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Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Dear Darlings,

Today I sat through another milestone event in your lives, your eighth grade awards ceremony. I watched and beamed with pride (and cried a little) as many of your names were called to receive an award, which marked the end of your academic career at Moody Middle School. Your time there was a small blip, and I think it came to an end more quickly than any of you could ever have imagined. Friday will be your last day with each other, as you all move off to find different paths in whatever high schools you will attend. You knew going into this program that you would have to leave each other at the end of eighth grade. You knew it, but you didn’t understand how close you would become. And now the tears are here, as you hug your last hugs and wave good-bye to the faces and places you called home for the last three years. My tears shed with yours. It was a beautiful journey…watching you go from nervous sixth graders to the leaders of the school. I couldn’t be more proud of all of you if you were my own children. Your laughter, camaraderie, kindness and love for each other was evident today as you cheered and clapped when one of you got an award during your last ceremony in the auditorium of your middle school.

And now, it’s on to the next chapter. It's what you told us at the end of the video presentation you prepared with pictures and memories of your time together. The video ended beautifully and perfectly when you said, “Today begins a new chapter in your lives. ENJOY IT!” What a wonderful capstone to your years together. Yes, it’s sad and hard to leave your friends and go off on a new path. But it’s also an exciting time, full of wonder and promise if you take those words to heart and ENJOY IT! Remember your time together, and don’t mourn the loss. Celebrate the times to come. Celebrate the next chapter, always.

Sometimes it’s hard for me, as a mama, to remember to do just that. Sometimes I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend you all aren’t growing up way too quickly and right before my eyes. Sometimes I want to mourn for the past, but I know that’s not what you need. I know you need me, and all of us who parent and mentor you, to help you celebrate your lives and your new chapters. So enjoy your new chapter. I’m here to celebrate with you! 

Much love and many hugs…for the love of all of my children!



P.S. Now go share your beautiful light with the rest of the world!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Drive Fast and Take Chances

Dear Darlings,

Have you ever found yourself in a really good place? A place where you feel loved and respected and just plain lucky? I was there yesterday and today. Actually, I've been there a lot lately. I've been feeling very lucky and appreciative for all of the people in my life. But I digress a little. Let's go back to yesterday.

A scary storm raced through our neighborhood. The wind thrashed the towering trees in our back yard as rain and hail pelted our windows. Although looking out through the glass was a practice in futility because there was zero visibility. Lighting fired through the black skies, followed by thunder roaring overhead. The electricity faltered. It was out and then back on again. It was crazy-scary. I was trying hard to get out of the house for an indoor tennis match I was scheduled to play but there was not a snowball's chance in hell I was going to get out while the weather raged and rampaged overhead. The storm only had so much ferocity in it, it was gone as quickly as it began.

I stepped gingerly out of the house, fully expecting another storm to come barreling through again. Luck was on my side and I was on my way to my tennis match. As I drove through our neighborhood and out onto the main thoroughfare I saw the limbs and loose leaves blown down in the melee. A small tree was uprooted not far out of our subdivision. And as I drove on a little further I saw another, much larger, tree down — completely uprooted. Evidence of the destruction Mother Nature wreaked continued as I drove further out. I knew another storm was forecast and I was just waiting for it to hit while I was gone. Lucas and Claire were home alone and I was hoping nothing would happen until I got home again.

Safely at the tennis courts I checked my phone to make sure the electricity was still on and that another round hadn't started. This is the text that greeted me.

Lucas: Found the receipt. I'm going to get my new glasses. Then I am exchanging my keyboard.

My heart constricted for a minute. I didn't want Lucas out driving the streets and getting caught in another torrential downpour full of lightning, thunder, hail and 40 mph wind gusts. So I did what I never do. I told him to drive safely. Normally I don't say that. I don't want my kiddos to feel suffocated and smothered. Sure I want them to know I expect them to drive safely, but I do it a backward kind of way. I always tell them (and everyone else I love) to, "Drive fast and take chances." I guess I'm playing on that whole reverse-psychology thing. But yesterday I couldn't do it so I sent this text instead...

Me: Okay. Be safe out there. It could get bad again. I only say it because I love you, not because I don't trust your driving.

I added a kissy face emoji with a heart for good measure and hoped he wouldn't be offended by my mama-bear instincts. Before my message could have reached Lucas I got another text from him. This is what he said.

Lucas: It isn't raining anymore so it's ok.

My heart swelled. I knew he was trying to reassure me.

He got my text, read it and responded with, "Love you too."

Me: Thank you for reassuring me! You're the best!

An hour and fifteen minutes later I got this text...

Lucas: I'm back, safe and sound.

And my heart swelled even bigger.

Thank you, Lucas, for stepping into an adult role yesterday and reassuring me. It was just what I needed. Your words made me feel so loved and lucky. I still do. It's such a good feeling. I think I'll hang on to it forever. I hope you do too.

With love,

Oh, for the love of my children...