Overshadowed Joy

I received a letter in the mail today…

It was a Christmas letter Meg had sent to me from her school media center.  It was riddled with typos, but her message was clear, she was excited about Christmas and being able to send me a letter from school.  Her eyes lit up as I read it and I found myself tearing up as I gave her a great big hug.

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As she skipped off to show the letter to her daddy I couldn’t help but think of the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary who lost their children.  God how would they feel if they were to receive something like this in the mail now?  How would I feel if I were to never see another letter like this or if I were never able to hold my daughter or hear her laugh again?  The thought is unbearable and chokes me as I type…

I don’t think there is a family that hasn’t been impacted by the loss of these children.  It’s not easy to send your child to school in the wake of such a tragedy and it’s hard to swallow when you receive a phone call from the school telling you they’re locking the school down and if you’d like to come in you need to call ahead of time so someone can meet you at the doors.

How did we get here?  How do we change?

We have to step away from ourselves, our stubborn natures, and re-evaluate everything!  We have to look at our laws and the types of weapons we’re allowing to enter our society.  We have to do away with stigmas and stop criminalizing mental health so people who need help seek it out.   We have to examine how we’re raising our children, the time we’re spending and the values we’re teaching them.

I feel as though we take a lot of things for granted when the truth is we should celebrate and enjoy every moment we have in life because those moments aren’t always guaranteed to be there!  Something my brother-in-law said at our wedding keeps playing in my head and while it may sound cheesy there’s truth to it… yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift!

Hug your children a little tighter, be respectful and try to put yourself in the shoes of those parents who will have to bear the weight of a child’s casket over the next few weeks when you’re thinking about what changes need to happen.

In Memory of Sandy Hook Elementary

Thanks to my friend Susan Noble of the Epilepsy Warriors Foundation for providing the following information:

To Make A Donation To The Families

SandyHook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main St
Newtown, CT 06470
 
To Send Cards, Letters, Teddy Bears for the Families

Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickinson Drive,
Sandy Hook, CT 06482

A Seizure at School

Last Tuesday I got a call from one of the nurses at Meg’s school telling me my little girl was having a seizure.  The nurse couldn’t give me a lot of information, she told me a boy from the class had just come down and the other nurse had just left to go treat her.

“We’re on our way!” is all I could say before hanging up.

My mind began to race though a gazillion questions

Did she fall? Was she in the classroom? Was she with an adult? Oh god the stairs! Did it happen in the lunchroom?  Was she hurt?

I could feel the back of my throat start to tighten and the tears start to well up in my eyes.

Stop it!  You have to keep it together!

I could feel anxiety starting in my chest and I was so glad my husband was home to drive and keep me grounded. Half way to the school the phone rang again and this time the nurse was able to tell us to head straight for the classroom once we got there!

It didn’t take long for us to get to Meg’s school, but it felt as though it took much, much longer!  As we walked up the stair to her classroom, my heart was still racing, and I just wanted to see my baby girl.  When we entered the classroom Meghan was lying on the floor, with the nurse by her side, throwing up.  I sat down on the floor in front of her to let her know we were there and to make sure she wasn’t still seizing.  Her eyes were a little dilated, she looked dazed, but she was definitely coming out of the seizure.  I scooped her up, held her in my arms and then I saw her teachers face, she was visibly shaken by the whole event.  She kept looking at me and saying… God Bless you! God Ble… I had no idea! I have such a new found respect for you! Again I could feel my throat tighten, I told her Meg was fine and asked her if she was okay.  I could see tears in her eyes and the concern on all of their faces and it felt good to know so many people were caring for my daughter.

It’s crazy how time can pass when you’re dealing with an emergency, sometimes minutes can seem like hours and yet, other times, it can feel like everything has happened in seconds and before you know it 20 minutes have gone by.  I think this is why there was a little confusion about how long Meg had seized!

From what I understand, the kids had just come back from lunch and they had put up tri-fold partitions to get ready for practice testing.  The teacher had noticed Meg’s partition didn’t look right and had tried to get her attention, but Meg had not responded.  Upon standing the teacher realized that Meg was having a seizure.  The kids were lined up and led out! Thankfully they didn’t really see much because of the dividers.  Meg was moved to the floor and laid her on her side.  From what the teachers described everything sounded characteristic of Meg’s normal seizures.  I gave Meg’s teacher a hug, thanked everyone and we headed home!

