If this seems a little all over the place it’s because it is.

On a hot mess scale of 1-10 I am operating at about an 11 these days.

Example: in a morning rush recently I went about my normal routine only instead of taking MY medicine I took Sadie’s. Thank goodness I realized it before I gave her MINE.

I don’t have ADHD. That was confirmed after taking her medicine. Evidently taking adhd medicine when you don’t have adhd has the opposite effect. I spent all day feeling like a taking baby doll with the batteries going dead.

Then I ran out of medicine. Slap out. And, in hot mess fashion, I had no refills. And my doctor is going on maternity leave. And since everyone in Athens decided to get healthy in 2019 not a single primary care physician has an appointment before the end of March. This is not medicine you want to be without.

I swallowed my pride, took the lecture and BEGGED. With tears. Keep your Fingers crossed that it worked.

The sermon Sunday was about working on the WHO before you worried about the TO DO.

Crud.

I’d made a to-do list.

I’d even taken steps to get items in the to-do list done.

Asking myself who I wanted to be or who God wanted me to be is a much more daunting question. I don’t know the answer but I am 100% certain the me I am now doesn’t fit the bill.

Financially I am living on a wing and a prayer right now. That can’t be good. The saying robbing Peter to pay Paul sounds biblical to me. Maybe it’s in the book of “what not to do.” College, 3 drivers, 4 cars-2 of which are running, 2 divorces, mortgage signed in desperate times and a love of deals. Not good combinations. But my to-do list includes getting that fixed. I start Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university on 1/27. That was the to-do.

The fixing The Who that got myself into this is a much larger, more complicated question. I was happy with my to-do list. I don’t even begin to know where to start in fixing ME.

My to do last year was to lose weight. Oops. I didn’t gain any but I sure as hell didn’t lose any. Age, stress and lethargy have taken their toll. The to-do was to keep on journeying to a thinner, healthier me. Check. Have a weight watchers meeting Tuesday. The fixing the me who got to this weight in the first place is a much harder hurdle to tackle.

Hot flashes, very little sleep, stress=hot mess. That’s me.

I was determined this year to reach out and let people know they matter. My way of doing a good deed. So I’ve tried. I took a few Facebook ideas, borrowed a few Church ideas and have made an effort to connect in these first few days is 2019.

I don’t think I am too good at it.

Cleaner house, more focused, learning more about faith. All to-do items.

Why am I lazy? Why can’t I concentrate? Is this the life I want to be living? Whoa. Those are WHO items and I can’t even go there yet.

I am going to be 49 this year. 49. That’s a biggie! At 29 I had colton. At 39 I had Sadie. At 49…well-I won’t be having any more children but what will I do? I don’t want 49 to be meaningless.

But I don’t have much oomph left to do anything major.

But I have to.

In my church journal I made a note:

That’s what I want: faith,finances, finding me! But Sunday made me realize that I have to do more than make a to-do list. It’s not that easy. I have to make a much harder list.

And I think I need help.

Sunday mornings will help.

Will you?

What do I do well? What do I need to work in? Really?

Advertisements

Along for the ride

New adventure…experiencing your children as adult-ish from a spectator view.

Away swim meet for middle girl. Big boy Home from college. Girls beau, boy and boys gal pile up and off we head to Atlanta.

Rule in our house: driver picks music. So boys gal played dj while the beau and I sat in the back.

I am lucky. It’s an interchangeable little group. Like one of those mindbender puzzles-you can fit the 4 pieces together in an amazing number of configurations. The boys talked trucks. The 2 in-laws talked of common friends. The 3 is them swamped stories about all sorts of topics. In the background music that I didn’t understand (or like) kept them entertained. I observed.

I didn’t harp on the music, turn anything into a life lesson or admonish any topics. I just let them be the people they are and enjoyed the peephole view into their lives.

They took turns picking out artist to introduce me to. Rap artist. Not my thing but I bobbed my head along.

My son danced and sang and drove and laughed.

Soon they were shouting out groups I actually knew! Greenday, Live, 2 doors down, John Mayer and the like. “I have mom to thank for my wide range of musical taste,” colton admitted as we even had a few Hamilton sound tracks playing.

Several times we all sang aloud. And smiled while doing so.

