It's the first victory of the season for the JV Lady Bears. Way to go, girls!
Of course, somethings don't change from sport to sport. Like disinterested siblings who are too young NOT to get dragged along. This week's distraction? Play dough in the top tier of the stadium.
Lucky little ducks that they are, the Princess will be hangin' with her Grandma this weekend and the Little Guy has Saturday planned with his Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. Otherwise, they'd be playing divide and conquer with Mom and Dad as we once again travel to two different cities (in two different counties) for the second round of Region Cup. They'll avoid the sexy soccer mom/dad tans that we'll inevitably come home with as well.
Four years ago today, I couldn't sleep. I sat in my rocking chair listening to a rare Phoenix thunderstorm and contemplating the last hours that I would ever hold a babe inside of me. It had been a long road of attempting to get and stay pregnant. At 3:30 am, we headed to the hospital for labor augmentation. In the last moments of pushing, I remember putting my hands on my huge belly. "Are you saying goodbye?" my mother half laughed, half whispered.
"I think maybe I'm saying hello," I replied. And then he was here.
Three years ago, I was exhausted from round after round of speech, physical, oral motor, and occupational therapy visits and trips to doctors. I was lost and confused as a mommy and had started to blog to work through things in my head. I loved him but his infancy was one of the hardest things I had ever survived (so I thought at the time). Being a fourth time mother to this little person taught me more about living (and parenting) in grace and compassion than any book or conference could.
Two years ago today, I had two rounds of chemotherapy left to complete. I wasn't sure that this wasn't the last birthday I'd see him have. Taking care of an active toddler (note the fractured leg) while in such a physically depleted state would have been impossible alone. Two years ago,
he and his brother and sisters gave me a reason to get up every day. They forced me to learn to ask for help. As our family gathered around that day, I remember feeling so grateful that even if I wasn't around for his next birthday, there would be so many people to love him. I became a more thankful mommy that year.
One year ago today, I thought the hard times were behind us. I was wrong. Job loss and house flooding ensued, but this little one never missed a beat. Of all of us, he was ever ebullient, ever trusting , ever ready to hop up in my my lap and "snuddle". In his third year, he helped me learn to rejoice always. I'm a more joyful mommy because of him.
Today, he's a "live out loud" kid who's never met someone who is not his "friend". We'll take treats to his beloved preschool class and meet friends for his McParty. If I'm lucky, we'll lay down for nap together (he taught me how to do that as well!) We'll make his favorite mac'n'cheese for dinner, and my some miracle of logistics, will all be able to sit down and celebrate him for a little while this evening. Today, because of him, I'm a woman whose heart is full to overflowing and who has tears streaming down her face as she types.
Happy Birthday, Little Guy.
Blessed is the man
They will not be put to shame
--I wrote a note to Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, and author of the comic below, thanking him for the soccer mom humor that caused much coffee-spewing on Sunday morning. He wrote me back! What a nice guy.
--My "village" rocks. A few texts and a phone call and a last minute scheduling glitch cleared right up. The TQ's IB counselors may even get to see that she has two parents capable of sharing the same space....
--One of the Little Guy's Friend's mom took the time to call and ask if it was still okay to RSVP for the McParty, despite the late date. Manners are not dead. Woot!
--A very sweet clerk at the store bakery was charmed by the almost-birthday boy, and custom mixed a pack of mini-cupcakes for him, throwing in some uber-cool (to a preschooler, at least) picks for them (not usually included). Preschool treats for birthday? Checked off the list with NO late night baking by Mama.
--My kids are not afraid to work. As a family we were able to bless Grandma and Grandpa by clearing 16 contractor-sized bags of leaves from their yard yesterday before the family birthday celebration.
--The Laurie Berkner Band gave an incredible performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall yesterday afternoon that has literally left my younger children and their cousins begging for more. ("Can we go to Laurie Berkner again today?"). Kudos to my sister for finding the concert and booking the tickets. We'll be "Buzz buzz buzz"-ing about this one for weeks. (It's a LBB fan thing...).
--I have one more day of my "baby" being three. I'm stocking up on three year old snuggles, hugs, and kisses.
was what came to mind when I almost spit out my Sunday morning coffee while reading this. It didn't help that my son's current team and my daughter's former team share the "Strikers" moniker. There's always more than a little truth in most humor!
Just for the record, this week it wasn't me who:
Egad! Aliens abducted my EJ and left a true tween in his place!
Most of the time I'm too busy actually living my life to remember that I'm a "medical miracle". Every once in a while I have occasion (besides check ups, of course!) to be reminded just how "lucky" I am to be here.
This latest occasion was at the neighborhood urgent care center where I landed early Sunday morning with some nasty urinary tract symptoms (never a good thing when one possesses only one kidney) and an even nastier reaction to a drug that I've taken literally dozens of times to manage said symptoms.
The sweet doctor wasn't just content to take my medical history. He had to analyze it and ask lots of unrelated questions about how I discovered the sarcoma, where/why/how/who treated the sarcoma, and tell me how unusual my cancer was. I get it. I'm a medical junkie myself. I totally see how fascinating my "case" is and why residents and interns have literally salivated over my case (very cool in a Grey's Anatomy way, right?).
What I don't get is this. EVERY practitioner, without fail (this one included) felt the need to find a reason I got cancer.
Healthy eater? 90% of the time
Chemical exposure? No
Family History? Nothing even close to my case, thanks.
Every time someone tries to figure out the why, the ninth chapter of John comes to mind.
1As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
That the works of God might be displayed in me.
That's the why for every circumstance of my life.
When you consider this, and the fact that all any of us "deserve" is death, then it becomes easier to let go of the misconception that hardships are punishments and material blessings are some sort of cosmic gold star for "good" behavior.
Someone recently said offhandedly that I'd been through the "hell of cancer".
While I appreciate the fact that this person recognized just how hideous my treatment was, the phrase continues to eat at me.
Correct me if my theology is off (and Keith, I know you will) but to me, hell is eternal separation from God.
While there were definitely times when I felt like God might be standing afar, or even asleep during my trials, I knew (and continue to know) that he was there the entire time, cradling me when I was too weak to function.
To be eternally lost to that love, comfort and care...to truly be alone in the struggle...to not know that there was a significant reason (see above) for all it? That, my friends, is hell. Cancer is just a bump in the road.
Not a rant, but still nice for a rather Maudlin Monday :-):
I recently ran into a friend who was on his way to sing for a funeral. We looked at the songs chosen and I began to remember some of the things I had wanted during some of my nastier health crises.
This hymn is one of my all time favorites.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
--Katharina von Schlegel