Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Nightly Ritual, Cherishing The Little Things

After the girls are asleep, I typically like to decompress and zone out for a couple of hours before turning in for the night. Of course that means uninterrupted web surfing or watching a movie (from a service I will cancel at month's end, boo!). I have a ritual that I do every night before going to bed, it makes my day, every single day. As I gently walk down the hall on our creaky hardwood floors I make a stop in each of my girl's bedrooms to kiss them good night while there are sleeping. Of course I also adjust their blankets, turn down a fan, or pick up their lovies from the floor while I'm in there.

There's just something about those quiet moments, when they are asleep and beautifully lit by just a soft glow of the night light, that makes my heart swell.

I just can't help myself from taking a long luxurious moment to gaze over my girls. There doesn't seem to be a more perfect way to adore the little things that get lost in the action of daily life. My youngest is filling her twin bed so much more than she used to, her legs just go on and on. I can almost guarantee she'll be sprawled out diagonally with her doll in a mirror image of her. The last couple of weeks, I've just been amazed by how grown up she's become. The time passes so quickly.

Then I gently make my way into Sj's bedroom. Every night she sleeps clenching her favorite kitty cat (a gift from daddy before she turned one), most typically kitty's head is found resting in the crook of her neck. Kitty is starting to show her age, there's a hole in her tail and her stripes are faded, the white yarn has yellowed. I cherish seeing my very independent girl embrace the comfort of her favorite hand knit kitty cat. Sometimes if Sj's head is turned just the right way and her hair if off of her face, I have flash backs of my newborn baby girl. It amazes me how some moments are never taken away and always come rushing back from memory. I fight my mind from looking ahead, seeing how mature she is and wondering what my beautiful young girl will become...

I love my nightly ritual full of adoring moments, cherishing the little things.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today I Chose To Not Look Away From A Homeless Pregnant Woman

There's a busy intersection near my house where it's often common to find someone panhandling, holding up a sign with a brief message on a piece of cardboard looking for some spare change. Out of work, anything would help. Traveling through town, no car, no money, God Bless. Mother down on my luck, please help. I've become accustomed to seeing the same faces on particular days, often wondering if they have an agreement as to which days they can have the spot.

Today was the last day of my husband's vacation. We were headed off to the suburbs to catch a movie with the girls. We pulled into the gas station which sits just adjacent to the corner where someone always needs a little spare change. I noticed a petite woman, her skin tanned dark brown by this point of the summer, standing in the blazing hot afternoon sun. She's visibly pregnant and although I couldn't make out exactly what her sign said, it was apparent she's going through a rough time. It was hard to clearly see her face from across the parking lot, but it looked as if she was holding back tears.

I've seen this woman before, maybe a handful of times. She typically has a grande iced coffee on the sidewalk next to her and I wonder if someone has given it to her or if it's what brings her a little ray of hope during this rough patch. The last time I saw her, she was crossing the street smoking a cigarette. I wanted so desperately to pull over and ask her to just put the cigarette out, for the baby. In that moment, I silently vowed, well she's not getting a dime from me so she can buy cigarettes while pregnant. I instantly felt awful for thinking those thoughts, for judging her. I don't know her or her story, but there's just something about seeing a homeless pregnant woman that weighs heavily on my heart.

I asked my husband to turn around so I could run into the grocery store. Everyone was wondering what I needed and in that moment, I just clarified I needed a quick stop into the market. I ran in, leaving my family in the car. I loaded a hand basket up with cherries, peaches, baby carrots, strawberries, bananas, cut up pineapple, cubed cheese, and a few protein smoothies. I ran out to the car, back to my family. I asked J to drive back to the corner.

When we pulled up at the red light, there was a couple talking to the woman, who indeed was crying. They were giving her money and I quickly just handed her the bag of food. There was just an overwhelming feeling that came over me to feed this pregnant woman, I had to act. I wanted to help nourish her baby and give her body some nutrients to stay strong and healthy. The woman that was chatting her up at the time came over to my car at the red light. She asked me if I specifically bought the food for the pregnant woman that stands on the corner. I told her I did. She proceeded to tell me that if everyone just bought an extra apple it would make such a difference to this handful of people we see daily, living life on the streets, not knowing where their next meal would come from.

She looked straight into my eyes and told me, she will never forget this moment and thanked me.

With tears streaming down my face, I agreed with her. I won't forget it either.