How lucky am I to have children who like to be with me? Luckier still that they find friends who are comfortable being with me? Luckiest of all that I get to have these interludes, these moments, that I can just BE a part of their lives??

I will always, always be the mama. I’ll offer advice and coach and cajole and lecture and fuss as long as I have breathe in my body. But not today. Having semi-adults means that every once in awhile I get to take a break, a breather and be more of a pal than an authority figure.

I get to see glimpses of who they are. I get to spy on my son and daughter as they build a friendship vs just being siblings. I get to watch them with the ones they love. I get to see them get giggly and sappy or blush at tender moments. And I have children who aren’t afraid to have those tender little moments in front of me.

Lucky me, I get to love on extra babies (they will always be babies to me) because I genuinely like the people they like. I treat them like my own and have frank talks. And I don’t apologize for doing so.

We are all re-inventing ourselves. Colton’s trying to grapple his next step in life. My girl and I are trying to adapt to being without him. I am trying to figure out who I am now that I am not needed the same east I once was…we are all evolving. Some days it’s easy; some days it’s hard. That’s what makes days like today so special—

I may not understand their music. I absolutely don’t understand their truck jargon (boys) or fashion options (girls) but I do understand love and today I loved being along for the ride.

Happy new to you

It’s 11:38pm on the last night of 2018. I am sitting on a beach, in my red hat, listening to the surf surrounded by my best girls–my daughter’s and my niece.

My parents treated us to a Tybee Island condo. They threw down party favors from the balcony of the bar where they are ringing out the new year. A few party hats, a noise maker, 2019 glasses and some beads are making our little blanket beach party quite festive.

I am sending 2018 out like the tide.

2019…bring it on.

I need to make resolutions but I am not great at keeping them.

I won’t be sad 2018 is over. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful either.

I’ve learned to live without too many regrets. What’s the point? Every choice, every decision got me here…and here is surrounded by my girls on a beach. Not a bad place to be!

I am not going to think too far ahead. I am not going to try to control this next year. I am going to be here, in this moment and just breathe and enjoy it.

I’ll kiss my little ones at midnight. I’ll give them hugs and watch them be excited to see the fireworks displayed over the ocean. And I’ll smile. My hear will be happy.

Tomorrow I’ll take the polar plunge into the frigid ocean. Just to do something brave and fun and stupid.

By the end of the week I’ll be back and work and we will be back in out routine. It will be 2019.

Happy 2019!

I hope you have some happy. Lots of health and some adventure. I hope the same for me. Be less sad. Be more thankful. Be in the moment more and worry less about the moments yet to come. Embrace who you are. What you don’t like-change. Don’t compare. Find confidence. Say I love you. Take the time to do something silly. Take the time to do something kind. Help someone. Allow yourself to be helped. Change things up. Pray a little. Pray a lot. Laugh. Cry when you need to but suck it up and keep on going. Look ahead bravely. Don’t look back. Wiggle your toes in the sand.

In with the old and out with the new. That’s what I am going to do.

Happy new to you.

Merry moments

Christmas’s of late have been hard. Merry hasn’t been easy.

Fake it ’til you make it.

Suck it up buttercup.

Too blessed that be stressed.

I’ve tried them all. And, on the surface, I’ve had some luck.

We’ve made ornaments when I didn’t have any. The first Christmas without my baby girl I fled. Adventure served the double purpose of getting us out of town, changing our scenery and keeping us all distracted.

The years kept coming-as did the holiday. I didn’t feel very merry most of the time.

This year the merry snuck in a little more often and a little more effortlessly.

In pajamas all the bigs gathered around the little one for cookie making. The smiles and the merriment were genuine…and it was nice.

Faith played a bigger role this year. I’ve always believed…in Santa, in God and in family. Believing was easy. Finding peace in those beliefs a little harder. But this year I took a step in surrendering and leaning into that faith a little more. It was hard but I kept trying. I wasn’t good at it a lot. But I kept at it.

This year Santa was busy but I did what I could to bring a little joy to others. A big tip here, a few gifts to those in need there–that sort of thing. A kind word for a young mom that seemed to be struggling. A hug for a stranger. Nothing grand. Nothing large. Just small gestures to remind myself-and others-that we all have a little Santa in us.

