A whole new world …

Today we are surprising Reese by taking her to see Aladdin the musical! She has never seen a Broadway show before. She is going to LOVE IT. The best part for me is going to be watching my sweet little girl discover what true theatre is really like. I can’t wait to see her face light up and to see wonder in her eyes as she becomes part of the theatrical experience. I got to do this with her older siblings and I know that her turn will be no less magical. It might even be MORE. I started taking my other kids when they were around age four. Reese is now eight. Developmentally she is about 4-5 years old. Down Syndrome has taught us that things don’t always happen on a typical timeline. It’s honestly freeing. To allow growth in such a natural unforced way is beautiful and I get to live that every day. I am blessed. MEGA BLESSED. It’s days like this that my heart wants to burst with MOM happiness. It is simply THE BEST!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you discover A WHOLE NEW WORLD!!!

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Run down …

At the end of another busy day we found ourselves out to dinner AGAIN last night. UGH. To put it into perspective, Libs didn’t finish up at school until 7 pm and she probably could have stayed longer if I had let her. Again, UGH.

Sitting at dinner last night I was abundantly thankful that I didn’t have to cook. I really don’t like eating out during the weekdays, but I was so tired and hungry that I didn’t care. I’d even been feeling a bit sketchy earlier in the day too. Almost like I was about to come down with something. I dismissed it because I’ve been so busy and stressed these past few weeks. Add in the poor night’s sleep that I had the other day when Reese had her growing pains and it wasn’t a good equation. I, however, chose to remain in complete denial. Bad idea. Again, again, UGH.

As we were enjoying our not-homemade blessing of a dinner last night, I caught a glimpse of something on Reese’s face. SNOT. Her nose was dripping ever so slightly. I instantly began claiming that the chill in the air both inside and outside the restaurant must be causing it. As she began to drip more I moved into accusing allergens as the culprit. This was clearly a desperate stretch since the child doesn’t even have allergies! By the time we got home Reese was in full drip mode. Somehow I still managed to give her a bath, dry her hair and get her into bed a few minutes before her bed time. Moments like that, I feel like I have magical powers.

Unfortunately the magic wore off pretty quickly. My poor baby girl was not having a good nights sleep. I rubbed her back, repositioned her and cuddled her all night long. At around 4 am she seemed to be more comfortable than she had been all night and was sound asleep. I was SO THANKFUL!

So what did I do? Sleep, right?!?! NOPE. I got up and rummaged through paperwork. Really Jennifer, REALLY?!?! Oh and I forgot to mention that at some point in the darkness of night, my denial officially wore off. I began to feeling sniffly too.

1000 times, UGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t feel run down!!!

Growing …

My sweet Reese woke up in the middle of the night last night with pains in her little legs. This just breaks my heart! I remember getting these pains when I was a child. VIVIDLY. They were AWFUL. I know that the pains are harmless, and that they are actually indicating a good thing, but knowing that my child is in pain just unsettles me. Luckily with some ibuprofen, leg massages and cuddles Reese was able to fall back to sleep. To hear her breathes deepen and relax as she became more comfortable was such a relief. A gift to this worrying mama.

Nights like these are the parenting REAL DEAL. When we are in the trenches, tired and worried, trying desperately to make sure our kids are OK. I’d spend a million sleepless nights like this just to give my kids peace and comfort. Make that 10 million because … goodness … I couldn’t possibly love them more.

Well, I hope you all have a day where growing doesn’t hurt!!!

24 Groundhog Days later and love still knows no bounds …

Today is Groundhog Day. It is also the day that my mother died. For 24 years this day has not passed without tears and sadness. Sure, some years are better than others, but generally it’s just awful. I usually spend most of the day trying to avoid contact with the outside world. I try to limit my interactions to the people who know me the best. Those brave souls who have seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. Because for the most part, on Groundhog Day, I’m a wreck.

Twenty-four years later I STILL find it difficult to maneuver through this day. I mention this because ongoing grief is not something people talk about much. The initial grief that comes from loss we all understand even if someone has never felt it. But ongoing grief is a different beast. It shocks me how it still consumes me. It can be as painful as the day my mother died. And I think I know why.

When I feel genuine love for someone and they feel it for me, it’s like this energy has been created. It’s one of the most beautiful and powerful feelings I have ever felt. Being a mother myself and now having children venturing off to college, I find that their absence, although not permanent (thank you Jesus), still leaves an energy behind. It’s a connectedness that pulls on my heart and makes me want them home with me. And it’s also that connectedness that fuels their desire to return home. The love I have experienced both as a mother and as a daughter does not understand time, distance, physics, or logic. It is almost a stronger KNOWING than faith. This love just … IS. It is a constant. And although it’s not always at the forefront of my mind, it is and (I believe) always will be present. And after 24 years of grieving I can assure you that the energy that came from the love I felt from and for my mother is still as strong as it was when I could reach out and touch her. It has never gone away. I still want her to come home. I still want to hug her and spend time with her. Put simply, I STILL want my mommy. And I’m thankful. Although these ties to her tend to cause me incredible pain on days like this, it is a reminder of the gift that God had so graciously given me. Genuine love. And I will ALWAYS be thankful for that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love knows no bounds!!!

A blubbering mess …

Perhaps scheduling Reese’s appointments to see her specialists the two days before the 24th anniversary of my mother’s passing was a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, they went great! Reese picked out some adorable purple glasses with hearts on the side that should correct her vision. YAY! And her cardiologist couldn’t have given me better news. PRAISE GOD! I am a great case manager and I had worked long enough in the medical field to know my way around most specialties. So I usually can put up a pretty good strong front through most of these appointments. I am Super Social Worker Mom, with nerves of steel, wisdom beyond my years and complete level-headedness. But not these past few days. Good grief!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t a blubbering mess!!!

Delightfully surprised …

Yesterday I hinted (blatantly suggested) to Sid that she should bake me a King Arthur coffeecake mix that I had bought some time ago. She didn’t seem to go for the idea, and I forgot all about it. Last night I had a late hair appointment and literally just threw all the dinner dishes into the sink before leaving for the salon. I got home just in time to put Reese to bed. I accidentally fell asleep with her and when I woke up later I was completely out of it. Forgetting all about the dirty dinner dishes.

When I woke up this morning I saw a text on my phone from Sid that said, “You’re welcome”. I was a little baffled but concluded that it must have been in relation to me thanking her for helping me so much yesterday. I would later find out that I was wrong about that when Libs came into my bedroom and asked if the coffeecake on the counter in the kitchen was for breakfast or for something special.

WHAT?!?!

There’s a coffeecake on the counter!?!?

Sure enough, not only was there a delicious coffeecake on the counter, but all my dinner dishes had been washed! WOW!

I know that I say this a lot, but I really mean it. I have the most thoughtful kids in the world. They are always doing kind things for me and make me feel special. To say I appreciate them, seems like an understatement. They truly are THE BEST and I love them more than words could ever express.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are delightfully surprised!!!