was becoming more and more defiant and difficult to deal with. The director suggested that we look into what our services our town could provide. Our town’s public school evaluated Avi and determined that he did not qualify for services. After another 6 months, the pre-school director told us that she was close to asking us to take him out. So we went back to the public schools, this time with some ammo. A friend who is a special ed teacher, a friend who is a psychologist specializing in Asperger syndrome etc. Avi then qualified for services and after 6 months improved so much that for his last year of pre-school he was back at Gan Yeladeem in the am and in the public school in the pm. A difficult day for sure, but Avi did very well.

So then the two declassified him and he had a great Kindergarten year at SSDSRV. Things deteriorated this year is first grade which is why we had private testing done and the final diagnosis of ADHD, ODD and a learning disability. So we decided that we should have SSDSRV ask the county to evaluate Avi and hopefully come up with an IEP that will allow us to move forward.

Well, Monday we had our meeting with his teachers and the county and it was determined that Avi does not qualify for services. So now we are back at square one. Although the ADHD medication has been helping, Avi still has difficulties in class and the professionals are just telling us, wait and see what happens with the meds and the therapy.

Avi is a bright kid, and when I sit with him to help him with his homework, he clearly has learned the material. I just wish we could find a way to help him act appropriately in school. We don’t have all the answers and I don’t know when and if we will but I can only pray that we can help Avi to achieve his fullest potential.

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