There were a few commercials that made me tear up. A few memories that made my heart ache. A few what-ifs, shoulda beens and woe is me moments but I didn’t dwell in any of them this year. I let them be. I rode them out. I didn’t give them power but I didn’t ignore them either.

I didn’t dwell on what I couldn’t do–at least not too often. Instead I tried to look at what I could do.

I could help my little ones make memories. Matching pjs, fuzzy socks and cookie ingredients were all that were needed for big smiles and loud laughs.

I could sing the songs and listen to the message about the reason for the season. I could share that faith. I could sit with a lit candle and look ahead, not back, at all that lies ahead instead of focusing on what came before.

I could enjoy the time I had with each little one without being sad about the ones that weren’t there.

I could learn something new. And I could enjoy learning it without worrying about being perfect at it. And I could let the practicing be something to do when I didn’t know what else to do with myself.

I could let me bigs have friends over without being embarrassed. Well…the embarrassment was still there but I didn’t let that stop me.

I could enjoy watching cousins enjoy one another’s company.

I could make a few presents but not stress out that I didn’t make more.

I could enjoy little moments like helping my dad make his legendary cough medicine.

Now if he will just let me have some!!

I could enjoy being at my parents house, eating great food and playing parlor games without a single worry.

I could enjoy being with my dad as he made me a Bloody Mary and as he made his SOS. I could notice how much he reminded me of my grandpa.

I could enjoy the moments I had with my big fella without stressing about all the time I didn’t have with him. I could laugh at his antics without making everything a teachable moment. I could relax, just a touch and just for a second because he’s making his own way in the world right now.

I could get a gift just because it was something that would make someone happy. Nothing more. Nothing less. Sometimes just because it’s makes someone smile is enough.

I could laugh-out loud-as my mom called her gift Edna instead of Alexa. I could enjoy being spoiled by thoughtful gifts even though a New Years trip to tybee island was supposed to be the gift this year.

I could do all that…and I did .

I enjoyed 100 small moments this season. I weathered a few not so great moments as well. Yes, I had some sad moments, some sad nights and some wistful mornings but those didn’t define this season.

This year I am not spending this night happy that it’s all over. This night I am content that I did the best I could…and that maybe that was enough. I made some people smile. I let others know they mattered. Maybe I helped someone who didn’t have much joy this year. I embraced the beauty of the lights and the magic of the season. Even now as I write this I am listening to gales of giggles as the big girl and her beau watch one last Christmas movie and play UNO with the very sleepy baby girl all snuggly in her reindeer onesie.

There is a lot I am not. There is a lot I can’t give. Many things I failed at. Many things that I’ve not done well or right or perfectly. Usually I dwell on those things. But not tonight. Tonight I am only thinking about that things I can do. The things I did do to find a little merry this year. The things that maybe helped someone else find a little merry too.

Christmas isn’t always perfect. But, when you look for it, there are always perfect parts. It may be only a glimpse or a moment but they are there. Hidden away. Tucked behind. Just outside the frame. This year I found more of those moments. Merry little moments.

Toss to coat!

I am not the jolliest of people.

Shocking, isn’t it.

This year I am faking it until I make it. The tree is up. The outside is adorned. We’ve got presents under the tree.

All my babies have pajama pants, Christmas shirts and fuzzy Christmas socks. Their significant others do too. The promise is that we will all get comfy in our pjs and bake holiday goodies. I am sure there will be an Instagram photo or two.

All we need is the college boy Home.

Today is 39 degrees, rainy and just downright nasty outside.

Big girl is under house arrest until her room is clean. It may be 2019 before we see her!

Baby girl is bored and antsy and this is the last weekend I’ll have her before the eve of Christmas. So, we set off today to buy a few presents. Before we left I had her make a list of the ingredients we needed to make rein deer poop. It sounded easy. Her sister loves it. So we made a plan.

It was actually a good lesson. We found the recipe (thank you Pinterest) and I had her look at the ingredients and check the cabinets for what we already had. Then, clutching her list in her chubby little hand we made our way to the grocery store. Up and down the aisles we went with her searching out what she needed.

