A kidney for a cutie

It's happening. My baby sister (who's not actually the baby anymore, but I can't help but think of her that way) is being prepped for surgery. The surgery. The transplant she fought for when all the odds were stacked against her.

She's excited and hopeful. Her donor and his wife are excited and hopeful with a good heaping of nervous. The rest of us still can't believe it's actually happening.

If you'd asked me just six months ago if Ashley would be getting her transplant just five short months from our first big fundraiser, I would've laughed in your face. I would've rolled my eyes and secretly seethed at your naivete.

I've found that my nerves can't handle people who think things magically happen, people who say things like, "God won't let that happen" or "In His time, not ours" or "If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it."

Maybe He will. I mean, yes, He will, and He has. But he didn't do it without the blood, sweat, and tears of a team of hard working men and women from across the globe. He is bringing us through it on the backs of flesh-and-blood friends and family and strangers who feel like family.

And so, tomorrow. A girl gets to make a five-year plan. A boy fulfills a spiritual mission that feels ordained. The stars are aligning and three separate families are coming together to move the molehill that started out as a mountain.

I just want to thank each and every "virtual friend" who donated to Ashley's medical fund, bought a tee shirt, sent up a prayer, or reached out with a kind word. Life is spinning further and further away from calm, so I'm not here as often as I'd like, but I'm paying attention and so is she.

In twelve hours, my sister gets a new lease on life. There aren't words to express our gratitude. I have to settle for, simply, thank you.

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Married Ryan Gosling

I need distraction. And distraction comes in no form more safely smoldering than Ryan Gosling. And so I present for your amusement: Married Ryan Gosling.

You have to click on this one to get the full effect.


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Tales of a Fifth Grade Something

My son is obsessed with football and accuracy. In that order. Javi wants to be right, always, and cannot hold back from gracing the world with his opinion on all things.

Therefore, it shouldn't have come as a surprise when his name was announced not once but twice for winning top honors last week. Young Authors state winner. Fifth grade science fair winner. Labels that no one could've forseen my inattentive, impulse, argumentative, over-reactive boy ever wearing.

ADHD is an insidious thing in that it hides behind beautiful brown eyes and a wide smile. It sneaks in when you think you've cast it off. But, sometimes, it convinces you to lower your expectations, cast down your eyes, and pray that your child will only blend in and never stand out.

And so, Javi's ability to shine shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. That's the trap ADHD set for me.

Despite the pain of getting caught in a sharp-toothed trap, the realization that I've underestimated Javi hurts worse. I've been holding on, white-knuckled, to hopes of anonymity. Let him not stand out. Let him be a middling student, a face in the crowd, a voice that speaks neither too softly nor too loudly.

Let him be average.

After six long years of public education, six years of phone calls and letters and constant complaint. He can't sit still, he won't stop talking, he argues, he jumps, he hits, he stares off into the distance.... Six. Long. Years.

Of course, two top awards and one week don't erase the weariness of time and effort to appease and fit in. And, unfortunately, the world doesn't stop spinning at fifth grade.

We're facing middle school and beyond. Tougher academics, heavier social demands, a maturing student body that may well leave my sweet Javi far behind. Yet, the lesson's been learned, for me, the hard way.

I will not push my child to be less than his very best self. I will not cloud his potential to shine. I will not allow ADHD or anything else to mask Javi's particular combination of intelligence and creativity under the guise of average.

Congratulations to my oldest on excelling in both writing and science. You are a wonderful student -- and an even better teacher.

***This post is part of Wordful Wednesdays.***

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