Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

I was thinking back to my time working in the day care, and I remembered an incident that made me both reflect and laugh out loud all at once.

I with two other adults was supervising about fifty elementary age kids on the day care playground one day. Suddenly, three girls came running up to me, all upset. After about five or ten minutes, I was able to sort out that someone was hit by someone else's shoe. One girl was angry because she thought a friend threw a shoe at her. Another girl was hurt because she said she didn't throw it, it fell off when she was on the swings. Other girls gathered around and took sides. A few girls chimed in who didn't even see the incident. They "cliqued up" as naturally as breathing. It literally became sister against sister, friend against friend.

After about fifteen minutes or so of trying to sort this out, two boys ran by and this conversation took place:

Boy 1: "He hit me!"

Me: "Say you're sorry!"

Boy 2: "Sorry!"

That was it. They didn't even slow down from running.

After that, I probably spent another five minutes or so working with the girls before they were satisfied.

So what does this mean about the difference between boys and girls? I'm not sure. Maybe boys of that age let things roll off their back. Maybe they put having fun and friendship before their feelings. Maybe girls care so much about friendship that they will defend each other over the simplest offense. Maybe girls thrive on drama and boys don't. Maybe it's an isolated incident and doesn't mean anything about little boys and girls.

I just hope one day I'm blessed enough to raise both.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Penelope Rose

Yesterday was my daughter's first birthday.

She may not be here on Earth to celebrate with, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate.

In the morning, my mother and I took a fruit basket to the NICU nurses at Winnie Palmer. They were the ones who took care of her when I couldn't, and it seemed appropriate to thank them on her birthday. We hadn't been to that hospital since last year, and it was a bit of a memory shock. More for my mom than me, I think, because my time there had nothing to do with the daily walk from the parking garage to the NICU and signing in and washing hands. I mostly saw my hospital room. I remember the single room in the NICU where Penny was baptized and passed on. Either way, I'm glad that we could honor her short time here with them.

After work, Charlie and I met at Penny's gravesite. It was important to me to be with her on her birthday. We hadn't been back since Mother's Day, so it was time. After a prayer, we ate a picnic dinner in the park adjacent to the cemetery. She couldn't have the usual first birthday "smash cake" but we did share a cupcake in her honor.

A friendly cat came over when we were eating and sat on Charlie's lap.
I'm thankful to all the people who called, messaged, or texted us yesterday. Her life may have been short, but she was so important to us. I'm glad our friends remember her as well.
A gift from the family I nanny for.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



She is the woman operating the ultrasound machine, looking concerned for the images she sees of my tiny unborn child.

She is the doctor telling me that something is wrong, handing me a box of tissues with a sympathetic smile.

She is the specialist, checking and re-checking, diagnosing and analyzing, advising and learning.

She is my mother, paining a yellow and green bedroom and listening to my worries.

She is the emergency room nurse, telling me that my Preeclampsia had progressed too far and it was time to deliver.

She is my surgeon, cutting the tiny baby from my womb and closing my sterile and empty stomach with care.

She is the WICU nurse, waking me and asking me to breathe when my medications make me sleep too deeply.

She is the NICU nurse, caring for my daughter as I wish I could.

She is the case worker, handing me a photograph of my little girl when I am too weak to spend all my hours at her side.

She is Penelope, born into a dark and silent world, too small and sensitive to cuddle.

She is my baby girl, taken to the Lord far too soon.

For all the women who cared for and loved me and my daughter one year ago. Thank you.