We hit a snag with the chocolate chips. She’s written semi-sweet in one line and chocolate chips on another. To her that meant 2 different items. We only argued for 10 minutes before she begrudgingly relented that maybe, just maybe I wasn’t wrong.

At home she measured and followed directions. The fractions threw her for a loop but she managed. You would have thought I’d given her the keys to the city when I allowed her to work the microwave!

We measured and stirred and made a big old mess.

She had on her little “I believe” Santa shirt and buffalo plaid shorts. I matched her in pj pants and a “very merry” shirt.

We got to the instructions that directed us to toss to coat. The powdered sugar was measured, the cereal coated and spooned in and the ziplock bag closed tight. She held it up and looked at me expectantly. “Shake it,” I told her.

“No. It says toss it,” she argued.

“Toss it means to shake it so the sugar covers it,” I explained.

Her little expressive face belayed her displeasure. She rolled those big brown eyes and said in her nose aggregated teenage-like voice,”Mom,” she sounded exasperated. “It says toss. Toss means to throw. I throw it, you catch it. Toss.”

She was sincere.

My little fella called muffins puffins because they puffed up when you put them in the oven. I called them puffins until he was 16! It’s one of the sweetest memories I have. It broke my heart when he finally told me that we should call them what they were: muffins. He’d outgrown his little word.

But here she stood…so cute, so adorable and precious and oh-so-sincere. She’d done all the work. She’d read the recipe, picked out the ingredients, measured the items, stirred it all up and even gotten to work the microwave. It was her treat. I’d let her lead the way all day.

Why not now?

So we did as she instructed. We tossed the cereal. Back and forth. And just look at the glee on her face! She laughed and laughed as we “tossed” her bag back an forth.

We made a memory-she and I. Yes, there is junk in the background of the picture. Yes, normally that would embarrass me. No, none of us needs the peanut-butter-chocolate-coated-drenched in sugar treat. But really, none of that matters.

We have a memory. A tradition for the 2 if us. Tossing to coat will never mean the same thing.

Need a memory with your little one? Try this:

Reindeer Chow

And when it comes time to mix it? Well–toss it. And enjoy the laughs.

Sweet victory

Hello middle age.  Age of sleep an hour, sweat an hour, toss and turn an hour then repeat.  

By the time the alarm goes off to GET up, I am exhausted.

Inevitably my little bug waddles downstairs and into my bed. Sometimes it’s 2am, sometimes 5a and sometimes it’s right as we are set to get up for real.  No matter the time she snuggles up and promptly falls into the most peaceful, precious slumber imaginable.  With her head on my shoulder I can clearly see those little freckles dotting her nose, her eyelashes resting against those chubby cheeks and those puffy, adorable lips pursed like an infants.  She’s 8 now but when she’s snuggling she is still my baby girl.  I love those moments.

Getting up is hard.
Getting up after not really sleeping is harder.
Getting up after not really sleeping with an adorable little ones head tucked onto your shoulder and arm slung across your chest is harder still.

Yet it’s what we do every morning.

Things go downhill from there.

Recently a friend shared a graphic of what it’s like to parent a child with ADHD. It showed an ice berg and listed all the symptoms that most of us know all about.  What was most telling to me was the part of the graphic that showed that most of the dangers of ADHD are below the surface.

I don’t know why I’d never put 2 and 2 together until I saw that, but I hadn’t.  Turns out we are the poster family for ADHD mornings!  Most mornings I feel like that poster looks like the wantedposter hanging in the police department.

I get up, make my coffee and begin the process of awakening my sleepy head.  It’s important to note that there are 3 females getting ready in the morning at my oh-so-humble abode. It’s more important to note that none of us are fans of mornings.  As non-morning fans we are not at our best.  We all have a tendency to put off getting up until the last possible second and thus the morning routine is rushed and harried.  And yes, I have tried getting up earlier.  Refer to the first paragraph.

It takes FOREVER to get her awake and moving.  For.Ev.Er.  “5 more minutes,” she always mumbles.  I’ll have her awake and sitting up on moment, turn my back, and she’s burrowed back under the covers sound asleep in the next.   99.9% of the time it ends in yelling. Me at her and her back and me which exasperates the entire scenario.  On rare occasions I can bribe her with “the Greatest Showman” soundtrack or a piggy back ride to the bathroom.  Those mornings are better.

