While we struggle to cope with the bad news attacks that plague Noelle these days and the waves and troughs of hope in terms of Nikolina being able to walk some day, life goes on. Nathaniel, who saw his eighth birthday on Christmas Day, is just four years away from being declared totally cured from the kidney problem that plagued him all his first year, ending in five surgeries around his first birthday. (Gee, that first year is really difficult for Shane and Lemony and their kids, first Nathaniel whose urine had to be collected externally for his entire first year and then Nikolina who spent four months in intensive care). Nathaniel is now a curious, bright little boy, so active that the doctor keeps telling his parents to feed him more because he burns off every calorie.
Nathaniel's latest "thing" is t-ball/baseball. Not that he is any good at it. The smallest (but far from the youngest) kid on the team, he valiantly whacks away at the T until the ball tumbles off and inches slowly away, causing both catcher and pitcher to take a run at it, while Nathaniel watches until the coach tells him to "Run to first base; hurry." It is fun to watch our budding scientist try out the sports thing. Those games and laughs provide wonderful balast to what would otherwise be perhaps too much stress. With laughter, stress ebbs toward being merely an ongoing annoyance.
Here are some more pictures of our valiant ball player: