We are so thankful for some friends who were introduced to us shortly after Nathanael's birth. Their son, Jackson, has a rare immune deficiency disease as well, and had a bone marrow transplant in March. Since we have kept the boys so isolated, our doctors (we see the same ones here in Dallas) agreed that having them play together would be fine, so in early November we set up a time for them to come over to play. (Of course, Nathanael was only a spectator...)
I was still pretty nervous that something would go wrong, that we'd share germs with Jackson and he'd get sick...so I steam cleaned the furniture and the floors, sanitized some toys, and prayed. Of course, as soon as the boys got comfortable playing with cars in the living room, off they ran to Jamison's (uncleaned) room full of (uncleaned) stuffed toys, and they both came back with lots of "furry friends" in their arms...I was horrified, and they had so much fun! The animals played games together, and eventually they were abandoned in favor of a pillow fight on our bed! We also played outside together. The boys were thrilled to play together, and Melissa and I were so thankful that despite their extended isolation, both boys had retained/learned enough to handle themselves appropriately. God's grace was clearly evident.
While I was worried about Jackson before he came over, I noticed that he washed his hands often, didn't put things in his mouth, and was great about only playing with Jamison. At 3 years old he's very verbal, and has an INCREDIBLE understanding of his condition, the "rules" (he wears a mask and hat when outdoors), so I understood why Melissa was comfortable with his being here...even playing with Jamison's toys. He is also farther along in his recovery than Nathanael, so that set my mind at ease as well. One of the challenges of Nathanael's age is that he doesn't "get it" and can't understand why things happen. Jackson showed us his central line and g-tube button, and told us that he got medicines through them...what a great attitude!
Of course, it was such a blessing to me to be able to talk with Melissa. She has an in-depth understanding of our situation and is incredibly compassionate. I love all of my friends, and am grateful for all of you who pray for us, but (thankfully) so few of our friends know what this road has been like, that it's a great comfort to share it with someone who also shares your faith, can laugh and cry with you, and can understand the unique challenges we've faced this year. We do hope to have both families together again soon.
It was such a great day all-around. Of course Nathanael was an observer of all the fun, both from his exersaucer and his booster seat, but that didn't bother him, and the benefit to the rest of us was well worthwhile.
Please pray for Jackson and his family, as he continues to recover from his transplant. We praise God with them for his continued good health, and look forward to lots more fun together!