And that’s the easy part.

It’s downhill from there.

“Take your medicine,” I must say this at least 50 times. She’s making faces in the mirror, sneaking off to the couch to go back to sleep, dancing around the table or just generally doing anything BUT taking a swallow of liquid and her little pill.

“Get dressed,” I must say this at least 50 times per morning. She picks out her clothes the night before.  I don’t interfere IF there are undies, socks, a shirt and a bottom (that FIT).  I am trying to build her independence.  She usually looks like a hot mess but she’s done it herself and I’ve forewarned her teachers.  I’ve learned to let that go.  You can only fight so many battles and I am not dying on that particular hill anymore.  At 8 she knows how to dress herself.  It shouldn’t take me telling her 20 times PER GARMENT for her to get dressed, but it does.  Seriously.  “Put on your shirt,” I say over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.  “Put on your pants,” I say over and over again AFTER I’ve argued about why she has to wear pants, not shorts, when it’s 30 degrees outside.  And AFTER I’ve explained that November IS winter and winter is cold.  And AFTER I’ve explained and argued about what day of the week it is and AFTER I’ve re-iterated what happens after school this day and the next and AFTER I’ve argued that said pants are not to scratch-too itchy-too long-too tight….SCREECH….well, to be honest they usually are a bit snug.

FINALLY, she gets her bottoms on. From experience, I’ve learned to do an undie check.  Yes, from experience.  Experiences like seeing a full moon, in the evening, when she’s home from school and doing handstands IN A SKIRT.  Experiences like when she admits things like “I got to sit in the teachers chair today,” as we drive home.  When I ask why she laughs and says because she’s ‘commando’ in a dress.  Yep. Proud mama moments. Needless to say I now check.  Many a day she fails the ‘underwear’ check and we have to start all over again.  Repeat:  “Put on your pants,” I say over and over again AFTER I’ve argued about why she has to wear pants, not shorts, when it’s 30 degrees outside.  And AFTER I’ve explained that November IS winter and winter is cold.  And AFTER I’ve explained and argued about what day of the week it is and AFTER I’ve re-iterated what happens after school this day and the next and AFTER I’ve argued that said pants are not to scratch-too itchy-too long-too tight….SCREECH….well, to be honest they usually are a bit snug.

Socks.  2 of them. Twice the nagging.  Socks no longer match in our house.  I don’t think she knows that socks are supposed to match because in her lifetime we’ve never had the time, energy or ability to get matching socks on her. It’s a victory to get any sock at all.

Shoes.  Despite having laid out shoes the night before when morning comes there are, inevitably, only one to be found.  It’s one of the questions I intend to ask when I enter the pearly gates, if I get there.  What the hell happened to her shoes every morning?

Between each article of clothing she’s twerked, danced, made faces, spilled her drink, snuck a piece of candy or hid something in her book bag.  It’s not like we seamlessly go from one article to the next.  By the time we get to this point I’ve broken out into a sweat, have given up on my own morning routine and have yelled at least 45 times.

We no longer see the 16 year old in the mornings.  Not that I blame her.

The entire time we are watching the clock on the phone. She knows we have to leave at 7:30a. She knows but has no concept that if you are buck naked at 7:21a and if your mom is bare faced at 7:21a because she’s been fighting with you all morning that there isn’t any way in hell you are getting out the door at 7:30a.  We’ve even turned into a math problem. “if it take momma 15 minutes to put on her make-up, 10 minutes to get dressed and 3 minutes to make her coffee how many minutes is that?  If we need to be in the car at 7:30, it takes 18 minutes for momma to get ready what time does she need to start?  If momma needs 18 minutes but it takes you 18 minutes to put on a sock what time should we start????????????????????

Most mornings she gets her hair brushed.  Not gonna lie, it doesn’t happen every morning.

Most mornings teeth get brushed. Not every morning.

She always gets breakfast and some mornings she eats it. Not every morning.

She does always manage to get a snack tucked into her book bag. And on mornings when I am not watching she manages to get a toy, an electronic AND 5 additional snacks crammed in there as well.

