Brave Girl

After 9 days of recovery, we are trying school again today. I am so proud of Grace - she can't see further than 3 feet in front of her right now but she asked to go back to school even before her new glasses arrive.  It's not going to be easy - she can't see the board; she can't read a worksheet; she can't see the music during violin rehearsal. But she can learn by hearing the lesson and she can show the rest of her classmates what it means to be brave and strong during a scary and confusing time.  

Can you imagine not being able to see your friend on the other side of the table?! I can't. But Grace is going back to school just like that.  She's going back wearing her dad's old glasses just so she can see a little tiny bit better.  She's going back after missing a total of 13 days of school this month due to surgeries.  

She is my hero. 


Today It All Worked

With two full time jobs between Hubby and I, three kids with very different schedules and needs, and medical issues that always seem to need attention, each day is different here.  

My grey hairs grow pretty quickly (and let me tell you - I am WAY overdue for a visit to my hair guy - note to self....schedule that pronto!).  Almost every day, I have an internal dialogue with myself about how tomorrow/next week/next month/next project, things are going to run smoothly and efficiently and exactly as planned.  Come back to read more after you stop laughing!!! :) 

Hubby and I run through schedules quick and decide who is taking which kid to their school/daycare in the morning and which one of us can be back on this side of town in time for pickup each day.  Its a give and take and beg and plead kind of situation.  

But sometimes, the madness just works.  

Today was one of those days.  And so it deserves a blog post to mark the occasion. 

Traffic cooperated this afternoon so I could drive from Point A to B to C for Grace's post-op appointment.  Then we rushed, through traffic again, to Point D and E for day care pick ups with perfect timing.  Dinner was in the slow cooker when we walked into the house. No one cried over the chosen menu tonight.  Bedtime was met with hugs and kisses and zero tears.  Homework got done and the violin was practiced.  

On top of all that, I wrote a list of eight things that needed completion tonight for a special event client of mine --- with the event less than a month away, we have a million details to confirm.  Six of those items are checked off and done. Not too bad! 

Weekdays are tough - there is such little time each day when we are all home and awake together. Most nights, Hubby and I see each other over the tops of our laptops on the couch.  Tonight, I can see the top of his head in the recliner as I sit in my office corner confirming event lighting and catering menus. 

I am typing this out and that inner dialogue is running. WHAT about today made things go exactly as planned?  WHY today? WHO made all that happen so well? And I think the answer is really simple - while at work, while with Grace at the doctor, feeding the kids dinner, and then working at home - I was 100% (okay, 90%) focused on the task in front of me.  I wasn't juggling three things at one time - the list was on the counter for work time so I was able to stop thinking of what needed to be done and just enjoy chatting with the kids tonight.  I was able to focus on Grace's medical questions at the doctor and plan out the next surgery without listening to the beeping of incoming emails.  

It's crazy and exhausting and sometimes its really hard to get through the day.  But days like today remind me that it's all possible.  


New Eyes

I've had mornings like this more than I can count anymore - finding comfy clothes for me, ensuring no breakfast for the patient, and packing a bag to entertain myself for one to six hours in a bland waiting room.  I like to think I'm pretty good at this!

This time feels so different. This time I am going through my pre-op checklist for my daughter, not my husband. It's basically the same things that need to be done but for some reason, it feels so different. 

Grace is having the first of two surgeries to remove her lens in each eye. They are preventing her from having good vision and we are seeing the affects daily - it's time to make things better.  

It's a fairly simple straightforward and routine surgery.  Doesn't make it any easier though - not to mention I have heard that one before and it hasn't been easy!

So if you are reading this, say a prayer - spread good wishes - think happy thoughts....whatever it is you do, send Grace (and her worried parents) a little love today.  

I cannot wait for her to see the world with new eyes!! 



This week, Will passed out birthday party invitations to his class at day care. It's the first time he has invited a class of friends to his birthday.  What's even better is that he planned this party himself - invited people before Mom and Dad had said okay to a party.  

The RSVPs have started to come into my email box - none of his school friends can attend.  Apparently, one of the little girls in his class is also having a party on the same day at the same time. I had no idea.  An invitation to that party was never placed in Will's cubby at school and so all his friends will be at that party and not his.  It breaks my heart each time my Inbox beeps with another response. 

Trust me - Will's party will be just fine. Friends and family will be there. This week is all about him at home so he will turn 5 with fun and presents and love just the same. I doubt he will even realize any of that happened.  

But I realize it.  And I feel it.  

It's a familiar feeling - I get it often with Grace.  When I see the other kids in her classes and activities giggling together.  When I hear about birthday parties she isn't invited to.  When she is home after school and on the weekends with no social plans outside family stuff.  

My sweet big girl and adorable boy.
I have come to realize that the level of parent socializing is directly related to the social experience kids have.  And when your mom is extremely introverted and anxious when it comes to meeting new people, you are pretty much doomed.  I'm not on 17 PTO committees and I can't be at weekday school events and we don't live in an area with a neighborhood pool and activities and tot lot to hang out at.   My own social circle is small and that protection I have placed around me in that way has leaked into my kids lives. 

My kids are smart, loving, empathetic, loyal and funny.  They are great kids.  They want to run and play and be part of the gang. I know it's part of growing up but it hurts like hell when I see them hanging outside the circle - when they are friendly with their peers but not included when it comes to social events.  I remember that feeling and it sucks. 

The Buddy bench - have you seen that article? This is what that is about.  I wish there were Buddy Benches everywhere!!! 

As I am writing here, I don't want anyone to think "oh poor kids". I want people to look around - maybe that casual friend who is standing outside the circle just needs an invite to join you.  Maybe they don't know how to join in the activity or maybe they are a little anxious about approaching the larger group. Your child may find a new friend. You may expand your network of colleagues.  Maybe you will learn something new from that person.  But for sure you will make the day of your new friend.