Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I started writing because my friend at school does it and part of me thought, well if she does it I can too! I am sitting tonight tired and weary without a whole lot to say and for some reason I am making time to write.  My posts were intended at first to be about teaching, mentoring, writing curriculum and the many academic things that I fill my days (and nights) with, but looking back at my posts only one is close to that subject.  I always write about what will make me feel better, my family. 

Family is a funny thing because it never is the perfect situation, comment, or story to be told.  There are always left over feelings about anything that happens.  At times I would like to hit a button and redo an entire year. I would love to erase the flock of seagulls hairdo in the Christmas card that year, or running away from home for a full 3 hours until my mom tracked me down, or age 20 (Yep the whole darn thing!) But then again these are the things that make up the fabric of who I am.

Last week I posted about my amazing daughter and how she is facing some trails in the near future with her eyesight.  Today I took some time to reflect. I thought about what if things had been different? What if I hadn't dated that loser? What if I had stayed at UW-Madison? What if we had waited a little longer than 3 months after the wedding to get pregnant? All of these questions resulted in the same idea for me, all of these things are what make me who I am.  Determined, intelligent, and passionate.  All those people touched my life and shaped it in some way that makes me better today because of what I learned from them.  These are the lessons that I can pass on, use as examples, and forge ahead. 

I think I write about family because they are everything that I ever dreamed about.  It is one of the things that I did right on the first try.  Again, there are times that the car gets pulled over and things aren't perfect but perfection isn't the goal. The journey is what makes up the fabric of who you are and Grace and I are going to weave a new pattern together that is our own, unique from everyone else. Now that's a beautiful thing, something to celebrate.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's in a name?

The name of my first daughter was never a mystery to me.  I knew it would be a girl from the moment I thought of the name.  It was fitting, right, almost meant to be and today I struggle with that idea a bit.  How can you know who someone will be without even meeting them yet? Sometimes the details are worked out for your beforehand.

Grace is an exceptional child and always has been. Yesterday she was diagnosed with Stargardt's disease, something that will change everything for her in a short amount of time.  I laid in bed with her tonight, something I skip too often, and reminded her how special she is.  In true 6 year old fashion she stroked my back and said "I know I'll be awesome even though my eyes don't work that great. You and dad will make me better."  There are no words to describe that feeling as a mother.  When there is something that you can't shield your children from it feels like you have failed in some way.  I keep running back to her name, Grace.

Grace is the perfect complement to her condition and describes everything she embodies.  She is strong and stoic when she needs to be.  In the quiet moments that don't count to anyone but us, she is graceful and reassuring.  She will climb every mountain put in front of her and meet every goal she sets for herself knowing at all times that we are behind her to give an extra push if she needs it. What I realize now is that I need to take my lead from her.  Trust in her knowledge and insight; believe that she is graceful and resilient.  She will teach me so much about what it means to truly live, in the only way that a 6 year old knows how to.

There is a lot in a name. I know now that we choose the right one