A few weeks ago Chuck and I packed up the troops and headed to Seattle to attend the Beads of Courage Seattle Bead Challenge.
Apollo has been a member of Beads of Courage since 2012. Beads of Courage offers a tangible way for kids to understand and tell about their medical journey. Each bead represents a different medical treatment.
Everything from x-rays, to surgeries both big and small, to nights spent in the hospital are represented in these beads. Apollo has a rather impressive collection including seven silver stars representing the seven surgeries he has had.
Apollo loves his beads and likes me to tell him what each one means. There are so many I often have to go back and check the chart to let him know what is what.
Chuck told me this was actually a really emotional event for him. He was struck by everything Apollo has gone through. Everything our family has gone through. He had a hard time watching Apollo walk around with the beads around his neck.
The bead challenge was held at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. We were able to go into the studio and watch the artist make the glass beads. It was amazing to see how much time and effort is put into every single bead. Clearly, I have not been giving glass artists enough credit.
BTW, can I just say taking eight kids into a glass studio is a terrifying experience? Who needs a haunted house or childhood fears when you can take a bunch of kids who have just been sitting in a car for an hour and a half into a studio filled with fragile pieces of art that individually cost more than most of your children.
In other words, don’t do it unless you are crazy and Chuck and I are.
The kids each got to design a “dream bead”. They came up with the design and color and the artists participating in the bead challenge created them. It was pretty cool!
Next, we headed to Gasworks Park in Seattle and had a picnic lunch. The kids really enjoyed this until Kid A found a pile of human feces and toilet paper and Kid B wasn’t allowed to keep the lighter he found in the woods…not far from the feces.
So yeah, it was pretty typical for us.
Just another day in paradise.