Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day One: Introduction

For those of you who want the blow-by-blow!

Travel went surprisingly well. I didn't yell at my mother and Charlie handled air travel surprisingly well. It was a long, tiring day, but we landed in Vermont late last night and got up bright and early this morning for our drive to Montreal.

Driving to Montreal was quite easy although I say that with the perspective of someone who sat in the backseat trying to read Twilight while my parents navigated. Still, we got there and with time to spare.

In the parking lot we immediately met Daniel's parents, Melanie and Lonnie. I recognized Daniel from his picture and he is just as cute in person as he is on the 'net. He's got the best smile and he flashes it often. You know what's funny? I could have picked Daniel out of a lineup, but Melanie was a complete surprise. I know there are mom pics up now and then, but we really do just post mostly pictures of our kids. Melanie wears makeup and everything. I'd be sticking my mug up here all the time if I actually had makeup on. Most of the time, though, I'm covered with drool and paint. Not the most appetizing combination.

Anyway, we went on up and they called roll. I recognized some names from the blogosphere, but there were many other parents who are aren't attached to their computers at the hip. I wonder how the heck they find out about ABR? I think that on some level we were probably all checking out each other's children: hoping that ours doesn't look any worse off or something. Or maybe that's just me.

The presentation lasted a good three hours. Some of it was review. The central focus seemed to be this: please do not think that your child is going to be walking and talking in six months. They used the phrase, "this is not a miracle" about 100 times. They showed us in distinct detail how our children's bodies have been affected by their brain injury. Tomorrow we begin training and in the late afternoon we will be getting evaluated by Gavin Broomes who is permanently in the North American office. The next day we have more training and in the evening we get evaluated by Leonid Blyum, the creator of ABR. Supposedly, an evaluation with him is out of this world--there is just so much that he can see after working with brain injured kids for so long. I can't wait for that!

On the way to our Montreal hotel we stopped and ate dinner at a restaurant called, "Madison's, New York restaurant and bar." We ate some expensive hamburgers and our waitress laughed at us pretty much the whole time. A request for iced tea made her laugh and it took her quite a while to procure some. Do people not drink that other places? She also brought us ketchup in tiny, unopened bottles. Is ketchup not a regular condiment for Canadians? It's pretty funny that a place that called it self a New York restaurant had trouble getting us ketchup and iced tea.

So that's it. We're all tired, but good, and now I'm going to go give Charlie something to eat.