Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Perseverance, little wins, little set backs....

I didn't realize how much time had passed since the last entry.  Keeping up with Liam has become a
lot more involved.  This little being is such a joy!  He is mastering his steps for walking, getting 14 steps as the record (his physical therapist was counting, I was squealing).  His favorite 'walk' is between the couch and an oversized chair, though he is getting adventurous and wondering a little further.  He is almost to the point where he is comfortable going from a 'bear crawl' to standing, though sometimes the core muscles just don't want to hold!  He has received a few bumps and bruises, most recently at the cardiologist office today while chasing a crayon.  His love for music is deepening, we had 3 guitars playing and he went from one to the other, dancing the 'Liam jig'.  His favorite song is 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider', he is having fun with the hand motions for sure.  In June he will participate in a local dance recital, his class' dance is actually an obstacle course, since he loves to dance, there may be an impromptu step or two.
Liam and I took a quick trip up to the Bay Area to visit my brother and his family.  We had a wonderful visit and Liam had some older kids to help give him incentive to walk, and some courage to explore going down heights (i.e. head first off the bed, thank goodness only 12 inches high).  Liam is a fantastic traveler, making friends with anyone he can.  On the way home, the flight was delayed an hour (2 past his bed time) so he slept until 15 minutes before touch down, woke up, smiled, and waved at our neighbor before closing his eyes again.  Watching him interact with people, makes my day!  I will feel him wiggling around, and realize he is double waving at someone behind us, making a new friend.








And being part of life, we have our struggles.  Liam is still not taking in his nutrition orally, he has taken in 3 1/2 ounces of food, milk, etc. in a sitting and that was wonderful, but has not done that again.  He usually takes in about an ounces or 2.  When Sean's job changed we didn't have insurance and decided the time had come to find out if Liam was eligible for something called Long Term Care.  Great news, he is, not so great news, I am in a stand still with getting all the services put in place for Liam.



I never thought I would have to fight so hard to get what I think Liam deserves.  And as I am reminded, I am not fighting, I am advocating, there is no bad guy.  Of all the lessons motherhood has brought to my attention, using my voice, asking for what I need or Liam needs, has been most prevalent.  Of course, patience is a close second, I think that one was a lesson from my own toddler years!  Right now, being patient that some of the requests that I have are outside of the box, that Liam is a whole being and needs both Physical therapy and Feeding therapy, and remembering that this little being has a journey I am only given tidbits of clarity around all test those ounces of patience I have.  Thank goodness for the amazing family we have and for friends who can help to shift some of the jumbled thoughts running through my head.




So as I ramble tonight, I focus on the joy that Liam is.  Today, the cardiologist shared that Liam's heart is doing fantastic and we can start spreading out his followup appointments.  What a breath of fresh air!  Amazing that just a year ago, we were learning how to give Liam his feeds, picking him up without raising his arms, and monitoring any infection warnings or abnormalities.  Today, we are chasing a speedy crawler as he races to take the clock off the night stand. Watching Liam push a book across the room to be read, makes my heart warm.  Hearing the giggles of both Sean and Liam as they play in the other room deepens the love I have for both of them.  And as I sit, typing this out, with a quiet house except the whirring of Liam's feeding machine, I feel a rooted contentment that whatever we have in store for the future, we are always guided, we are always taken care of, and there is always time to play!






Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter, Hope, and Living...


My family celebrated Easter, there were eggs to be dyed and found, baskets to be enjoyed, and being in church or out in nature.  As a family we attended multiple churches, all had their own feel, and community we are still in touch with today.  There was a church in Flagstaff we attended for a few years and to this day we still are in touch with the pastor's wife (20+ years later).  My parents and I would sing at the Episcopal/Lutheran church in Williams because the woman we took lessons with attended the church and this was a way to have a 'recital'.  There were many years that Easter meant a hike, skiing, or adventuring in some way out in nature.  In the last few years there was a pilgrimage to Phoenix to join my grandma and aunt in attending their church.  There was always excitement of hearing the music, hunting eggs (when we were younger) and enjoying friends and family.  I have to admit, my favorite Easter's are not in church.   My favorite Easters have been out in Nature.

