We’re gonna miss this

Roo is three and a half months old now, and I am amazed every day by how fast the time has already flown. She’s halfway to trying pureed foods, one fourth of the way to her first birthday, and I’ve already started to picture the day I take her to her kindergarten classroom.

We’ve had some really bad nights of zero sleep and lots of tears shed by everyone, but even in those moments, when I’m trying to doze off in the rocking chair because she refuses to be put in her own bed, I hear that song “You’re gonna miss this” playing in my head.

It goes like this:

She was staring out the window of that SUV
Complaining, saying “I can’t wait to turn eighteen”
She said “I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules”
Momma put the car in park out there in front of the school
She kissed her head and said “I was just like you”
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In her one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her “It’s a nice place”
She says “It’ll do for now”
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says “Baby, just slow down”
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
She keeps apologizin’
He says “They don’t bother me
I’ve got two babies of my own
One’s thirty six, one’s twenty three
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
(Song by Trace Adkins)
I’ll be sitting there, in that rocking chair I originally, foolishly thought we wouldn’t need, approaching three hours of rocking a baby who refuses to sleep, and I tell myself how much I’m going to miss that warm weight on my shoulder as she snuggles in and clutches my shirt, my hair, my glasses and anything else she can reach. I may be exhausted, but she won’t always be this small.
When I start to think she’s too heavy and my back hurts so badly, I try to tell myself that someday too soon she’ll walk on her own and learn that big girls don’t get carried around by their mommies. I may be in pain, but she won’t always fit in my arms.
This week we got some major snow (for the south, anyway), and my office was closed for four unexpected days while the roads were cleared. I got five days (including the Martin Luther King holiday) with my baby girl that she would have otherwise spent in childcare, and I loved every minute of it. Even those minutes when I was too tired to walk in a straight line, and there were some of those too.
There were things I needed to do that I should have done and things that I wanted to do that I could have done, but I didn’t. Because that warm weight was asleep in my arms, clutching my shirt, and how do you put that down?
Even now, she’s too big to lay comfortably across my lap like she did as a newborn and her head doesn’t fit below my chin the way it used to. I don’t notice the day-to-day growth, but it dawns on me in leaps and bounds sometimes.
I decided the laundry will always need washing and the house will always be dirty, but she won’t always want to sleep on my chest, so we did that instead.
When we first came home from the hospital, I burst into tears because I didn’t feel that instant, overwhelming, all-consuming love at first sight that everyone tells you you should have when your baby is born. I thought that meant I might never love her properly. But you know what? That passes. And boy, does it pass.
(I promise all my posts from now on won’t be this sappy, and this is actually not the original path I intended to take, but it sort of had a mind of its own.)
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Honey, we’re being followed.

So last Friday I left home for a weekend with the Mister, who is finishing up an internship out of state. I had chosen my route from several possible alternatives because it would take me through a string of small southern towns, hopefully keeping me alert after a long day and offering many places to stop and eat.

About two hours into a four-hour drive, I found myself behind a white minivan with oddly flashing lights inside. At first, I thought I was looking through their windshield and seeing something up ahead, but as the silhouettes literally danced across the window I realized – I was watching a movie!

I started thinking hard. A movie screen in the back of a minivan – probably for kids, probably by Disney. I’ve seen every classic Disney movie ever made, so surely I can figure this out.

At that moment, a large character of some sort appeared and seemed to be tossing a smaller item into the air. A vaguely orange character with a mop of dark hair laughed. And I shouted out loud to my empty car.

It’s Baloo! This is the Jungle Book! They’re singing the Bear Necessities!

And so, of course, was I. At the top of my lungs. And the people in the minivan had no idea I was enjoying their trip so much. I had several chances to pass, but decided to stay behind and watch the show.

I actually followed the van all the way to Selmer, where they pulled into a McDonalds with an indoor play place – presumably to appease the Jungle Book-watchers – just as Baloo and Mowgli were escaping the monkeys.

I was sad to see them go.

For half a second I considered pulling in after them and ordering a milkshake and some fries, possibly telling them they had brightened my long trip, but I figured that would be very creepy and kept driving.

I got through three states in the dark without a GPS and with only vague directions without any problems at all, but of course got all the way to the town I wanted and got lost. I had to call the hotel to figure out where I was and give me directions. Of course. That’s only a natural thing to happen to me.

But at least I had all the bear necessities. 🙂

#whenigrowup

What do your kids want to be when they grow up? Teachers? Doctors? Lawyers? I wanted to be all of those things and I’m sure there are more. Children have such big dreams, and parents work as hard as they can to help them accomplish whatever their hearts desire in this life.

My high school choir teacher, a woman I have always admired for her strength and grace, has three children – a daughter and two sons with Hunter’s Syndrome. Hunter’s Syndrome is a genetic defect that causes mental impairment, decreased motor and verbal skills, physical abnormalities and shortened life spans.

Without a significant improvement in their treatments, Cadence and Asher, two giggling little boys that Lori and Mike prayed so hard for, likely won’t see their 16th birthdays.

They both have ports installed in their chests and receive time-consuming, uncomfortable enzyme replacement therapy every week. They might be developing antibodies to this treatment. It won’t be effective forever. (And it costs $300,00-500,000 per year, per child.)

Projectalive.org is a campaign to find a cure for Hunter’s Syndrome. Their campaign slogan – #whenigrowup – highlights what these boys and their families hope they will grow up to be:

Cadence holds a sign saying he wants to be alive when he grows up.

Cadence is not yet five years old.

The Adams family drives several hours to Miami, Florida, (more than 200 miles) each week for the boys’ treatments. They desperately need a minivan to transport the kids and their therapy equipment back and forth to the hospital. Mike, a former Marine who served several tours of duty, joined the family in Florida as soon as he could and is working around the clock at a new job to support the kids. Lori does the lion’s share of the home therapy and transportation herself. They are still trying to sell their house in Christiana, Tennessee.

If you live in the Port St. Lucie/Tradition, Florida, area, please consider this event to raise funds for the boys’ medical expenses.

Iron Sharpens Iron benefit ride

100% of the event proceeds go to help the boys live longer lives.

I ask you all to take a moment and think about your children or the children in your life. Are they healthy? Are they happy? Do they run and play and jump? Do they bring you dandelions and frogs from the yard? Do they say “I love you”?

If you have happy, healthy children in your life; if you look forward to the day your children get married and have children of their own; if you have ever wished your adult children were small again, please take a moment and give $5 in that child’s honor to the Adams family and help Lori and Mike keep their boys for as long as they can. They have an informational website where you can learn more about Hunter’s Syndrome and about Cadence and Asher’s situation. There is also a gofundme account set up to take monetary donations. (All of these bold phrases are clickable links.) To find out more about ProjectAlive, visit projectalive.org.

Also, please share the hashtag #whenigrowup on your social media sites and share what your children want to be when they grow up.

Asher Adams has Hunter's Syndrome.

Asher is the Adams’ third child. He also has Hunter’s Syndrome and has begun to show physical symptoms.

She’s got a point here….

Yet another internet find with a valid point.  Enough of society teaches little girls early on about the “importance of being pretty;” why don’t we try to spend more time modeling the importance of being smart? I’m not saying you should never crouch down and compliment a little girl on her pretty new shoes or hair bows, but I do agree that we should take more care to ask about school, about reading, about science and see what kind of thinking we can start. 🙂

http://latinafatale.com/2011/07/21/how-to-talk-to-little-girls/