A fun day getting ready …

Today is our last day of summer break and we have been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the girls' BIG day back to school tomorrow. Even though I get a little sad about them returning to school, I have come to really enjoy this day. I like adding all the "finishing touches" to our new school year preparation. Seriously, I love this stuff!

Well, I hope you all have a fun day!!!

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Fingers crossed …

I have one big assignment to complete for my continuing education class and then I’m done. As long as I pass it with an 85% I won’t have to take another class. Which is good because I need to renew my nutrition and wellness consultant certification by then end of September. As a student, I have never left studying or assignments until the last minute. I just can’t operate this way. And trust me, it came in handy when crisis occurred and I didn’t seem me like the “flakey” student asking for help. Like the time I accidentally slept through a final in college. Yeah … that was terrifying. But I pleaded my case to my professor and because I was a good student and never turned in an assignment late he let me take it at a different time. PHEW! Anyway, my point is that I am not a procrastinating student by nature. But circumstances have certainly dictated this class and the time I have poured into it. I had planned on taking this class last Fall, but then I got sick. I registered for it when I finally felt I had it together enough to concentrate again. Little did I realize this would also coincide with my son graduating, Sid moving home and taking 3 trips. Not to mention the birthdays and holidays. OY! Needless to say I have sporadically found time to read, study and complete part of the large assignment that is due in just over a week. I am way out of my comfort zone as a student. And I REALLY don’t like it. Because I know me and my kooky life. Literally ANYTHING can happen. Deep down, I know I’ll complete it. I just need everyone and everything to cooperate so I can get it done. I actually laughed typing that. Ugh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you keep your fingers crossed!!!

A BIG SIGH of relief …

I woke up this morning feeling something I hadn’t in a very long time. RELAXED. Sidney has been home from college for about a month now. George graduated from high school last night. Libs and Reese have their last day of school today. Our absolutely exhausting, unpredictable, and stressful school year is OVER. There were many times when I wondered if we were going to make it out of this one unscathed by our circumstances. It was a tough one. This past week one particularly memory has come to mind time and time again.

I was just recently out of the hospital. On top of everything else my vision was terrible even with my glasses on. Between the medications and being so sick everything was just a blur. But there George and I were, sitting in front of his computer finishing up his college applications. I remember thinking HOW? How exactly are we going to get from HERE to THERE? And what if we didn’t? The worry was incredible. So much “hinged on” those applications. Too much to even imagine the loss. He needed my guidance. He needed my help. No excuse was good enough. It all had to get done and it had to get done then. His future wasn’t going to wait for me to feel better and for me to see clearly again. So we did what we had to do and got them done despite our obstacles.

And here we are. Many months later. Sid home for summer and soon to be entering her Junior year in college. Libs with a Distinguished Scholar Award for keeping a 4.0 her Freshman year. My Reese thriving and ready to take on 2nd Grade. And George, a high school graduate leaving for college in just two short months. I can’t believe we got from THERE to HERE. Their resilience amazes me. They persisted and it all paid off. We made it. THEY made it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you breathe a BIG SIGH of relief!!!

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!!!

Alike …

This morning as I walked Reese into school she was hopping over all the painted lines on the ground. She was carefully timing her steps and was jumping and having a great time. Boy oh boy, that took me back! I did the same thing when I was a kid. Reese also loves to twirl around. I could do that for hours! She and I are so similar when it comes to childlike play. I didn’t notice this as much with my older kids. They played differently. But Reese and my 7-year old self are like reflections in a mirror. This totally warms my heart. She had me smiling ear-to-ear watching her this morning and I said to her cheerfully, “You’re just like mommy!”

And then it happened.

She said … NO. With the expression of a HECK NO. 

Oh goodness. This child just tells you how she sees it. She’s very matter-of-fact in her delivery and expresses exactly how she feels. I hate to tell her … but that is also just like her mommy. HA!

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

Back at it … 

It’s Monday. But not just any regular Monday. It’s the Monday after a holiday AND after my kids have had over a week off from school. Plus we are entering a performance week. I am not sure if that means the same thing for all performers. But for us, it means rehearsals late into the night for three nights and then performances for another three. Not to mention, ya know, school … and life. This week is going to be ugly for all of us.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are back at it!!!