I am so grateful for my parents and their deep faith, they would share what Easter meant to them, what having faith 'looked' like to them.  Mom shared with us that to her Easter meant that we could have hope.  There was this horrible chain of events and on Easter morning, hope was born.  I don't know that I felt the magnitude of her story until adulthood.  Only when I was weathering storms could I fully embrace the thought that there may be hope.  Dad shared with us that by being good neighbors, by treating people with dignity even if we didn't think they deserved it, helped us understand what Christ-like meant, we can't be the judge, we don't know what someone is going through or what pain they may be in.  These are the gifts that lead me through life, to have hope, to be kind, and to be curious!  The lesson that both Mom and Dad instilled in us happened when we were in nature.  They gifted us the idea that we are all One, the Earth, the plants, animals, water, sky, Sun, and neighbors, we are ALL ONE.  They taught us how to make moments sacred, to ask for permission to enter spaces, and to witness life happening all around.  I think that is why those nature Easters mean so much to me.  

There was no surprise that the urge to visit the Grand Canyon came up this weekend.  I have been nervous about packing Liam, with his feeding pump, tubes, health, etc., I have let there be excuse after excuse of why the time wasn't right to dip off the edge of the Canyon.  Well, now was the time!  We packed water, food, formula, the feeding pump, diapers, sunscreen, and off we went.  There was a loose goal in mind, Cedar Ridge, on the South Kaibab trail, 1 1/2 miles.  I type that and giggle, 1 1/2 miles, what!?!?  That is a walk in the park, anywhere else!  In the Canyon, that is 1 1/2 miles straight down and 1 1/2 miles straight up.  The seduction of the downhill is almost overpowering, thank goodness for the many years of hiking the trail, I knew not to get sucked in.

The hike out was okay, the temperature was rising, and Liam's weight was tiring.  By the last few switchbacks, I could tell, I was getting done.  Sean was so supportive, I think he knew how important getting to carry Liam in and out was to me, he let me set the pace and checked in.  At the last few switchbacks, he checked in and for some reason, I heard the request differently.  What I heard was more like a declaration, "Here, give Liam to me."  I obeyed, and thank goodness feeling 20+ pounds lighter I could finally breathe, I didn't realize how tired I was!  I always have to laugh, 1/2 hour after touching the rim coming out, I am restored and ready to go, this weekend was no different!  I have hope to make the next Canyon hike down to Indian Gardens. 

Liam is growing so fast and changing everyday!  Thursday he made his first free handed steps to the couch.  He is problem solving and finding ways to maneuver things...and people so he can get where he wants.  To blow off steam he makes a loop in the living room with a pink chair as his guide.  He is learning a new 'face', he got tired of winking, so now he has an exaggerated blink.  On the trail he kept one hand out so he could wave at all the hikers we passed.  I only knew he had fallen asleep because people stopped saying hello.  He is gaining more babble words, when Sean is home the two of them can go on for what seems likes hours!  With me, he is quieter, we think because he has had so many experiences of being with me in groups of people, he has associated me with quiet.  He is still attempting to eat, frozen food, milk, or juice are his favorite.  I can't wait until next year when Liam may be more interested dying eggs, finding them, and more aware of what is happening around him.  

I am caught off guard in the moments I miss my mom so much and her vacancy is felt so acutely.  I have a beautiful hand made vile with ashes of my mom, she came to the Canyon with us this weekend.  In the moments I miss her the most, there she is helping me to remember to turn to Hope. She was there nudging me up the trail with her grandson on my back.  I am sad she won't get to hike Liam in the Canyon, and yet I know, she will be there every time he goes in.   Just like she was there with me as I picked out 'healthy' chocolate for Sean for his Easter basket and will be there next year for Liam's basket.  She will be with us next year as I get ready to teach Liam how to dye eggs and remembering all the ways she decorated eggs, there were so many I will have a hard time choosing what is first!  She is here every time I need encouragement reminding me that Easter, and Christ are all about Hope.  Through the stories we share about her, she lives on, what a gift.





Friday, April 7, 2017

A first birthday of sorts...





Today is Liam's 1st anniversary of his heart surgery.  In a way another birthday since they did have to stop his heart for a few moments.   Writing that almost stops my own heart.  What a wild year the last year has been!  Liam ended up having an appointment down at Phoenix Children's Hospital today with his gastroenterologist.  What a weird feeling driving up to the hospital knowing I would only be there for an hour and yet having a wave of apprehension wash over.  Thankfully that apprehension left as soon as it came and we were able to play.  I never thought of hospitals as fun, I still don't, and yet Liam and I have a different kind of time at the hospital where we end up playing and laughing.  Today, I needed the laughter and the snuggles just a little more.