Each morning we have to go over what day of the week it is. That means a trip to the chart on the fridge so she can see what ‘extension’ she has that day.  Hell, who am I kidding, once we actually AGREE on the day of the week (‘cause she will argue) it means multiple trips to the fridge to look at the extension chart. GOD help us all on days that it says  PE and she’s dressed in a skirt or her ‘high heels’ and we have to start alllllllllll ovvverrrr again.

Each morning I have to tell her who will pick her up and, during fall, have to tell her if there is a football game or some other activity after school.  When fall sports are over I have to spend the next 12 weeks explaining WHY there isn’t an activity after school.  I have to tell her where her bubba is, what Kinsley’s plans are for after school and who will pick her up.  Every. Day.

And I do this on, a good night, 4 hours of good sleep. While thinking about the day ahead. While worried about what is due, what I forgot to do and beating myself up for the house being disheveled.

I tend to get frustrated in the mornings.  She frustrates me. The process frustrates me.  The whole thing is exhausting.  I’ve learned to take it more in stride some days. Most days not.

This morning was the same.  I didn’t have the energy.  I didn’t have the fight in me.  I let it drag out longer than it should have. Which meant I would miss the car rider line and would have to check her in as tardy. SHE HATES GOING INTO CLASS after everyone else has gotten there.  I HATE checking her in the morning under the disapproving eye of the school secretary.  I hate clicking that box that says “overslept” and imaging what people are thinking about a mom that can’t get her kid to school in time.  Most days we make it in just under the wire.  That was not today.

I was grumpy, frustrated, irritate and just generally in a bad way this morning. I hadn’t slept. She was particularly unfocused.  We were late.

And then there was this.

At some point she snuck in and made me my ‘to-go’ coffee.  Yes, it was mostly creamer and whip cream.  Yes, it was a mess.  Yes, drinking it would put me in a sugar coma. Yes, I would use all my weight watchers points for the day in a single sip.

But none of that mattered.

When you have an ADHD child you take the victories as they come.  You ignore the twitches and ticks and randomness and learn to focus on the sweet, the thoughtful and the intentions.  And that single cup of overly sweet, cold coffee was perfection.  It was so sweet. So thoughtful and showed the best of intentions.  That poured cup of coffee in my favorite cup, made to my liking…or her version of my liking, showed that she did pay attention and had the ability to retain information.  That to go cup showed me that our morning rituals did matter to her.  That, despite the constant reminders necessary each and every day, she did understand what it took to get out the door. She might not understand the time association but she did understand the process.  That wickedly sweet beverage made with fumbling love was a version of a white flag, it was her little way of loving me despite my yelling and prodding her all morning.

I looked at saw her little face. She was so proud. Her smile was big.  Her eyes were anticipating my pleasure.  “I had a little trouble,” she said sheepishly, indicating the spillage on the counter, the top that was askew and the creamer on the counter.

“It’s perfect!” I declared.  “It’s so sweet! You are the sweetest one,” I assured her.

Oh that smile. No matter what else I accomplish today I will be confident that I did one thing well. I made her proud of herself with that compliment.  Too often, in the mornings, I tell her that she needs to do things faster, better, neater with more purpose and focus.  I think she expected to be admonished for the mess on the counter, for the lid being askew or for the wrong creamer.  And, to be honest, there are days that in my hurry and frenzy I would have done that.  But luckily I didn’t this morning. Luckily I took the time to appreciate the moment for what it was:  her best attempt, her sweetest heart and her thoughtful way of ‘helping’ and showing me love.

Parenting a child with ADHD isn’t easy. The battles outweigh the victories most days. But the victories, when they come, are more rewarding and more appreciated because of that.

Be-beep HI

Everyone should be able to make their child smile this big!

Thanks to my parents we pulled off a BIG surprise. A surprise that will leave me smiling for a long, long, long time.

When my girl talks about or remembers her first car she’ll remember this pretty fall day and a little car that makes her smile.

She’ll remember her little sister, gramsey, her aunt and cousin, her sweet fella and her great aunt and uncle and ME!

Earlier that day I told her that I didn’t think the little beetle was possible. She didn’t see me seeing her face drop. She didn’t know I saw her eyes tear up in disappointment…but I did. She’s teared up in disappointment before. Usually there isn’t anything I can do but hug her and apologize. Not this time.

