Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An early birthday present...

This was so big and had me choked up. It definitely warrants a double-post- even though I'm 'behind' on getting things done for Christmas. I gave the kids their baths and got everyone in jammies and teeth-brushed and even had to 're-tuck' a couple of the kids a few times. Chip is busy at the golf club working a Christmas party tonight, so I was thinking I should use a couple of hours to get some cards written and other projects wrapped up.
Instead, here I am. Holding onto a moment that happened so unexpectedly- the best little 'gift' that Wyndham could have given to me on the eve of my 35th birthday. She has no idea she even gave me such a wonderful gift...but that only adds more beauty and meaning to this moment for me.
I was just getting some things out and was planning on sitting and working at our dining room table when I heard Ava playing a little too loudly in bed. She has this thing with bringing as many animals and toys and dolls into bed with her as she can each night. I had given her 4 or 5 for the night, but apparantly I had missed the Christmas puzzle/book which she had dumped out onto her bed and was happily putting together. I made a point to just soak up this instance and again, I just hugged and kissed her knowing I would give anything to hug and kiss Teagan and re-tuck her into bed if I had that chance. Even if she was causing a bit of trouble.
As I walked back toward the dining room, I stopped to peek in on Wyndham and was surprised to see that she was still awake too.
I walked over to her for one more kiss goodnight and she smiled and held up her hand, signing, "I love you". She has done this quite a few times in the past several months...but I never tire of it- and tonight I smiled and signed "I love you" back to her. Then I started to sign "goodnight" and as I did so she pointed toward the door. I said, "No,'s time for night-night. It's not playtime." She then smiled {and this was the moment!} and moved just a bit back on her bed and then patted the space next to herself on the bed. I said, "Do you want me to lay and snuggle by you on the bed?" and she nodded 'yes' with one of her big grins that I love so much!
I had to hold back the tears- her gesture so small in reality, yet so big in the scheme of things. I have to say, that moment in and of itself makes so many of the other things we go through each day (like the shot I had just given her before bed- she gets one each night) so worth it. I can't put a price tag on what I felt inside- and I never want to forget this moment.
I climbed in next to her for several minutes and she and I did signs back and forth. Signs like 'friends' and 'happy' and 'time for sleep'. =) I may not get all the cards in the mail or all the things done on my to-do list tonight. But I know I will always savor that "little-big moment" I had with Wyndham.
Christmas, and life, to me isn't about getting things done and checking off lists. No. It's about living with intention and understanding. It's about priorities and having them so in tune with what is Real that everything else can wait. Just so that the moments that truly matter can take center stage.


Jennifer said...

Oh Jody, that is absolutely precious - thanks for sharing your "real" moment with all of us. Definitely puts life in perspective during this hectic time of year.

SusanH said...

What a great birthday "eve" gift!! Wyndham is such a cutie (just like all of your kids) and you guys look like you're having so much fun!! Enjoy your birthday and keep celebrating those moments - and sharing them with us!!

kari said...

Those kind of moments are priceless, aren't they. Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story. Merry Christmas!

MsGrace said...

I love it. I was just having the same thought myself tonight as I was snuggling with my one daughter tonight. At first all the thoughts of what I "should" be doing were flooding my mind & then as she snuggled in next to me I thought what do I really "need" to be doing more than this.

Thank you for always sharing so openly your experiences.

Heather Leigh said...

I've read your family's story before, I've read your blog before, and recently a friend of mine put a link to your blog on her blog and I found myself here again.

For whatever reason, tonight I felt compelled to post. Even though I haven't been through a tragedy like yours, and couldn't even fathom it, I feel some similarities between us.

I'm also from Michigan and just turned 35 last week. My daughter is a couple of years older than your Teagan would be turning. She turns 12 tomorrow. I scrapbook. I blog. And I cherish as many moments with my kids as I can.

You see, I have a job where I travel...A LOT. And while I always have the promise of tucking my kids in and giving them a hug on some other day, I don't get to do it on a daily basis. You have reminded me to be so thankful for that promise.

When I am fortunate enough to be home with them, I cherish them that much more, I overlook their moodiness and tantrums, I slow down and play games with them, and I embrace their emerging personalities (even if my first instinct may be to be somewhat annoyed by them).

Your struggles and stories put so much perspective on just how precious every moment is. Thanks for the reminder.

And have a happy birthday.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! May you enjoy, many more and blessings to you and your family at this special Holiday Time!!

Anonymous said...

One more my kids are grown and married and sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and have some of those precious, little-kid-moments once again with them!!
There's a saying, "Long Days, Short Years"...and how true that is! I remember thinking how "endless" time was back then---then all of a sudden it was over--or so it seemed. Cherish these times!!!

Greta said...

Thank you or sharing this special story with us! You brought tears to my eyes, so I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel. What a precious memory to hold on to.

Happy Birthday! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us to cherish each moment with our kids...I know I can take things for granted sometimes - thanks for the gentle reminder. :)

Happy Birthday to you!

Lisa said...

Ah, how sweet! What a great gift. And Happy Birthday too, by the way. I hope your day is filled with more little-big moments. I so know how priceless those moments are!!!

CFCina said...

Happy Birthday today Jody!!!

~ Kathy C. (Oregon)

3QTGUYS said...

Hey, Jody! Happy Bday!

What a great "gift"..........that's how kids are....and they don't even know it.

Thanks Jody, for always sharing, I lost a child, too, and your gentle reminders set me back in place, reminding me to take nothing for granted.

Seriously, the dishes can wait. I need to savor these moments.

Thanks, happy day to ya!

sonja said...

You always do that to me Jody! Remind me why I love being a Momma so much. (thank you) And thank God for sweet blessings like your Wyndham to show you how beautiful life is everyday (even when it seems like it's in fast forward)

Mom of 2 little princesses said...

That is so touching - and I have so loved hearing your memories of Teagan this Christmas. . . I am so sorry for your struggles - but so proud of how you are handling them.

Christine said...

What a precious moment - thank you for sharing it with us, it's amazing how our children can make us stop and just take a minute to live in the here and now. I hope you have a happy happy birthday (I still have the party hats - if you need them!)

Janna said...

SO sweet! What an amazing little girl... she's definitely a survivor and it's wonderful that she's just so happy and thriving when she deals with many struggles each day. She's a true inspiration! :) What a beautiful blessing she is!!!

patterns of ink said...

Great pictures! and a fantastic story. I needed that. It has been wonderful to see this precious story unfolding over time.

Please forgive this long comment.

I have a favor to ask. On New Years weekend, I will be "publishing" a hard copy of that story I wrote for my Mom about their first year of marriage. It's almost done. At the end of the printed draft, I will include excerpts from comments that would be of encouragement to her. I'd be honored if you (and any of your readers who may be aware of the story) would leave some "tid bit" that may be of use in that section. She is in a battle with cancer and recently go some bad news but please don't mention that directly. Thanks, Jody.
Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Well said Jody! God bless you and Merry Christmas! -Alisa

JSM said...

"It's about living with intention and understanding. It's about priorities and having them so in tune with what is Real that everything else can wait. Just so that the moments that truly matter can take center stage."
I'm totally stealing this quote... with props to you of course! :)
Thanks for the reminder and blessings on you & ALL of yours

Gigi said...

love you jods :)


Michelle McGee said...

Your words are always so touching, and make me stop. That's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Children make you want to start life over. ~Muhammad Ali