The gastrroenterologist sent in a referral for Liam to receive an evaluation to find out if he is eligible for an intensive feeding therapy program.  This is not the first time I have received the recommendation to check in with this program.  The program is 6 weeks in Phoenix with Liam receiving support around eating everyday.  I don't know all the details but the thought of driving to Phoenix, or having our family split for 6 weeks has deterred me from really searching out if this is something that would be beneficial.  I think I have been hoping that Liam would miraculously start eating on his own.  I guess we are being given another option, the option of getting Liam the most beneficial help he can have, and we are willing.

To help ease the day, Liam and I traveled to Jerome to meet up with my dad, sister, and niece for a few hours.  We played in the park, watching kids go down the slide, climb bars, and run around.  I knew I wanted to get Liam in the swings so when the swings were open I jumped on the chance to play.  Liam had so much fun!   He is quite enamored with his cousin Aria!  I am so grateful he has the chance to get to know his cousins and learn so much from them!  What a gift to have this little being just a year ago, receive heart surgery to present day, playing on a swing, laughing!  He is our miracle!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Wonder...


Spring in Arizona has always been a wild ride, higher temperatures, sun, rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind, I never knew what to expect when someone would let me know 'Spring' had arrived.  This weekend was no exception.  I had a workshop to attend to keep my massage license current so we decided to head north for the weekend and have a little get away.  We left Prescott with dark clouds and a threat of rain, we arrived in Flagstaff with an inch of snow and more to follow.

When we awoke on Saturday there was more snow to fall, a breeze, and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds.  By Saturday night the clouds were sparse and the temperature had risen enough for us to take a walk at Sunset Crater National Monument.  Sunset Crater has always held a soft spot in my heart, there are fond memories of exploring as a school child, with family and friends, and more recently on a couple of meditation retreats.  I have always allowed for the magic of the land to take me on some mystical journey!


What has come to fruition is that with Liam, life is unfolding in that same magic.  We are getting experience the wind for the first time through Liam's senses.  Touching rocks and trees, sharing in the wonder he is experiencing.  I know I was taught that having children would be a most wonderful journey especially learning through their senses.  I guess this was a lesson I had to experience on my own!  WHAT A BLAST!

Just in the weekend, Liam has reached out to feel lava rock for the first time.  He is starting to realize that there are different textures for different pine needles.  He has different reactions to different things as if he is discerning what he likes or dislikes, what brings him pleasure or not.  Today he met his shadow for the first time!  We had so much fun meeting this 'being' and enjoying his delight as he explored his movements and the mirror movements of this 'being'.


We are having so much fun witnessing Liam explore his movement.  He is getting faster with his crawling and more bold with his willingness to let go for a second.  He is almost running with his little walker, and yet when he wants to get somewhere 'fast' he drops to all fours and charges head first.  He has found the stairs and loves to climb up to the second floor to play in his room.  We are working on getting back down, that isn't as much fun, since he would love to face where he is going.  I am so grateful we get to savor these moments of wonder with Liam and truly absorb the joy they bring.

 There is a story that my mom and I were hiking when I was maybe 4 and I kept stopping to show her a flower or a lizard.  She said that the sun was sinking behind the trees but I was oblivious, I was more interested in the little things.  Our adventures ran this way through adulthood, I would want to go slow and savor little things, and she had a fantastic agenda to fulfill.  When I was 15 we went to Yellowstone to visit my sister, Ashea.  I woke up in a sour mood from a nap and didn't really want to go on a hike but the family was headed out and I do enjoy being outdoors.  So being the defiant 15 year old I was (I still am defiant just not as cute!) I lagged behind and let the others disappear on their fast pace hike.  My present was getting to witness a sunset that is burned in my memory as one of my favorites!  I asked my family if they watched the sunset and no one got to see it, I guess the angle I watched from was the perfect angle.  I keep this story as my guide, am I moving at a pace that will let me savor the moments, catch the gifts, and keep the wonder in our lives?  As we learn more about Liam and his pace, I have a feeling he is a sunset gift, he has come at the perfect time, and is making life that much more memorable!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Celebrating Spring...

