Tonawanda News


July 7, 2013

KEPPELER: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming ...

Tonawanda News — I try to stay upbeat in this space.

It’s not difficult, to be honest. I love my kids. The vast majority of the time, I love spending time with them. I like relating the stories, the quirks, the funny things they say and the lessons I’ve learned in eight-plus years of parenthood.

And while I have a son with special needs, our lives are not all about that. In fact, many times I forget about it. Jim is Jim, and that’s all there is to it. You roll with the punches, you adapt when necessary and you just plain live.

But every once in a while, something happens when life just smacks you in the face and says, “Stop. Things are different. You need to remember that.”

You learn to recognize those moments, and accept them. But they don’t get any easier.

We started swim lessons this week, in the Keppeler family, the first in which the boys would not have have a parent in the pool with them. My younger son plopped himself into the pool with alacrity, his trademark boundless confidence and no sign of fear. Other than that brief heart-in-the-throat moment when I glanced at the pool and realized that he was out in the middle, effectively swimming all by himself albeit with an instructor nearby all was well.

Jim was not happy. He adores the water. He wanted to swim. Weeks of repeating what day their respective lessons would take place were all for naught, as he dedicated himself to getting in the pool on Sam’s day. I just kept repeating what day he’d be going himself, talking and talking, and retrieved his brother from the water after a very successful first lesson.

And then it was his turn.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo