Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Friday, December 20, 2013

How It Should Be

Yesterday my eldest daughter Reilly had a small skit at school about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  If you are not familiar with this story, you can go read it here.  It is incredibly inspiring and the perfect lesson about belief and faith for this season.

Reilly had expressed some concerns earlier in the week that I would not be able to attend because the incident the prior week had really rattled her, unbeknownst to me.  Although I promised over and over to be there, she started to question whether I could stick to that promise, or if I would have to leave because of Meagan.  This made me sad because these are not things she should worry about, nor has in the past - and certainly I did not want her to start doubting my word because of her baby sister. They are so wonderful with her, I didn't want them to start feeling resentment.  No matter how many times I reassured her, she still had that hesitation as to whether I would actually make it in there with Meagan's stroller.

Before the play, Meagan had PT yesterday at the house so I made sure to be ready to leave as soon as it was over so we weren't late.  The PT informed me that she was able to get Meagan a seating appointment (to be fitted for her wheelchair) the first week in January! This is awesome because it was going to have to be February or March, but she was able to pull some strings and get it moved up.  Leaving the house on a high from the news, we set off to the school.

We arrived at the big school and I wheeled Meagan up to the lobby. Other parents were waiting and chatting before going in.  As we walked in, I pushed the button on the elevator. The light went on, but no open doors. I tried again, and nothing. "Seriously?" I thought.  How would I get Meagan upstairs to make it to Reilly's play? Then a few parents noticed me standing by the elevator and it not working and without hesitation grabbed the bottom of Meagan's stroller and helped me lift her up the two story staircase so I could make it upstairs.

The play was held in a rather small room and by the time we made it up there carrying the stroller it was already a packed house.  There was really nowhere for Meagan to "fit." I became concerned I would have to stand outside the door and Reilly wouldn't see me, thinking I hadn't come.  But again, parents parted the way up one of the aisles and made a space for Meagan with an open chair next to her for me.  As I sat down, I could see behind the divider where the kids were waiting to start the play.  Two big brown eyes looked out and I could see them perusing the crowd, frantically switching side to side as they scanned the room.  I knew she was looking for me.  I sat up tall so she could see me and then her eyes met mine - and I could literally see her face relax from where I was sitting... and then sport a HUGE smile.  I had made it, and she knew it. And now all was ok.

The play was very cute and the kids did a wonderful job.  Reilly came over afterwards and gave me a big hug - she told me "I was so worried but when I saw you I was so glad you got to come in!"  She skipped off with her friends to change and head back to class and I started the process of getting Meagan downstairs. Once again, parents stepped forward and helped move chairs to wheel Meagan out of the room, and then again helped me bump her down the stairs.  The amazing things kept happening yesterday... almost in a chain reaction and I saw God at work.

It may seem small and unimportant, but we miss a lot of events due to Meagan's limitations and/or emergencies....so when I promise my children I can be somewhere to see them, it is even more important that I get there to make sure they know their activities/school events/hobbies matter to us.  They are wonderful older sisters - but they give up a lot.  So these little events mean the world to them. And they are also important to Meagan.  I want her to experience as much of what the older girls did as possible and see her sisters as much as possible in a regular environment doing everyday kid things.  It teaches her necessary lessons about life and supporting her sisters....and I never know quite what is going on in that little head of hers, but I know she has to be soaking up so much of these experiences....and that is so valuable to her, and her development.

I went to bed last night thinking about what a wonderfully different day yesterday was compared to last Thursday when trying to attend Maura's Christmas party.  I thought about the wonderful people in our community, the parents and students and how no matter what, we always rally around each other in tough times.  How people rallied behind us emotionally last week... and how they showed this in action this week at Reilly's play.  And that's how it should be.  Especially in our faith community - our home - our safe place.

Today is "break day" as we call it - last day of school before our big Christmas break. And we are so excited! As we move forward with our family get-togethers, our times out with friends, our running to different stores to try and sneak in a gift here or there without the kids knowing, and our times at our churches, let us try to not forget to look out for each other.  You just never know what little eyes are looking up to us and watching - and what lessons they are taking away from it all.  God always has our backs, so let's have each others in the spirit of Christmas.  At times, even if others fail to practice this, let us be the examples.  Let us reach out in awkward situations to show support, to show love, and to show understanding - let us show others.... how it should be.

Reilly as her role of "Mary" in the skit - and Meagan taking in every second.

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