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon

Spring has always been a magical time in my life.  Up on the ski slopes, the snow would start to get a crust that wasn't found any other time in the year, the mix of snow and tree buds always intrigued me.  The field we grew up living in would thaw and become a huge mud flat for us to stomp around in, creating mud pies, and anything else mud.  The sun always seemed to surprise me, I would inevitably think I was late for school at 7am.  There was an urgency for life, school was ending soon, the heat of the summer would be knocking on the door soon, the last runs of the season were being savored, some years with a 2 foot path of snow to the lift so we could catch just a couple more runs.  


My grandfather, Glenn passed away in the spring.  He was the first person, outside of my parents to teach me about love.  One night, I awoke and couldn't sleep, I noticed a light on in the house so went to investigate, Grandpa couldn't sleep either.  He made us toast with his homegrown, homemade, raspberry jam, my mouth still waters for his jam!  He would dance with me for what seemed like hours around the house.  He would read to my brother and me as we were going to sleep, and play all sorts of funny little games children make up.  In his presence I always felt loved, and I always felt as if he was so proud of me, and not just me, all of his grandchildren.  I gained courage from his love to love myself, to explore the world with an open heart and to love kindly.


Somewhere in my youth I lost the courage to love myself.  Earning other peoples' love and acceptance became more important.  Fear became the driving force and even though I was moving through life, going through the motions of seeking a passion, participating in thrilling activities to gain excitement, changing with every crowd so that I could gain acceptance, I was numb.  I knew what was happening wasn't 'normal' and yet I couldn't seem to stop.  I don't know how long this cycle ran, I can only imagine at least a decade.  

On March 17, 2007, I was finally given a moment to pause, reset and let my heart thaw.  There was a realization that with all the need to earn acceptance and love, I had no idea who I was and I was scared to find out my truth!  Over the last 10 years there have been shoulders to cry on, chances to explore what being alive really means, chances to have an intimate relationship with my Creator, chances to open back up to passion, excitement, acceptance, and room top practice loving myself again.  I have gained courage to explore the world with an open heart and to love kindly through the love of some amazing people!



More reasons to celebrate in this spring include Liam's half birthday on March 14, 'Pi Day' and on March 21 we get to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, a day to celebrate the extra chromosome 21 (3; 21).  There are so many ways to celebrate this day, silly socks, crazy hats, donating to an organization, doing random acts of kindness, and mostly loving the people who have been blessed with an extra gift!  We are deciding what is in store for 3/21 this year, what we do know is that silly socks and hats were a blast at a recent gathering, and random acts of kindness are always fun.

The other season that has always been magical is fall.  In the fall there is this excitement from school days of beginning classes again.  Who would the teacher be?  Who would the friends be?  What would transpire this year?  The fall of 2009, I met Sean.  The night we met, I felt like a bumbling fool, and could only be fully me in all my glory and imperfections!  It took another month and a half for me to have another chance with him, I needed more time and practice in loving myself.  Since that night he has been the reason I thrive to love.  I know I can't meet his love if I don't love myself.  His love runs so deep sometimes I get frightened and shut back down, just to open back up and love again.  Our relationship has taught me about the fearlessness of love, the shear excitement of being alive, and reminds me that with love, the world is healing and is a better place.  I joked with friends before Liam was born that he was the product of our overflowing love...now I believe that even more!  How could we be so lucky to be the parents to this little being who loves most everyone!?  Who's heart is so freely open to so many that in grocery stores people recognize him before us?  

When Liam was first born love was put to the test, could we remain open-hearted and full of love.  There were moments that fear won, thankfully they were just moments!  Could we be gentle with our own imperfections and fears?  Remembering those days what I get is an overflowing of love.  

Every decision we made was from what we imagined to be a supple space of love.  Today, getting to witness Liam explore his world, the people he loves, the people who love him, and knowing that by our love for ourselves and for each other, his world is a better place.  


Monday, March 6, 2017

Angel Baby

For some reason I have been thinking about our 'first' child.  Sean and I found out I was pregnant on a cross country trip to New Jersey for a family wedding.  Sean started to notice changes in my body and I was 'late'.  We were in the Smoky Mountains on a hike when I told Sean I would wait a couple of days before taking a test but I might be pregnant.  We laughed, danced, jumped, and celebrated that we were adding a new being to our family.   We happened to be in Ohio near where my maternal grandparents are buried, so we stopped and hunted for the headstones.  I told my grandparents we were going to have a baby, interestingly enough in that moment there wasn't a burst of joy, there was something else, something I couldn't put my finger on, almost sadness.  I pushed the feeling and thought away and we bid our farewell.  Back in the car we shared our news with both sets of grandparents, woohoo, what a new word for us!!

