Friday, May 12, 2017

But mama, do these laps count?

Today was the kids' school's annual FUNDrun. 
You know the thing some genius came up with once, where all the kids in school run for hours on end (or maybe it just seems like it?) and people sponsor them and the school makes money. 

Great idea.
Unless your child happens to have endurance issues, in which case, it becomes a day fraught with emotion and worry, and yet another reminder to your child of just how different he is.

I have been so nervous all week leading up to today.

Do I tell Bodie to take it easy? 
I don't want him to push his already extremely taxed heart past what it can currently handle (which isn't very much, if I'm being honest).
But what if he CAN actually do more, and I sell him short by telling him ahead of time to be ok with just walking?

Cue the big emotional "girl, you are seriously overthinking this, just tell him to HAVE FUN" speech.

So that's what we did. I told him to have fun. And that I would be proud of him no matter how far he ran. And I expected him to run maybe 10 laps (the average for most of the kids is 90-100).

He ran 3 laps. And noticed how he was immediately lapped by every freaking kid there (and probably would have been lapped by their pre-walking toddler siblings if they were actually allowed to participate). My heart broke and I had to hide my eyes filling with tears as I saw him come around to take a break, his face defeated, and sit next to me to cuddle. All I could think was please, dear God, let this thing be over soon.

But then a wonderful thing happened. 
The crowds thinned a bit.
Some of the kids started walking.
And suddenly, Bodie wasn't the only one going slower. 

And this kid got back up and started walking.
And I'll be darned if he didn't do 70 laps. 70 freaking laps, people. 
I did a few with him, and piggy-backed him for a handful of laps. 

During those laps, he asked me over my shoulder "but mama, do these laps count?" 

Oh sweet boy, you have half a heart and that half a heart is so tired right now. You just did 60 laps. Yes, buddy, these laps you're riding on my back ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY count.

I could not be more proud of this kid. Of his tenacity. Of his brave attitude. Of his smile. Of his lousy freaking half a heart. 

I tried to catch a picture of him running, but I wasn't successful. I, did, however, catch this one.

And these two, with his closest buddies before and after the race.
And one with this girl. 
Who, in her own right, made me incredibly proud. She ran over 100 laps. But she didn't do it in a race to run the most laps (she wasn't even close). She did it by holding hands with the younger kids, and checking to make sure they were ok and getting their laps crossed off. She got what it was all about.
 I love this boy. And I love his sister. 
Every day, they continue to teach me what life is about. 
And about how every lap counts.
Even the ones where you need a lift from someone who loves you. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Our sweet Sierra,


I am still trying to figure out exactly how that happened.

As a 3-year old, when I told you were growing up too fast, you put your chubby little hands on my cheeks and said "Don't worry, mama. I'll grow down." Somewhere along the way, you seem to have forgotten that promise. 
But I digress.

Double digits it is. 
Sweetheart, we are so proud of you. 
Of this amazing young woman you are growing into. 

If we thought the first decade of your life was full of insane and exciting adventures, it kind of seems like it has nothing on the next decade. During the next 10 years of your life, you'll learn to drive a car, pick a college, move out (gulp!) and, most importantly, figure out who YOU want to be. And maybe even find your spouse (but let's be clear here - we're cool with you meeting him in the next decade, but not so much actually marrying him during that time - after college, honey!!!).

As you head into what are sure to be tumultuous years (for all of us!), the best piece of advice I can give you is to BE YOU. It seems easy now, but soon, it won't be. Soon, the pull to be like everyone else will be so so SO strong. But dig in deeper than the temptations, the forces pulling you away.

Just do YOU. 
The you that God made you to be.

The silly sweet girl who notices everything and isn't afraid of any new experience.
The girl who this little dude absolutely adores (well, except when he's scratching and biting you).
The girl who has an army of peeps who love her dearly.
The girl who loves dolls 
(yes, still at 10. I know I get frustrated sometimes, but then I have to check myself, and realize that there are MUCH worse things you could be playing with than dolls at 10. Between you and me, if you want to do every one of your next 5 birthday parties at the American Girl Doll store again, I am so OK with that).

 So sweetheart, as you enter this next decade, just DO YOU.
Because the you that you are is this joyful and messy and wild and crazy girl, because she embraces life.
And she is unlike anything the world has seen yet. 

Happy 10th birthday, sweet girl! We love you!