Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby!


My youngest turns ten years old today... Seems pretty impossible, looking back on all that has passed since the moment I became blessed with the gift of her being.

About halfway through her development within the safe haven of my womb, I was told, after a long, worrisome ultrasound that failed to show signs of a developing spine, that there was a distinct possibility that my baby would have spinabifida. They couldn't rule it out, and did nothing to assure me of a favorable outcome. They didn't bother rescheduling another ultrasound to ease my fears, and to this day, it infuriates me that I didn't do more to insist that I be given one. I was told that as soon as she was born, she would need to be whisked away for an xray.

Funny thing was, after a couple of weeks, there was no doubt in my mind, that my baby was fine. None what so ever. Call it mother's intuition (something that has been proven to me, over and over again, as a real and genuine thing... and has saved my children, and me, more times than I can say), or call it a state of denial. Whatever... I just knew.

Her birth, as beautiful and miraculous as it was, did nothing short of break me... And well, I can't even say that, because I DID break my tail bone during delivery, and couldn't sit properly for months afterwards!  I was in labor ~ terrible, hard back labor for over 35 hours.  I had been given all the labor inducing drugs you can name (complications put her at risk of being born with a strep B virus, which could be very harmful, and things were not progressing the way that they should have, to say the least) and was in so much pain I was literally begging for an epidural by the 30th hour. They gave it to me. Damnit.

I had a swarm of docs and interns around me, mostly due to the fact that I was at high risk to begin with because I was delivering VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). To be honest, the thought that she might not be "normal" or "okay" had never even crossed my mind. I suppose it's quite possible that I was in too much pain to think straight, never mind worry. It wasn't until about 20 minutes after her birth that I remembered, and thought to ask, "Um.. Aren't you going to give her an xray?" They looked at me questioningly, and I told them what the ultrasound specialist had said. They had absolutely no idea.

"She looks healthy enough to me, don't you think?" Was the answer I received.

Smiling into my baby girl's eyes, nestling her close against me, I nodded. "Yes, she most certainly does," I mused.


Now let me tell you... This little one has it in her. FIRE. SWEETNESS. INTENSITY. She feels each and every emotion to its highest degree, and has since the day she was born. If she has an opinion, you better be ready to hear about it, because you will anyway. The earlier years were especially challenging. Oh, the stories I could tell...There were times when I thought I might lose my mind with how she pushed and pulled me. There were moments when I became the sort of parent I never dreamed I would be, out of sheer frustration and mind boggling defeat. This girlie could kick and scream like you wouldn't believe. For hours. No kidding. Over how I cut her pickles. Over most anything.

Then she grew... Her heart grew, more and more beautiful every day. As did her will, and her stubbornness, and her pride. All of which I knew was a part of her that perhaps I wished I possessed more of myself! There was no question of what this little girl wanted in life. She'd let you know. But there also came a softer side. A shy, sensitive side. When I spoke to her shortly after this calmer, quieter side emerged, telling her how proud I was of her and how much she'd grown, she held me tight and cried, "but I don't WANT to grow up, Mommy... I want to stay little forever!!" Her stuffies were her life... Cluttering her room, in a corner up to the ceiling, covering her bed, and filling her closets as well. Carebears especially, became her favorite. As did Littlest Pet Shop animals and Baby Bratz... Tons of "little girl" things scattered from one end of her room to the other... "I will ALWAYS love my toys... I will NEVER grow tired of them!" She'd promised.


We cleaned it all out yesterday... Every last Bratz doll, every piece of "little girl stuff" that lived in her room with her all these years. Now it's American Girl Dolls (thanks, ma...), Nintendo DS, and IPOD. A few special stuffies remain, but it's all about the style now. Her walls are covered with her favorite stars' posters. Pretty decor hangs from the ceiling. Her friends were coming, it was her 10th birthday. Single digits were to be no more. Time to grow. Time to let go. Just a little... Just enough.