When we got back to Prescott I called a midwife and set up an appointment to start prenatal care.  The pregnancy was still so early on, there wasn't a heartbeat to hear, just some care suggestions to follow and another appointment was made for a 2 weeks later.  At the 10 week appointment we were to hear a heartbeat and start to really bond... we didn't get to hear the heartbeat, the midwife thought she heard a heartbeat and thought that maybe the way my uterus was tipped we would just have to wait to hear at the next appointment.  My intuition started to kick in, something wasn't adding up, something was 'wrong',  I just couldn't get a clear answer, or the answer I wanted, to be pregnant.  A few days later there was blood, just a little bit, and again the desire to be pregnant was so strong I felt as if there was a great will pressing to stay pregnant.  That night two awareness washed over me, first, I could worry about this little one from that moment until the day one of us would die, or I could have faith that whatever was to happen to this child, the child had a ring of guardians guiding, loving, comforting, and holding their heart.  The second, my concept of prayer changed, at first I prayed that I could keep this child, 'please, let me stay pregnant and keep this child'.  The prayer changed to 'please, give me strength to walk through whatever was in store with grace'.  I think my greatest fear was that I would be too frightened to get pregnant again.  That by losing this child and having to go through contractions, I would lose all my courage to be a mom.  I also was worried that Sean would be devastated and we wouldn't know what to do as a couple.

The next day I was returned to normalcy, I was pregnant, I hadn't miscarried, I could go on being excited.  3 days later I started the process of miscarrying.  I was at a function with all women and I felt completely alone, I hadn't shared with very many people so I couldn't seem to share about our impending loss.  Calling the mid-wife, she suggested I get in to have an ultrasound with the doctor as soon as possible which was 3 days away.  Sean stayed by my side and made sure to keep me well fed and hydrated.  One thing that our life is proving to us is that our relationship has a foundation that keeps deepening.  I fall further and further in love with Sean and we seem to meet each other where we are and move forward to meet what ever challenge, opportunity, adventure that awaits us.

Late at night the experience got to be too much to handle, so I woke Sean up to take me to the hospital.  When we arrived I realized I had made a huge mistake, but there was too much fear, blood, and unknown for us to handle on our own.  I was admitted and we spent the next 5 hours in the ER negotiating what the doctors and nurses wanted for me and what I wanted.  There was an IV inserted for fluids and potential medicine, an ultrasound to make sure all was okay, a pelvic exam, and a shot to help with the bleeding.  I felt battered and bruised, and mostly heart broken.  A dream didn't get to come into reality.  The bruise from the IV seemed to linger just a little longer to remind me of that night so I couldn't whisk the experience under some rug and forget.
I wanted to be a mom from a young age, well actually a grandma, but I soon realized I had to be a mom before I could be a grandma.  I didn't realize how excited I was to have the potential of being a mom and journey the road of parenthood.  That night we realized that we were ecstatic about being parents, our lives were ripe with anticipation for another being to join our family!
Thank goodness for family, friends, and healing.  When I went into the doctor for the followup ultra sound his first words were, "Wait 3 bleeds and try again, you will make an amazing Mom".  What sweet, sweet words to have spoken!  The ice started to melt from my heart and I knew I wasn't broken.  Sean and I could be parents, we would be parents.  This little being's journey was just a little shorter than either of us expected.

I think having this experience helped Sean and I so much more with Liam.  Maybe that was our first little being's gift, to prepare us for the wild adventure we have had with Liam.  As some of the research has hypothesized, the first born paves the path, the second learns from the first so maybe we are all learning from this little being who didn't get to take a breath.  One thing we learned for sure, we knew we wanted a child and  almost exactly a year after the miscarriage, Liam was born into the world.  I don't think that is a coincidence.
People who watch Liam and I interact are intrigued that he is our only child, I guess there is a nervousness that follows a first time mother.  Sitting on the floor feeling so unsure of what was about to happen, and praying to be guided, a trust was formed that whatever happened with our babies, we would be given the strength to walk through with grace.  I am forever grateful for our 'first' baby and the gift that little angel gave us!  And who knows, maybe someday Liam will be a big brother, I am still wrapping my head around that thought.









