Saturday, July 30, 2011

Butterfly Afternoons

It's one of those moments I want to bottle up.  Put it in a jar and hang around my neck, never let go.  We are all calk drawing in damp cloth on a hot summer afternoon, just got done with our second swim of the day in our little blue plastic pool.  The girls are bursting for a chance to "be butterfly."  I lay them down careful on the cement and snap a few shots.  Immediately they want to see themselves in the camera.  So full of joy their sticky yogurt fingers point at the screen.  "Again Mama!"    

How is it that I have been entrusted with so much undefined beauty? I am humbled. I am amazed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Pooh In Me

"Lets begin by taking a smallish nap or two..." Winnie the Pooh 

A nap, that sounds nice.  You know those cool people who want to figure it all out for themselves and toil over everything (my husband)?  I'm not one of them.  I'm one of those compliant people who doesn't really like change and loves advice.  For years I thought, some day I'll find them.  The perfect person with the perfect advice was out there and they were going to have the answers.  Ten steps to follow and everything will work out great.  Dos and Don'ts for a well balanced child who has Down Syndrome.  They were going to have a little girl a few years older then Claire and we were all going to be the closest of friends, basically ride off into the sun set together.

When do we stop doing private therapy?  Should I let her chew on stuff to self soothe?  Should we put her in private school to keep her integrated?  On and on go the questions and on goes my anxiety.  Someone just tell me what to do!     

Reality check, stop the disappointment train, this person doesn't exist! Not that I don't have wonderful friends who also have amazing children with Down Syndrome.  It's that all these kids are so different and each one has very different needs. This is make it up as you go.  There is no catch all, cure all game plan.

A little slow on the uptake but I figured it out, eventually.  I'm going to stop expecting God to bring this person to me because now, I see it, all that I would have missed if we had our perfect plan.  Stumbling around this mess of my life I unexpectedly run into wisdom.  It is there, an unseen treasure living in all things uncomfortable. 

How many beautiful people would I have missed if I had my perfect friend?  I know it, I wouldn't have worked to build meaningful relationships with other families who needed us.  I admit, I'm lazy like that.  Duh, thanks for not giving me what I want, again God.  You are so smart.

Once again I am reminded why I'm not the one writing this story.  God has a bigger plan for Claire then I could ever dream up or we could find to follow.  Taking life a day at a time keeps us close to His heart, His plan.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fried Oreos and Jesus

We were having one of those fleeting, I see your soul moments. Winking at my husband washing the camping trip off his tanned face I tell him, "you are different, You were pretty awesome when I married you but I like this guy even more.  Isn't that great, that God is never done with us.  I wonder what you will be like in another eight years?" He smiles at me.  "Keep letting God work on you."

"Okay," He pulls me in close and we bump together in our tinny bathroom. "What was your favorite part of this weekend?"  He asks me.

I think, I love that He asks me things like this.  It's evidence of our friend Chad, He made a big mark on Nate's heart.  I think back to youth group days, us asking our students what their hi and low of the day was.  There is something special in just telling someone who cares about your day. "Um... I loved everything" It's a lame answer but really, if I had one weekend left to live that would have been the perfect way to spend it.  Four young couples and a busheling, brewed of muddy toddlers and cooing babies all roped (literally) into one camp sight.

In my mind I see Makenna's auburn hair glowing in the reflection of the sun off a still lake.  Her contagious laughter as she takes turns chasing a friend.  "Red light STOP" They yell as they bound through the untamed grass.  Take a picture, I think, this doesn't last forever. 

"I love our friends," Nate tells me for the tenth time today.  "I love them too."  I tell him knowing it's really more then that.  I feel loved, that is what he was really saying.  I think, I love watching you be loved.  Feeling your heart be open and thankful for these moments piled together that make up our life.

The holy grail of joy really is thankfulness.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Five Years

To be completely honest, part of me was dreading Claire's fifth birthday.  When she got to four and a half Nate told me, "you really have to stop saying she just turned four."  Four is small, four is preschool, but five, it's all writing and reading, they invite friends over and play team sports... I was afraid.  I know she would make progress but it's too big of a leap.

The big day dawned, Claire's fifth birthday and I was excited.  God has healed something in me this year because I'll admit it, the problem is not Claire, it's me.  Me wanting the perfect kid, me not wanting to explain when people ask if she is twins with our two year old, me and my stupid pride. We have a long way to go but there is change.

I want to shout from the roof tops, "my big girl is five!"  She has come so far this year.  Yes, she is not reading and totally regressed on the potty training but give credit where credit is due, she is a super star!  She is a joyful, active, talkative little fire cracker.  Claire is perfect. Happy Birthday darling girl.

The girls and I made "peter pan cakes" in a jar for Claire's Birthday.

Cake Batter 

 Makenna Scoops in rainbow layers.

 A little overfull, oops.

 Opening gifts

 A little whip Cream and sprinkles
 So excited for singing

Our beautiful big girl!