Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Plan

Dear Gracie,

Last night, while I was giving you a bath, you asked me in a very small voice what I thought you would be doing on your first day of kindergarten.

Your question took me a little bit by surprise, because all day you'd been SO EXCITED about starting your new school. Bouncing around the room while meeting your teacher, not holding my hand as we walked in the are so brave.

But we are very alike in this way- the unknown is very hard, isn't it baby girl? We like a plan. We like to know what we are doing in each minute of each day until someone picks us up at 2:20 pm and then we like to plan what we will have for a snack. Because, eating is something else we like to do.

And while I can, and did to the best of my abilities, fill in the gaps of what you will face on your first day of kindergarten the truth is that I don't know. And that can be a little bit scary. For mamas and for little girls.

Here is what I do know-I've been in lots of new situations and despite all of my best efforts sometimes they didn't go exactly as I planned. But you know what? They turned out okay.

For example, a teeny secret I will tell you only because you do not officially know how to read yet...Mama doesn't really know what she is doing all of the time with you and your brother. I don't always have a plan. But with a whole lot of love and a whole lot of Jesus (and your Daddy, he helps) we seem to be doing okay.

So that's the best plan I can give you for this year. Lots of love (for everyone- there is plenty to go around), lots of Jesus, and your mama and daddy.

The rest is a little unknown and that's okay. Except that someone will be there to pick you up at 2:20 and then we will have a snack. That I do know.

You are the best little girl in the world and you always will be.

Your Mama.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Sound of Sunshine, Part II

Gracie starts kindergarten next week. I'm fine with it...really, I am. No, I mean really I was fine with it  until this morning when I dropped her off for the next to last day at Pre-K.

I got in the car and of course the song, "Sound of Sunshine",  came on- the song that basically carried me through my pregnancy with this child who is somehow now GOING TO KINDERGARTEN!

I allowed myself a few nostalgic tears and then thought back to the beginning of this blog. I remembered titling a blog post "Sound of Sunshine", so I got curious and looked it up. You can find it below.

Its easy to forget to have faith sometimes- especially for someone like me who doesn't like change (this is the understatement of the century). Its nice to have a reminder.



After Rip passed away, one of my first thoughts was how much I wanted to have children.  Sometime in those first grief-stricken weeks I circled a date on the calendar, April 21, 2011.  It was the 111th day of the year and, as you know, the number 11 is special to me because it reminds me of Rip.  I decided that was the day I would be pregnant again... and yes, I may have been slightly drugged at the time.

April 21st rolled around and I took a pregnancy was negative.  An emotional day got even worse when I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of Rip.  It's kind of a cheesy Michael Franti song, but there is a line in it..."here i am, waiting for this storm to pass my by and that's the sound of sunshine coming down" that I hung on to during Rip's pregnancy.  Now it just seemed like another kick while I was down.

But then, the whole "sound of sunshine coming down" part started to stick in my head.  I came home, looked at Parke, and said "I am going to get another pregnancy test" (ever the practical one, he said, "great, grab me a Snickers").

This time a positive line started to show...and then disappeared.  I was devastated.

I felt like I literally could not take one more minute of this, it was the lowest I have felt since we lost Rip.  Not knowing what else to do, I got on my knees and prayed. I kid you not when I say a rainbow appeared shortly after I stood up.

The next day I received another positive test...this one stuck.  I am now almost 11 weeks pregnant.  To say that I am happy about it would be an understatement.

And yet...I am so scared.

Even though I truly believe this baby is a miracle, a God-given blessing, I am afraid.

So I very selfishly ask for your prayers.  Being Rip's mother has taught me so many things, not the least of which is the power of having others believe for you when you are not strong enough to do it yourself.

I am trying to enjoy every day, to be grateful every day for this little bit of "sunshine" who will be so loved by her (just guessing here...but "her" feels right) family and, I believe, has a very special angel guiding her way.
I am so thankful for my family, my friends and, most especially, my children.