Driving away …

Today we leave this town. Today we leave my son George at his college knowing that we won't see him again for two months. This is hard. This is going to be the most difficult day in this whole process so far. I've lived this once before with Sid. I didn't do it gracefully. I cried. Heck, I sobbed. I wasn't myself for a good week and even then I was pretty sketchy. I expect the same will happen again. And I make no excuses. It's not every day that you get in your car and leave your child knowing that you won't see them again for months. I joke and say that this whole thing would be easier if I hadn't been the one to teach my kids how to use a spoon! Seriously, they went from not being able to feed themselves to leaving for college in what seems to be a really short time. Logically I know that I had about 17 years from spoon usage learning to college classes but today that gap in time doesn't seem nearly long enough today. I selfishly want more time with George. But my love for him somehow allows me to also want this new life for him even more. And even though I don't think I'll ever feel ready for it, I know that he is.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you drive away!!!

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Feeling very special …

My kids are honestly incredible people. Yesterday was another busy day for us. With two kids moving out this week and trying to coordinate travel plans and accommodations for everyone it's been NUTS. Every time I felt like I could set a sold plan in place someone had a problem or something didn't work. Ugh. Then I had all the finalizing of paperwork. When you have four kids, trust me, there will always be one more form to complete and an email to write. ALWAYS. Especially right before school starts. Again, ugh. I got a lot done yesterday and I was a little frazzled, to say the least. But last night, these kids of mine, made my entire day better. Heck, they made it great!

I was about to make dinner when they told me that they wanted me to stop and go get ready because George was going to take me out to dinner and a movie. They had planned it all out together. Libs and Sid were going to watch Reese and I was going to have a nice night out with my son before he leaves for college. WOW! I was honestly so taken back I could hardly speak. It was one of those silent shocked moments. Never did I expect them to do something like that for me. In the midst of all our craziness, life changes and moving boxes, my kids made sure that they thought of me. I know they see how much I struggle sometimes. My burdens. My pain. And they definitely know how emotional I've been lately. But as a mom, I never think about those things. I just do what has to be done (and probably go a little overboard) to make sure their lives go smoothly and that their needs are taken care of. It's just a natural mom function. Like blinking, but with your heart. Last night my kids took care of me and gave me a night to relax and enjoy myself. It was so kind. And I can't think of a moment that it was more needed. And appreciated. I know I say it a lot, but I really do have the greatest kids in the world.

Well, I hope you all have a day where the people you love most make you feel very special!!!

I cried a little …

Today George and I went and did some back to school shopping. Correction. Off to college shopping. He leaves in just two short weeks. I haven’t allowed myself to really think about it all yet. But today it all creeped in my thoughts. And it made me sad.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t cry a little!!!

Home … 

Traveling is a wonderful. Having the opportunity to get away from your daily routine and responsibilities is like a miraculous healing. But the excitement you see on your 7 year old’s face after having been gone is absolutely priceless. That tight hug that you get is the best feeling in the world. THE. BEST. It reminds you of what is truly important in life … love and the people you share it with. No matter how great one’s travels may be, there is no better place to be than with the people you love most and where your heart feels like belongs.

Well, I hope you all have a day where it feels like home!!!

A chocolate chip …

I have mentioned before these Reese’s biggest delays are in her oral motor development. It’s common among people with Down Syndrome and speech therapy works wonders for them. Reese still only speaks minimally and when she does speak she is often hard to understand. Her family, teachers and caregivers understand her but most everyone else would have a difficult time. This means I have to trust that the people I leave her with will take the time and make the effort to figure out what she needs when she is distressed. Reese also does not chew. She is a choking hazard. All day, every day. Awake or asleep. If this isn’t enough to keep a mother from ever sleeping soundly at night, I don’t know what is. Again. I must trust the people I leave her with to make sure she is safe. That she is watched around food at all times. And that she isn’t forced to eat something that she can’t. It’s terrifying to think of the consequences. Terrifying. Especially on days when I go to clean out her lunchbox and find a chocolate chip.

A chocolate chip.

To most of us when we see a chocolate chip we think YUM. Or SWEET. Or COOKIE. And I admit, I am one of those people.

But Reese, is not.

To her, an innocent chocolate chip is something that could potentially harm her. It is anxiety provoking. It is not a treat. It is a threat to her well-being.

I don’t normally focus on Reese’s delays. To me she is developing just the way God intended. She is capable. She is smart. She is loving. And so so silly. I think she teaches me more than I teach her. She reminds me to slow down. To stay in the moment. That life is precious. Every. Moment. She is a gift. She is a joy. MY JOY. And I love her fiercely. 

Whether you have a typical child or a child with special needs, parenting is not for the faint of heart. There are days when I feel like a warrior for my children. I would walk through fire for them. Literally. Loving them has given me a strength I never knew I had. An invincibility and fearlessness allowing me to protect them against any concern that comes their way. And yet, there are those days when I find myself reduced to tears by a single chocolate chip.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t worry!!!

A wonderful Mother’s Day …

Having lost my mom over 23 years ago Mother’s Day has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Some years are worse than others. This year I seem to be doing pretty good with all of it. I’ve had a lot to overcome these past 7 months and I guess it just has me feeling straight up appreciative. Although her time here was cut far too short, I am blessed to have had such a wonderful mother. A relationship that has blessed me far beyond our physical time together. I also have beautiful healthy children whom I love immeasurably. I am here. I am healthy and I am able to enjoy this day with them. It is a gift. I feel this in my soul. And I simply couldn’t be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!!

Parent-ly surprised and The Lip Balm Saga of 2017 …

Reese gets terrible chapped lips. Sadly, I know that she gets this tendency from me. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life avoiding chapped lips. So much so that my kids think it’s funny to hide my Burts Bees lip balm (my favorite). For the record, it’s NOT. And I stash them EVERYWHERE. It’s a little obsessive but if you battled chapped lips like I have you would completely understand. 

Anyway, it was pretty windy at the Lemon Festival yesterday and despite putting on lip balm Reese’s lips still got chapped. In an effort to prevent them from getting worse I wanted to send her to school this morning with lip balm. To my dismay, I couldn’t without a doctors note. WHO KNEW?!?!

This is where the LIP BALM SAGA of 2017 began. First I waited patiently for the school to print out the form that I needed to have filled out by Reese’s doctor. I then left school and emailed her teacher. I told her that if her lips appeared to be getting worse that I would come down and I would put lip balm on her myself. Reese’s teacher was equally as concerned as I was that her lips could get worse so she invited me down at recess and lunch time to reapply the lip balm. I thought this was a great idea! However, about halfway through my day of dealing with lip balm applications I became wildly aware of how crazy the whole thing seemed. I wrote several emails, went to school a total of four times today, filled out a form and made a trip to Reese’s doctor’s office. Now don’t get me wrong, I would run barefoot on a treadmill that had Lego pieces glued to it for this child of mine. But as I started to calculate the hours I spent on just this one task I realized something. Never, in my wildest parenting dreams, did I expect that one day I would spend so much time just trying to apply lip balm to my child’s lips!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you parent-ly surprised!!!