I must say, it's all bittersweet, as I'm sure many of you would relate with and agree to. That balancing act of holding on and letting go. To no longer be needed in some ways, and yet to be needed so very deeply in other ways. Gone are the days of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Red Light, Green Light. And yet to be able to sit back, and simply watch, as your "little girl' becomes a "little lady", is the most purest of blessings.

Happy Birthday, Bugaboo... I love you to the moon ~ and back....

I hope you dance.


"I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance..."     

(LeeAnn Womack ~ "I Hope You Dance")





Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blue and Broken... (skies and roads, that is... =) )

Gee...  If only I had downloaded these beautiful blue skies yesterday!  Oh well.  The most fitting of proverbs in my life these days (not including the frnz247), is "Better late than never."

These photos were taken this past Friday on a trip to visit my gramps.  There's much to say about this incredible man who faces piles of trials with smiles, but for now, I'm simply going to share the pics and devote another entry to him at later time.

This one's for Maria....

Lake Winnepasaki 


Side view from Gramps driveway.


Water damage along his road from last week's storm.



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot (a day late!): Blue Skies

Inspired by many these last few days, to look beyond the cracked window, I bring to you my addition to:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Blue Skies : Picture some blue, blue skies. Wide stretches of blue are the goal here. Fluffy clouds are great, too -- but try to get the skies mostly blue. Interesting stuff in the foreground is groovy, too.



Saturday, April 14, 2007

Got Love?

(Double journal alert... please forgive =) )

"... See there's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me."
--Gretchen Kemp

I found this quote in a journal just now...  A journal that I have never visited before, but one I will surely visit again.  Within it's pages lies a collection of beauty ~ photos, inspiring quotes and needful reminders.  In this particular entry, 100 quotes on love filled my heart as well as the page and I was reminded, once again, that life is full of surprises and dreams waiting to be fulfilled.  Hope, if allowed, will live forever in the hearts of any who need it.  And who doesn't need hope?  If not now, then in a moment...  Wait...not

I haven't written in quite some time.  Not for any particular reason, just that well, life gets in the way.  I shouldn't allow for that too happen ~ not for as long as I have, anyway.  I have been struggling a bit, in my mind and in my heart, and it's hard to put those feelings into words.  I tend to keep quiet when things are a bit too much.  I close up shop for a time, so to speak.  What I am finding is that there is a time and place for everything, but since there is so little of it really, wasting it just shouldn't be an option.  Still, there ARE times when it's hard to face reality, and even harder still to move forward, but there isn't really much of a choice now, is there?

I did a silly little bit of a survey the other night and sent it out to, oh, a dozen or so others...  One of the questions was:  What is the one thing you wish to do before you die?  The answer, for me, came fast and easy.  I want to fall in love.  So completely, so beautifully, so dearly.  I was surprised to see that many people seconded that answer...  Is it truly such a common hope?  Such a longing in the hearts of so many?  One answer really got to me, though.  It made me sit back in my chair and reflect for quite some time....  He answered:  Live.

Living life the way it's meant to be lived is no simple matter, is it?  We do not know how much time we have, and yet we go about our daily routines from the moment our eyes blink in the morning's glow until the night beckons rest, and perhaps we managed a laugh or two that day, or felt a warm hug or the quiet presence of someone close.  Is that enough?  Shouldn't it be?  Did you miss it?  That moment of living that passed by so quickly? 

Don't miss it tomorrow.  When your eyes blink in the morning and you rise to greet the day ~ go with love in your heart.  Love for life.  Love for yourself, and love for others.  When you give, you shall receive. 

I chose to share the above quote tonight simply to store it in my own memory, to look back on in years to come.  The journal entry itself spoke volumes.  There is more to "falling in love" then meets the eye.  Perhaps it is truly not as hard to accomplish as I had once thought.  Perhaps it is found merely in living.  How simple, how beautiful, is that?