Life is messy, and hard and sometimes downright mean. I would like to be able to tell my kids that it is filled with unicorns and roses but that would be silly, untrue and would not prepare them for the reality of the future. I would like to tell them that they can just shut the door until the hard stuff is over but that would just make them victims to the evils that would eventually consume them. I would like to tell them that they could close their eyes and wish it all away but in my opinion that would ensure them a future of failure.
No, I tell my girls the truth. The cold, hard and often ugly truth. Life is unfair, hard and dirty at times and often it will disappoint you. With that truth comes the real lesson, a lesson of perseverance that those who keep their heads up, those who work hard, those who strap in for the rough ride will succeed in the end and be the stronger for it! My girls have lived this lesson from early ages. I am sure they feel that their lives have been often unfair to this point, Madison being witness to my miscarriage, major health scares for both of their parents and more hospital visits than any child should have to endure. They have seen their father work non stop only to have his pay cut and eventually be laid off by the same company. I am fully aware that our lives are a paradise when compared to others. We all have our struggles, how you deal with them makes us who we are.
I try to teach the girls that when life gets tough to face it and never give up. I hope that my husband and I have modeled this same lesson for them. There is often an easier way but it does not make it right. Never run and never bury your head in the sand. Do not be afraid to try, to fail, but NEVER stop trying, learn and grow and always keep smiling.
As meaningful as those lesson are, it is also important, more important to celebrate the wins, the glass is half full side of things. The fact that my girls are healthy and smart, athletic and kind. The fact that after a tough search my husband has found a wonderful new job. From time to time, it is nice to live in a world of unicorns and when life is on an upswing you grab on with both hands! How do you best celebrate the positive turn in events? With a trip to Disney World of course! Very soon we will be off to see that amazing Mouse! For our family Disney is that place where you get to close your eyes and wish it away, that world where fantasy is reality and pixie dust rules the land! I can not wait….Mickey we will be there soon!
I used to laugh at those families that went to Disney World over and over. Was there nothing else to spend their vacation money on? That was until we took the girl for the first time in October 2011. The joy in the faces of my girls the first time they walked down Main street, the wonder as the music for the parade started, “Celebrate a dream come true“, we all sang it for weeks after getting home. I remember Megan being so excited when the parade started to go by I had to hold back a tear, a mothers dream is to see a child that excited.
We returned in February 2013. That time was a celebration after my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction. After receiving the pathology report and realizing that it was not “if” I would have gotten breast cancer but instead “when” we knew we had to celebrate! We went all out staying at the Kidani villas overlooking the safari and enjoying 7 jam-packed days. Once again we had a fantastic time! I really started to understand why people continue to come back, the fun had by the entire family was second to none! We could not wait to plan the next trip, we had become one of those families.
This weekend we head back. For the first time we will be driving and no villas. The kids are so excited because they will be sleeping in bunk beds. I am not sure who is more excited, the girls or Frank and I. My husband is just a big kid at heart and I have always had a loving fondness for all things Disney. I also fill with joy watching the girls have such a great time. The countdown has been going on for over a month with the excitement level increasing with each passing day…4 more days until Disney!
I have not posted in a while for several reasons..I will get to those once we return from seeing the mouse. Hold on Mickey, we will be there soon!
Recently my husband had a conversation with a long time friend who told him that our relationship was something special. It struck him as a strange statement which is probably why he remembered to mention it to me. He told me about it the other night standing in our kitchen, where we have many of our chats. When he first told me how “special” we were I laughed.
Special, what a bizarre description. We are not a very affectionate couple and we are both very stubborn. If you envisioned any of those made for TV couples when I used the word “special” you would be so far from who we are. But as I have thought about this over the last few days I have decided that we are indeed very special.
We often comment to each other that it is us against the world. Things have not always been easy for us but we stick together and find a way through. We have had martial issues like many others, we fight, we disagree and at times flat-out ignore each other. Over the years we have faced many adversities and many situations where others have let us down. It would be easy to cower in a corner and point fingers listing all of them but instead we have accepted that sometimes in life you are just lucky to find that one person who will always have your back.
When I was faced with the decision to have the preventative mastectomy, Frank was my rock. He supported my decision to have such a surgery that would leave me in a hospital for a week, unable to help out for many weeks after as well as change my body forever. He did a wonderful job with our girls, dealt with the wild swings in my mood throughout the process, and set me up a bedroom in our family room. After 7 days in the hospital the first thing he did for me when we got to our home was wash my hair in the sink and shaved my legs so I could feel better before the kids saw me. Tough does not even describe how those few months were but we came though stronger and even more united. Us against the world.
Over the years many have offered unsolicited opinions about how we have chosen to live our lives. Neither of us had story book childhoods so when we decided to start a family it was very important to us to give our children something we did not have. Just yesterday I was able to catch Megan as she ran joyfully screaming from the bus stop that she had won a contest thrown out by the School Principal. Some do not understand why this is so important to us. For many years we have tried to explain that no amount of money could ever replace these years or the memories that we will all share forever, but especially since my surgery I no longer feel the need to explain. My husband and I understand and that is all that matters. Us against the world.
In the end we are basic people, home bodies who would rather sit watching a movie as a family than going out. We would rather spend time at the girls soccer games on the weekend and spend every vacation at Disney world laughing as a family. Things are not always easy but I guess that is what makes it special. Wanting to put in the time and the work necessary, that makes what we have special to me!