A little over a month before our car accident, Cale surprised me with a Wii for my birthday. Months before while he was still in Afghanistan, the begging started. Guilty as charged. I pleaded and gave every reason I possibly could of why we just had to have one. Promises of the two of us playing and having a blast, a way for me to stay fit while having fun, and game nights with friends were just a few given. Cale being an Xbox kind of guy always replied with all the reasons of why we shouldn't have one. He also knew that I was a pro in the sport of getting my mind set on something only for my infatuation to dissolve all too quickly.
Once he was home, I didn't stop. Our first trip to the Salmon Run mall post deployment and Christmas sales only lit the fire for desperation on this little white box. Cale was always the pro at giving me a look to let me know I was reaching the point of crossing the line. Not in a parental way, but a way to let me know it was time to stop before an argument of any kind was going to surface.
A few days before my birthday he ran a couple errands. I was clueless it had anything to do with my birthday until he ran in the door announcing he had a surprise for me. He had picked up my birthday gift. I was the one saying he needed to wait for my birthday, but he couldn't help himself! He had to show me. I wasn't going to disagree!
It was in fact the very thing I had wanted so badly. A Wii. We both were very much like two little kids as we ripped apart the box and tape. We pulled each item out of the box and I was already planning our next trip to the store. I need the Wii fit game!
Although Cale made sure I knew the Wii is kind of dumb and he wasn't too interested, the moment of getting it out of the box and all hooked up proved differently.
We started playing games immediately. Cale's competitiveness came out and the adventure started. We also went to the store a few days after to pick up my new game. We played and laughed and had a blast just as I had predicted.
When we packed up our little Toyota before making a long trip around the US, we decided that was included in one of the things we needed to have along with us. Game nights with friends of course! ;)
As you all know, just a couple days later, our car was crushed and Cale was lying on a hospital bed in a coma with no signs of life.
It took months and months but the day eventually came that Cale was able to play the Wii again. It wasn't our Wii and it wasn't in our home, but it was a piece of life that had been in what felt like a whole different world.
Cale's therapist at the Palo Alto VA used the Wii for therapy in hopes to keep him motivated while working on things like balance, cognition, and coordination. I think on some days Cale enjoyed it, but frustration and fatigue always loomed over. Interest wore off quickly.
Once we did make it to our new home, and found that the Wii had survived the wreckage, Cale had no interest. The memory of giving it as a gift and all the time we spent playing on it had disappeared and left was only interest in his beloved Xbox.
My knowledge of all the great benefits of the Wii and how much fun it really could be left me disappointed. Why is he so stubborn?!
Every now and then we would try again. His PT with Rehab With Out Walls tried with no success. Mama and I would try it, but nothing helped. We even had purchased the Kinect in hopes that he would be more willing to play it. Nope. I knew the reason. He's a man that whatever he would do he was good at it. And if he struggled, he wouldn't stop until he had it conquered. As gamers know, Cale would need the high score. The Wii being such a challenge and one that he had no control of, it frustrated him to the max. He knew he should have no problem, and yet, it was a constant let down. We gave it a fairly long break not wanting to push and kind of stepping on egg shells through this stage of intense anger. No reason to fuel the flames.
Until, Thursday night that is, when we made the suggestion. Cale was quick to jump at the idea to play. It took a little bit for all the set up again, but once the games started they didn't stop for long! We started playing around 5pm. He paused for a short time while his mom came to visit and then we continued with different balance games. When it was time for dinner, Cale paused to eat and then once again our Wii fun resumed. A little after 9pm when I knew Cale was really tired and he started to have a more difficult time, I talked him into going to bed and cuddling with me. He didn't want to stop!!!! He still struggled, but with someone to hold onto it helped.
There's just a few games he's playing (we have to unlock some which I don't remember us doing before? Maybe we had just done it a lot quicker?) and that helps to boost up his confidence. Just between Thursday and today I was able to see improvement on how he played and his balance!
We are, after all this time, once again playing the Wii together, laughing and having a blast.
*This post is not meant to encourage begging and whining to get what is wanted. His plan was to surprise me to begin with and then all my begging almost made him decide not to get it for me! ;)