Wednesday, July 17, 2013

on being deaf

two recent moments~
last week at the morning music portion of m's summer camp, 
one of the dads spoke to the kids. 
his son, who has typical hearing, is going to summer camp too,
but the dad is deaf.
he has a cochlear implant on one side and a hearing aid on the other.
m excitedly pointed the dad out to me the first day of camp;
she always notices is someone is deaf or has hearing loss- 
whether they have implants or hearing aids or if they are signing.
she becomes instantly obsessed and shy, especially if they are grown-ups.

i happened to be home, so matt was there to hear him share;
when m came home, she told me that the dad told them to remember two things:

*if you can't hear the teacher, ask them to repeat it until you understand, or ask to move to the very front.

*people might say that you are different (because of your hearing loss), 
but you are exactly the way you are supposed to be. 
you are perfect just the way you are.

let me tell you, my heart (and my eyes) felt full as she repeated those words.
you are perfect just the way you are.

matt told me that the dad had all of the kids repeat that sentence 
out loud, together, repeatedly.
how powerful.
i am perfect just the way i am.

in the car on monday,
matt was driving and he overheard the girls talking in the backseat.
i guess m had been talking with her speech therapist about blindness, 
so she was trying to explain it to ruby. 
then matt interjected and asked ruby if she knew what deaf meant.
her answer: 
"deaf means i love you."

my strong, kind, deaf daughter,
you were born exactly the way you were supposed to be.
you are perfect just the way you are.
and i love you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

in the midst of quiet, a word.

the past 48 hours i have been away from these lovelies, 
at a silent retreat in the santa cruz mountains.  no voices, no wifi, no radio.
(ahem, i did text. come on- baby steps!)

people, i don't think i've ever been quiet for so long.
and here is what i learned:

my life is really noisy. 
i don't like the silence, so i fill it (when it is rarely there) with music, podcasts, etc.
but quiet is good, and it forces one to be alone with one's thoughts.
as a mom of littles that doesn't happen as often as it should, 
but realized i also don't foster that time when it is a possibility - even for a moment or two.

and this is the profound word i came home with:

when worry like a cloud hangs over me,
let gratitude like a flood surround me.

i recognize that is easier to do when i have been in a place of quiet, prayer, being renewed and not attached to a screen or my to do's.
but shouldn't i attempt to seek that in the midst of busyness and children too?

so now it's time to head home and live it out.

when worry like a cloud hangs over me,
let gratitude like a flood surround me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

slurpees & tow trucks

this week in a nutshell:
my good ole car, which i've had for 17 years and have personally put 290,000 miles onto, got unceremoniously towed away after getting totaled in a car accident a few months ago. sigh- i'm sad to say goodbye (cue a sappy 90's boyz to men song here) not just because it was a good car (which it was), but because it has been with me for all of my significant life's transitions in adulthood. it feels like it should have gone kaput by dying due to excessive mileage (i think it's final grand total was 301,338 miles) or a dead engine or something, not from a bad driver sideswiping me...but as my friend shauna says- it would have kept going forever otherwise! it went out in a blaze of glory... rip to my corolla tortuga.
7/11 = free slurpees from 7/11! so off we walked
and slurped!
studio mornings- experimenting with colored pencil on some of my oil paintings
back at deaf school with dear friends for summer "camp" 
(aka school plus extra safari themed props)
i can't even begin to explain how happy my heart is to see my girl with friends she's known since they were babies, surrounded by other kids with hearing loss. 
got together with these girls, who i've known and loved since i first mentored them back when they were freshmen in high school, yet now they are hitting 30! and having babies themselves!
the next generation- with a reluctant ruby refusing to show her face

supper club- our monthly-ish 3 couple supper club ditched our own meal preparation and headed in to a spot in sf for july's installment.
pre-dinner drinks at a hipster bar

this little one still crawls into my bed in the morning to add on an hour or two to her sleep
the end of preschool for m!
she had her very last day at our preschool co-op,
which was bittersweet.
can't believe this girl is headed to kindergarten in 6 weeks!
no more "little" m.
(mommy sigh here)
not pictured, the less pretty moments:
temper tantrums from both my lovely daughters, my lack of work-outs this week, my downward spiral in the studio in which i had a mid-life crisis in the space of two hours, a nice "discussion" too late at night with matt (we did put our white flags up the next morning, but hey- marriage is a work in progress, right?), not enough showers for me...
you know,
just keeping it honest around here.

happy friday!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

hi again

photo of me, 
on a long road trip,
(yes, illegally out of my seatbelt to regulate on my munchkins in the backseat), 
taken by monrovia!
that girl is an artist in the making, i tell you.

i think i begin every blog post of the last few months with "wow, i haven't posted on here lately. i miss it. now i'm going to post a lot." and then? radio silence.

in a nutshell update, the last 6 or so months:
birthdays (me, little m, ruby, & matt, for instance)
m's hearing birthday party
graduation from preschool
45th anniversary/vow renewal for matt's parents
wedding (my cousin- so a trip for me back to philly)
swim classes
dance class
camping trips (two! one in a heat wave and tents, one was glamping in perfect weather)
some good meals, some not so great ones
a lot of mundane living sprinkled in with magical moments
some life ups and downs for both matt & i 
a week of vacation in tahoe
lots of eggs from our chickens
time in the studio
up to the last season watching friday night lights (savoring it over a long time...)
snuggles with my girls
too many pictures on my phone

has instagram killed my blog?
sometimes it sure feels like that. 
and yet this morning i was talking to my friend hannah about how we still both have tons of half-written posts that we just haven't published yet. 
is anyone still reading this?
if so, hi.
say hello so i know you are still out there.

today i drove the hour commute from our house to m's old school for summer camp. back when we first started, of course m was only months old and couldn't even hear us yet. today as we drove it was just the two of us, so that ruby could go to the carnival at preschool today.
we had an entire conversation about what we saw outside, the traffic, my bedroom growing up, the water sparkling in the bay, how m missed talking to ruby in the backseat, donut preferences, friends, drawing, and on and on.
it was this sacred space in the midst of life- 
this little snippet of time that we will both probably forget, but that is woven into both of us now.

there is an article popping up on facebook the last few months about how people outside of the insanity of having young children tend to glamorize it, telling harried parents to savor it because it passes so quickly, when really you are just slogging through, trying to survive. that's true, of course, but i also want to remember that these times when my daughter is sitting in the backseat talking to me is somehow a treasure that won't last forever. even though the realities of being a parent of young children is far from glamorous (i swear i want to start a tumblr or blog called "being a mom is sexy" with outtakes from my day wiping, cleaning, washing, etc etc), it is also a gift.

happy wednesday,
and say hello!