Once home we put a call in to her neurologist and gave Meg something for her headache. She slept for quite a while, which is pretty normal after having a seizure. By supper time Meg was more like herself, but we kept her home an extra day to make sure. It was so nice to receive calls and messages from the teachers and her friends; I honestly think it made her feel a little less nervous about it all.

Two days later, she went back to school and it was so hard to let her go!  Of course, I know things needed to be as normal as possible for her, but as her mom I just wanted to wrap her up in my arms and keep her home! I’ll admit I did walk her to class the first day back!  Her teachers all seemed confident and told me they were ready if she were to have another seizure.  Her friend had made cupcakes for her coming back and the kids went on as if nothing had happened, which I think was really important for her.

I can’t say I’m not nervous about another seizure happening at school, this was her second, but it helps to know her school is prepared and willing to stand by her and do whatever they can to make sure she’s safe.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Friday night, I was beaming with pride as my little Moo, ever so nervous, took to the stage in her first big role debuting as Toto in The Wizard Of Oz!

 Nervously turning her earring and smiling at the crowd, she was determined to be the best little Toto she could!

Amongst all the butterflies, we noticed she’d completely forgotten to take off her bright purple sunglasses!

Bless!

Later we told her it made Toto the coolest dog in town!

As the play went along I saw her nerves disappear and her confidence grow as she let out each ruff, ruff and performed alongside her cast mates!

I chuckled along with the crowd and snapped pictures as cows swirled around her head during the tornado scene.

My heart melted as I watched her sing “we’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of oz!” and skip down the yellow brick road with her friends!

On the second night, as she entered the stage, she wasn’t nearly as nervous as she had been on opening night! She had a beautiful confidence about her and I felt a lump in my throat as she turned and gave me a thumbs up in the middle of the play!

Well done Meg, well done!  There aren’t enough words to express how proud I am of you!

Let Them Be Little!

It’s my baby’s first day of  Third Grade! 

Meg woke up this morning and with her usual animated hand gestures said to me…

 “Mom I’m a Third Grader can you believe that?!” 

“Oh my goodness… no I can’t believe that Meg!  Seem like just yesterday you were in Kindergarten and now you’re turning into a beautiful young lady!”

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 May her teachers be kind and nurturing so she can learn and grow with ease! May her troubles be few and her friends be many!

Have a great first day of Third Grade Moo! xxx

My Kindergarten Graduate

As soon as they walked through the doors I was choking back tears.

They sang two really cute songs, one where they gave themselves a pat on the back and the other was to the song New York, New York except they replaced it with First Grade, First Grade.  Very cute!

Then our Meg-a-moo got her certificate.

The tears were freely flowing at this point and got worse as they started the slideshow of the entire year, very, very cute!  We then headed to the classroom where Meghan was give the Purple Petunia Award and we goofed off a little.

Meghan was showered with praise from Grandma, Grandpa

and Aunty Karen

I was soooo proud of her, she was a little nervous about the whole ceremony, but she did amazing!  I look at her sometimes, think of what she’s gone through in such a short life and I can’t do anything but smile knowing how strong she is, how far she’s come, I’m a proud momma!

England Saves The Day!

Okay, last time they had a Sports T-Shirt Day at school I was a bad mum, completely forgot to put Meghan in one.  So this morning Meghan and daddy were pulling out of the driveway when the calendar caught my eye and I realized it was Sports T-Shirt Day again.  Gasp!  I grabbed the phone and called daddy before he pulled out of the driveway.  Football is the sport of choice in America, so my mind was thinking god she’ll drown in Daddy’s Eagles shirt or my Buccaneer shirt. 

My mind went into Mummy mode trying to figure out what she could wear. I thought about the shirt I bought her to wear when she’s watching me play soccer.. Nah! That would be a bit generic and embarrassing.  Who’s Jersey are you wearing?  Ummmm my mums soccer team…lol   Then it dawned on me SOCCER!!!!  My brother on his last trip back to England got Meghan England’s new kit.  Yay!  So I grabbed her England shirt, gave it a quick going over with the iron and shoved her off too school, she was soooo happy.  Note to self.. Make sure you thank Funky Uncky Jamie (as Meg likes to call him).  Phew… a mums job is never done..lol