Tag Archives: children

Thank You Red-Haired Girl

8 Jul

A year ago we met her. And, yes, I can still picture her freckled face and frizzy ginger hair.  To those wondering, no we never met again, but I’m guessing she is making friends with other children that need a smile.

We have yet to go to a new splash pad in the area, but every day when I bring my girls to summer school we are welcomed.  My girl has an entire third grade class (now fourth graders!) that have claimed her as a friend.

How do I know they are her friends?  And not just saying they are her friends?  I see pieces of that love daily.

 On the school’s track and field day she and I stayed late at lunch to finish the Popsicle she patiently devoured even though the bell had rang.  While her class was waiting for the first station we walked down the field and she was motivated by the sound of more than a dozen kids chanting her name and cheering as she giggled and joined her friends.  I half expected a red carpet to be rolled out for her with the star treatment she got.  

Her special helpers introduced themselves to me.  They automatically pair up with her without needing to be asked and just covered their eyes when she became overzealous with the spray bottle.  

And when curiousity struck in the bouncy house, but fear won I could hear gentle encouragement and giggles saying “you can do it!  You’re almost there!” When she didn’t want to leave the cheery yellow air filled room I heard her helpers shout for backup as there was a “Crisis situation” even though all I heard was thumping and laughter.  Another friend asked me if I had one of her favorite snacks as she might come out for that.  And I smiled as they really “get” my girl and upon the promise of mom’s leftover potato chips she came sliding right out.


A trip to Culver’s once meant she was tackle hugged by a friend of hers.  And while my girl is stingy with hugs and has an introvert personal bubble like her mom, that hug didn’t pop it.  She giggled and hugged back.  And his parents told me how much their boy talks about her and how funny she is.  While he took her straight to the soda machine to pick out her drink.

I’ve had a few occasions now where parents have said hello to us and told us their son/daughter has lunch with my girl sometimes. And that that’s their favorite day of the week.  To know her friends talk about her that often their parents reach out to me, just makes me smile.  

So while she might not tell me about her friends, I know they are there.  The little girl at the splash pad reminded me to look for the beauty and love in others.  It’s there.  We need to keep advocating for our kids and allowing them to be who they are.  The friends worth keeping see the beauty in differences.  

And for those of you lucky enough to hear giggles and hug this girl or high five with her when she says her words-enjoy.  She can give you a friendship that has no ulterior motives.  However, you need to know you’ll take second place to Lotso, you know which swing is hers so don’t claim that one, and you must enjoy music and laughter.  I suggest not drinking milk before she does something goofy as it might come out your nose.  I learned that the hard way.

10 Things I Never Knew Before I became a Mom

28 Jul

1. There is no such thing as quiet time. If my house is quiet I have to check my children to make sure they are breathing.
2. A hug is truly the most powerful drug out there. It can cure boo-boos, make a multitude of tears stop, and it is in high demand. As a mom with young ones I can still get a hug anytime I ask. From what I hear, I need to cherish these hugs, as they don’t last forever. So I hug. Every single day. Probably every hour of the day, and that does include in my sleep.
3. A vacation is not a week-long trip at the beach. (Actually my husband and I never saw this as our oldest came nine months after we married. Plan B was our 10 year anniversary and we happened to have a 6 month old at the time.) But I can find a vacation in a solo trip to Target or the library. I relish the hour my girls are in the drop-in care at the Y. Those are my vacations. They’re infrequent, but fun.
4. Legos are little plastic death creatures. They hurt more than anything when you step on them with your bare feet. Little People hurt too. And surprisingly a pacifier that you aren’t expecting. But they are nothing like a Lego.
5. There is absolutely no point in cleaning the house. It is the world’s most frustrating thing to do with kids because they are little tornados that claim they are helping, but they actually make more of a mess than if you could have a mini-vacation to clean. See number 3. I can make a vacation out of cleaning my house by myself. All I need is no interruptions and incredibly loud music.
6. Be prepared to answer questions you don’t have a clue how to answer. Smart phones are lovely for this. You can at least Google an answer even if it’s someone else’s version of an answer. If you’re lucky you’ll get an “oh” for a response instead of “why.” If needed you can always pull out “Because I’m Mom and I say so.”
7. Your child literally has a section in your heart. Whether she is adopted, naturally conceived, a foster child, or (I pray not) in Heaven. If there is something wrong you hurt down to your core. I never knew there were so many ways to be a mom either. But there are. We moms know when we are. We can see it in another mother.
8. Mistakes are the best thing ever. Maybe you spent your life trying not to make mistakes. Maybe you were lucky enough to know this already. But as a parent, it’s fabulous to watch your child make mistakes. Because YOU are there to help them learn from them. I love to see mistakes in my children. That’s what makes them the quirky little creatures they are.
9. Somehow your children pull the best (and worst) pieces of you and rearrange them into their own self. Yes, it’s a bit vague. I see this the most when my children are driving me insane. My son thinks he can argue until the end of a conversation. And I want to reply back to him each time. My youngest daughter wants to cuddle. And I love to cuddle (just not that much!) My middle child is independent. She loves to grab her Leappad or a musical toy and just go disappear into another room. I envy that. If I try someone (even the cats) will follow me.
10. The most important thing I learned once I became a mom—how incredibly lucky I am. Sometimes I hit bad days when I worry so much about my kids. I worry about my son’s diabetes, or if my daughter’s back brace is going to prevent surgery, if this cold is turning to pneumonia again, if we try mixing the thyroid medication with ice cream will she take it. Yet, I am able to worry about these things. There are so many moms out there who have had the world crash on them. They may have lost a child. Or have a child with terminal illness. To me, that is the worst possible thing in the entire world. Or the moms out there who want to be moms and can’t for one reason or another. I never know what to say to you moms as I would love nothing more than to see you experience the incredible craziness of motherhood. And I think it’s completely unfair. Or the moms who chose to let their child go to another family because they couldn’t give their child the life they deserve—if I could give you a medal I would.

So, yes, I am incredibly blessed in my life. Even when I look and feel exhausted, and completely annoyed by my children (because I probably am), know that I do know how lucky I am. And I hope those of you reading this know that too. Give your mom a hug if she’s still in your life. Give your children extra hugs. Because even if they say they hate it, they don’t. They want to know their mom loves them.