How?

She turned to me at dinner, her eyes locked on mine.

katie 2

Can I tell you something, Mommy?

Her face, so vulnerable, so engaged.

Every night, after you and Daddy tuck me in, I sit up in bed, I fold my hands and I pray.

It’s funny how you think you know everything there is to know about your child, until you don’t.

What do you pray for, Katie? I asked.

I thank God for the love in my heart and the sunshine.

I thank him for you and for Daddy.

And for Matthew.

And I tell him that if he gives our family a baby to love, my heart will be so, so full.

Her words, her innocence and her belief that the right combination of words to the right person would somehow bring what she so hopes for, leveled me.

In that moment, I couldn’t tell her that her daddy and I tried praying.

We tried science.

We tried hoping.

And still, we failed.

How will I ever convey to her just how much we wanted… still want… the very thing that she prays for each night?

How will I tell her that we eventually stopped hoping?

How can I tell her that when, after all this time, I can barely admit it to myself?

Magic at Play, indeed!

We leave for Disneyland for the Disney Social Media Moms conference tomorrow.

Or if you’re Katie or Matthew, we leave in 20 hours and 23 minutes.

We’ve officially entered the oh-my-gosh-we-have-so-much-to-do-before-we-leave stage of travel prep.

But Disney and Kohl’s made packing for the kids easier by sending over a gift card to stock up on their new Jumping Beans Magic at Play line. The smiles below show you just how happy the kids were about choosing some new things.

And the bonus? Kohl’s gave us a second gift card to give to a family in need, which made Katie so happy that she was beaming. Happy mom, happy kids.

Mickey Mouse t-shirtMinnie Mouse dress

2014-04-07_0004

Mickey MouseMinnie Mouse dress

2014-04-07_00102014-04-07_0007

2014-04-07_0009

2014-04-07_0008

2014-04-07_0006

Although I was provided compensation and/or products for review, all opinions are my own.

 

Just one more day

Sometimes when I lay still, I’m seven again.

Laying in my bed at night, paralyzed with fear that my mother would die.

That my grandparents would die.

Because my father already had.

Death crept inside my chest and pulled in so tight that I could barely breathe.

“Mom… are you still awake?” I would call.

Sometimes once, more often five or six times, every five minutes or so until sleep finally settled over me and overpowered my fears.

Death and my anxiety have been lifelong partners.

When my grandmother passed away last month, I was on a plane within 23 hours of hearing the news.

We simply told Katie that I need to go to Maine… that I just needed to go home. No details. No grief. No death.

And I went home and grieved. My heart broke when I saw my grandmother and those old wounds reopened.

There have been nights since returning to California, when my mind won’t let me rest and I quiet my breathing enough to hear Craig’s.

And I get up and lay my hand on Katie’s chest, to feel the rise and fall. Then I go to Matthew.

This anxiety is mine and it’s as much a part of who I am as my smile, my blue eyes, my gratitude for the good in my life.

And I have been determined to keep that from Katie, my child who already carries the weight of the world.

Who worries about things she shouldn’t.

Who feels things too deeply.

No laying in bed at night for her, wracked with worry.

No.

But last night, one the most-loved teachers at her small school passed away.

Gone.

The letter I found in her backpack asks us to talk with our children to prepare them for next week, when the school will grieve as a whole.

This weekend, we will have the talk I’ve avoided for six years and six months.

The talk that I didn’t have, even as my whole fell apart last month.

We will tell her about death.

We will introduce her to the idea that it can come from nowhere and rob you of someone you love in an instant.

And my heart is breaking at the thought of it.

A dose of happy

If I’m honest, when it came to Halloween this year, my head just wasn’t in the game.

But, last night, when I dressed Katie and Matthew for their evening of fun, all of that changed.

As I braided Katie’s hair and secured the Velcro of Matthew’s race car driver suit, I was reminded that they are just what I need.

A light-hearted night of trick or treating was a beautiful reminder to live in the moment.

And for the millionth time since they were born, my heart nearly exploded from gratitude.

Halloween costumes

Doc McStuffins costume

Lightning McQueen costume

Tomorrow

It’s 5 in the morning and I’m sitting on the tarmac in Sacramento.

Bound for Maine.

She called me nearly two weeks ago and left a message saying she just wanted to hear my voice. Everything was fine, she offered, knowing that I would worry otherwise.

My grandmother.

I meant to call her back.

I wanted to call her back. To hear her voice.

But, one day’s deadlines followed another day’s search for a new bathing suit for Katie, and another day of, well, life. Little fires that we all put out daily.

Each night, as I lay in bed, I remembered that I had forgotten to return her call and each night I vowed to call her the next day.

Because she would be there. She has always been there. Always.

Yesterday, always ended. She suffered a massive heart attack in her sleep and my chance to call her back… to hear her voice… evaporated.

So now, I sit here. Waiting to go and be there for her funeral. And I am filled regret and such profound sorrow.

If you owe someone a phone call… a letter… a visit, don’t wait for tomorrow.

Because there are no guarantees that there will be another tomorrow.

Thank you, Craig, for scooping me off the floor when I got the news.
Thank you for knowing that I had to go home… had to be there.
Thank you for immediately researching last-minute flights and for securing my travel when I could do nothing but sob.
Thank you for always being who I need in any given moment.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
More about Nichole
  • @NicholeBeaudryon Twitter
  • Nichole on Pinterest
  • Nichole on Instagram
  • Nichole on Facebook
  • Nichole on LinkedIn
  • Subscribe to this site's RSS
  • Contact this author

I also write at

all Parenting
She Knows Parenting

Instagram photos