Quite literally, this blog, this post, this title, is not what I have planned. Five years ago, after my youngest, was born, I had wanted to create a fun blog on crazy parenting life, as our lives were filled with uncommonly humorous everyday adventures. I always called our family of four, the “new Griswolds”, after the National Lampoon’s movie series featuring one of my most favorite film characters, Clark Griswold, and his crazy family. I felt our lives were a comedy spin-off, the modern day take of the classic series. It had been five years since I registered this domain, thenewgriswolds.com with the intent of capturing the humor of our everyday lives. Yet, this is not exactly what I had planned..
Our family began with me marrying my own “Clark Griswold”, my husband Shane, and being thrust into a new world of parenting. On July 19, we celebrated Shane’s birthday at the hospital celebrating the most epic of events, welcoming our first baby boy, Sawyer, born just the day before on July 18 into the world. Fast forward to two years later, we spent yet another birthday at the hospital celebrating the birth of our second baby boy, Slater, on July 17. That’s right: three days, three birthdays. What are the odds? This question seems to be a theme for us. With our new lives parents, our adventures were only beginning. From living in Florida, to trekking to New England often visiting my crazy Portuguese family, to weekend getaways escaping to beaches and theme parks, Disney World and Universal Studios, our wacky parenting and travel adventures were like bats in the belfry. Oh the baby forums and parenting boards and books, anything to help prepare us to raise two boys into the little loves that they are today. Our boys have grown now to be 4 and 6 years old, and in just over a week, the birthdays will roll around once more… but this year, it’s different. This year, we’re celebrating their birthdays again in a hospital as we have in the past, but not for the extraordinary reasons of giving life to a new baby, but instead, to save our youngest baby’s life.
A few months ago, our baby boy was diagnosed with a crushing disease, Neuroblastoma, Stage 4 cancer. How we got here, I’ll save for another post, but our fun “Griswold” style family adventures have become clouded, dire. We left our homes and our lives in Florida, and quickly left for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, on our promising path to healing our boy. We’ll be here for a minimum of 18 months of intensive treatment. Though this was not the initial intent of this blog, for the next year and a half, I’ll be posting about our lives here, living at St. Jude Hospital, my baby’s treatment, and coping with the hard realities that face us. Where is the parenting book on THAT?
Not exactly the first post I had planned on this blog, but then again… it pretty much fits with the spirit of what this blog was meant for in the first place. Life has such unexpected turns, so wherever the path may lead, and no matter how dark or scary it may be, we will find the way, through love, laughter, sadness, tears, joy, and hope. Every emotion will somehow get us there. By “there”, I mean home, with my two boys in tow, healthy, happy, and breathing. We will get there. I know we are not alone, our incredible family and friends supporting us from afar in every step along the way, the devoted and loving staff at St. Jude.. and I know there are so many families like mine going through a similar journey. Maybe this blog can help just one family, just one person, get through their tough road ahead too, in knowing they are not alone, that their emotions are real, their journey is rough, but they are not alone. To think, our old Wally World-esque adventures turned hospital living snapshots isn’t exactly what I had planned, but then again, neither is anything ever in life. With the love, support, and prayers, I know we will make it through this, and I can’t wait to be back in our home with my sweet boys. I cannot wait.