Friday, March 3, 2017

Learning, teaching, building

I teach Communications, Ethics, some Business, and Thai massage at the local massage school.  The last couple weeks I have had the opportunity to be in class more and have been reflecting on the journey of learning.  Liam has been in the classroom since he was 7 weeks old.  When the schedule was being made for the session Liam was to be born in, I told the director my due date.  The last class I taught was Friday, September 11, and Liam was born Monday, September 14, I don't know if I could have planned that any better!

The Communication class is spread out throughout the whole program so sometimes there are big gaps when I won't be with the students.  My maternity leave happened to be during one of these gaps, I wasn't scheduled to comeback to class until the end of October so Liam was ready to join me as my assistant.  When Liam is with Sean or someone else, students will ask where he is, when he is at the school, students will stop to smile, wave, and acknowledge Liam.  He has become a mascot of sorts for the school.  One of the concerns I had when we first found out that Liam may have Down Syndrome was that the public may not know how to handle his diagnosis and I wouldn't be able to handle the public.  I was concerned that we would be pitied, that he would be treated different, that he wouldn't be accepted.  My concerns have been proven false, thank goodness!  More than anything, I think by having him so involved with school, he has learned to be quiet while others are talking (for the most part), to be at ease in large groups of people, and to interact with anyone and everyone.
I have to laugh, when I was in college, the principal of the high school I graduated from bet me a steak dinner I would become a teacher.  At the time I couldn't fathom being stuck in a classroom with a bunch of punk kids trying to teach some subject that the students felt was a waste of time.  I also remember thinking he was probably right, I would end up teaching at some point.  I come from a line of teachers, my mom was an elementary/middle school teacher, my dad ran many trainings in his field, my maternal grandfather was an English teacher, my paternal grandmother went to school to be a teacher, my paternal grandfather was a mechanic teacher, an aunt teaches music lessons, an uncle is a professor, and a distant cousin is a teacher in a foreign country.  Plus, one of my first jobs in high school was teaching ski and snowboard lessons.  What I realize now is that I didn't really enjoy the traditional classroom, the distance that teachers had to maintain because the student-teacher ratio was so high, the lessons that didn't seem to fit into what was happening in real time, and the pain of growing up.
Today the class size is less than 20, the subject matter is all about relationships... with self and others. We sit in a circle so there is no chance for students to hide, there is an air of equality in the room, there is meditation and body movement, there is sharing about experiences, we are all there to learn and teach.  I know I learn from each class, sometimes the lessons are about some weakness in my own belief system, sometimes the lesson is how far I have come in my own journey.
Mom's eyes use to light up when she would talk about her students.  She loved her classes, sometimes not all the students won her heart, but I knew that she cared about each and every one of her classes.  I was baffled by how she could spend so many hours prepping for class, grading papers, dealing with discipline challenges, and teaching the same thing over and over each year.  I couldn't connect with her pure desire to make a space for these punk kids to explore their individuality.  I didn't understand why she had such a difficult time deciding to retire.  Now I understand.  Each of the classes I have had the opportunity to be with has held my heart, they have captured a moment in time.  Some of the students I don't have as easy of a time remembering their story, the class as a whole, however, I remember their story.  Time becomes obsolete when I am in the classroom with the students.  As the students get the ah-ha's there is a welling up that happens, sometime tears will form.  When students are in the middle of the program and they are about to burst because of the pressures from the demands put on them, and I have that feeling they are just about to burst through some bind that holds them back, I get giddy and hold that sacred space for them.  I understand now why Mom couldn't just walk away from decades of teaching, teaching had transformed her as well.  I do wish I could have her here to check in with, to bounce ideas off of, to share student stories.  I am grateful we had some time to be teachers together, I just wish there was more time.

At her memorial there was a message that Mom did many little things that added up to great things.  Like walking every night with a friend added up to thousands of miles.  Showing up daily for work influenced hundreds of kids... and adults.  Driving to Flagstaff each week to capture her dream and finish her teaching degree gave her kids a role model to reach for their dreams- Engineer, Ecologist Guide, and Healer/Teacher.  As Liam explores his world and individuality Mom reminds me that the best lesson I can teach Liam is that when he falls and gets a bump, like today, I will be near to soothe and will help him to reach for his dream, or the top of the stairs.  I guess, I better pay up my end of the bet.