I kept the ruse going all the way to Toccoa. We “pretended” to look for cars as we drove. She asked for permission to borrow her gramseys truck for a few days. We talked about patience and made plans to keep looking for a little beetle bug. Willing to wait she was for what she’d decided was her dream car.

I was in the back seat. When we got close I texted the beau (who didn’t know) don’t say anything but when we get close can you film Kinsley? He started laughing. He held up his phone and told Kinsley, “your sister has your mom’s phone…..” from the back seat I popped him on the shoulder! I was frantically shaking my head and mouthing “it’s from me!!” He looked confused. Okay just tell me when we are close. He texted back. Whew.

We arrived. The little car was tucked behind some pick up trucks. She gave her hugs and kept her back to the little car. I noticed her trying to NOT notice it. Like paparazzi at the royal wedding, Phones were out and filming the moment.

Finally she couldn’t pretend to NOT notice anymore. “Who’s is that?” She asked hesitantly pointing to the little car. He voice was high, her smile was wide.

“It’s yours!” I said. My eyes were already tearing up a bit.

“Really?” She was beaming.

“Really.” I assured her.

“Really-really?” Her smile was so big. She didn’t know whether to run to the car or to me. To my delight she ran to me and gave me a HUGE Hug.

Then she ran to the car and hugged it. “I love this car so much!!!”

She hugged her gramsey after I told her they made it possible.

She looked in the car and delightedly said,”ahhhhh….the glove compartment is still broken!”

As much as she loved the car she seem to love the story that went along with it equally as much. That made me absurdly happy.

After some fumbling we got the top down. I allowed her to pile her cousin, her beau and her little sister in for the first ride. “I am going to look so cute driving this to school!” That was obnoxious but her glee was infectious. I still corrected her.

Off the went. Seeing that little car roll away just made me smile.

I LOVE THIS CAR!” She yelled as they pulled back in from their jaunt around the block.

Kiddos got out. My mom, sister and I tried to her in. It wasn’t easy. The back seat is not existent. The seats are worn. The door panel is falling off, the cup holder is broken in the back and the glove box won’t close. But none of that matters. To her it’s perfect. And that makes it perfect for me.

The sun was bright. The air was cool. The top was down. We zoomed around the block…her smiling all the way.

We’d barely pulled back in the driveway before she has the Titan tee off my car and onto hers. “I can’t believe I have a car! I can’t believe this is MY CAR,” she kept saying over and over and over again.

I loved seeing her happy. I loved that I made her that happy. I love that she has a story to tell. I love that she loves the story as much as she loves the car. I love that she laughed and laughed at the idea of her big, strapping grandpa driving the little, tiny car home from the dealership. I love that she and my mom share a story. My mom and my aunt had a little VW beetle when they were young.

“What should I name her?” She’s already asked. Betty. Bree. Beatrice?

“I can’t believe it’s mine!”she has squealed no less than 100 times. I don’t even have to correct her. She immediately follows up with “…well it’s yours until I pay you for it.”

Her brother is excited and told her,”I am going to help you fix it. Make a list and we’ll work on it.”

We had to leave the little bug in the care of her grandparents. The door has to be fixed. To get out the passenger side someone either has to open the door or you have to open it yourself from the outside. Her grandpa offered to her that checked for us.

She hasn’t stopped smiling. Neither have I.

She hasn’t stopped thanking me. I should be thanking her! That smile, that glee, that appreciation and that joy…that joy is infectious.

I can’t give my kiddos all they deserve. But this weekend we (my parents and I) were able to give me sweet, appreciative and hardworking girl something that makes her happy. We have her a memory. We gave her something she’s happy to work for. We added to her story. No matter how old she gets. No matter how many cars she drives or things she accomplishes in this life she will always remember this weekend. The weekend she got her first car. The car with the story. The car that makes her heart happy. She doesn’t see it’s faults. She doesn’t see the dings. Each little hiccup makes her laugh. The story of how it came to be makes her laugh. The idea that her gramsey and grandpa were a part of it makes her giggle.

Her happy heart makes me happy.