Today I got to see the most amazing team in action. When I start my shift in the NICU beautiful miracles are all around me. They are already there and set up comfortably to begin the healing and strengthening process or they are well enough to be heading home with their family. Today was different. Today I saw two arrivals, twins, and I was mesmerized by the amazing team working before my eyes. They immediately swung into action. Each knowing what their position was. Each working together while completing their individual tasks. It was a beautiful symphony being played in harmony before me. They were moving like beautifully played instruments. I stood and watched them. Wide-eyed filled with hope. I could not take my eyes off them.
They were making lives strong. They were giving those two miracles all the tools they needed to grow stronger.
There are many reasons why I am here. Why I volunteer in the NICU every week. Two main reasons are because my twin miracles and of all the help and support we received during our time in the NICU. The others are to witness hope, life, caring and kindness. To see strength like no other and to see this, today, this team working beautifully together.
What a beautiful day!
Sunday morning making pancakes for the kids when suddenly there’s a knock on the door. We never have morning visitors. Who could it be? We ran to the door to find a sweet neighbor asking if the kids can come out and play. This was a surprise for me because I can’t really think of G and I as being old enough to run out of the house and play but it’s happening. I had to take a moment and step back. The kids were excited to play but knew breakfast and morning routine needed to be completed before they went outside. I never saw them eat ALL of their breakfast so fast and brush their teeth without being told so quickly. They were growing up a little more right in front of me. How could this be?
I looked back and they were fully dressed and out the front door. No longer did I need to sit on the stoop and watch them. They were gone. I could hear them from inside as they communicated with friends, made plans, created new games and had new ideas on the stoop. I just sat back comfortably in the air conditioned filled room with a cappuccino in hand and a smile on my face and took it all in.
There was a shift. It had been coming. I was watching it happen but couldn’t put it all together, at least not until this morning. I was no longer the mediator. I was no longer needed to open this or get that. I didn’t need to watch them and just make sure they would be ok out there.
All I had to do now is let them be. Sure I popped my head out from time to time to make sure I could see them when I no longer heard them on the stoop. I knew they were fine but I just needed to reassure myself that they were. They popped from stoop to stoop but never too far away. More neighbors joined them and soon there were a group of kids bonding and becoming friends not only neighbors.
This morning’s theme seemed to be Harry Potter. The wands came out. The character stickers were retrieved and the spell book was in hand. They had professors (Giovanni) teaching a class while the others listened. The roles were turned and things changed. It was interesting to listen to.
This was it. I have two second graders starting school this week and they were surely acting the part.
I will stop here as tears fill my eyes not only because I am a little sad that they are growing but also because I am so proud of them.
This is motherhood.
It’s that time again so on this snowy Wednesday afternoon think about donating to a wonderful cause. Please share our story and our team page wherever you can. Help our team meet our goal and help so many families that don’t have the support during a very scary time. Thank you for your support. No amount is ever to small and always very much appreciated. Let’s go Gio and Isa’s Miracles! Helping families one step at a time.
Tonight for Isannah’s reading assignment she chose to read another book that wasn’t in her school baggie. She wanted to read I am Abraham Lincoln. It’s a longer book and words are definitely harder but she was determined. When we got to the part in the book about slaves and she saw the picture of slaves chained up on a boat she was very upset. She didn’t understand why they were chained and what was going on. I asked her to finish reading that part and we would talk about it. Once she finished reading those two pages we paused for a moment to discuss. Giovanni was listening in and was so happy to hear about Abraham Lincoln’s speech about freeing slaves and that all men are created equal.
We briefly spoke about the Civil War and the Gettysburg Address. It was a nice conversation with questions and lot’s of listening. They want to be like Lincoln and stand up for what’s right. Isannah said that she was going to make sure that she would do what is right but if others didn’t do it she wouldn’t stand and be with them. She would be alone if she had to but Giovanni immediately jumped in saying she wouldn’t be alone because he is doing the right thing too so they can do it together.
It truly is beautiful listening and watching the love and kindness that is within them. I wish it will only continue and become stronger. I hope that this world doesn’t destroy that faith, hope and kindness they have and want to pour unto others.
I wish we could all see things purely through the eyes of kids.
G and I began talking about their party ideas for their 7th birthday party, which was sneaking up quicker than I had planned. They both had different ideas and wanted to do different things. Then out of nowhere they both decided they wanted to do separate parties. Wait, what? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My two soon to be 7 year old twins no longer wanted a birthday party together. This blew my mind. I wasn’t ready for it. What just happened? I knew this day would come but I expected I had a few more years. I was hoping this thought wouldn’t come up until they hit 11 or 12 but I was wrong. It was happening now. Right in front of me. They were deciding and planning what was going to happen. Not only that but they turned to me and asked if they could invite their own guests. My chin just hit the table and my mouth remained open.
Did this mean not all their classmates would be invited? Did this mean no childhood friends? Wait, what did this mean? Giovanni kindly told me that he wanted to only invite his everyday friends meaning friends he saw every day. He wanted to pick and I would write his list down. Isannah then said the same thing. Here I was grabbing a pen and paper and writing down each name as they shouted them to me. I kept looking at the list and thinking about people I would like to invite but just kept my mouth shut. I was letting them take the wheel. I wanted them to feel like this was their time. After the names were shouted and after I stopped writing they each looked at their list. They were smiling and so proud of themselves for doing it all on their own. I couldn’t crush their joy. Not their moment so I sucked it up and let it go.
Fast forward to Giovanni’s party. It’s here. It’s TODAY and the excitement was real. He woke up asking me how many more hours for his party. He must’ve asked me 20 times if it was time to leave. This was what he picked and he was so excited to share his chocolate making experience with his everyday friends.
I planned all the details and when we walked in his face lit up. He was excited to show his sister the place and explained to her all the fun things they would be doing. As his guests were arriving he greeted them with smiles. It was like he was turning older than 7. I was frantic as always to make sure everything was going smoothly and all who were coming were happy but I calmed when I looked at him. He was just enjoying his day. What I loved more was that his sister was letting him be the person for this time. She allowed him to have the attention and was supportive.
Everything was going well. The kids were screaming with excitement. Singing at the top of their lungs and dancing like no one was watching. It was great. I looked around the room and was happy for him and for everything that was going on.
It wasn’t until it was cake time that I felt my chest cave in and tears began falling on the inside rather than outside. I was crying inside because when the party host placed his cake in front of him I knew it was just his celebration. It wasn’t a cake with both names on it. It wasn’t a cake placed in front of G and I to celebrate both of them. It was only placed in front of Giovanni. He sat there and looked at his cake and listened to everyone sing happy birthday and when the song was over he proudly blew out his candles and I quietly cried.
It was harder than I thought to see that happen. I was happy for him and proud but I couldn’t help feeling a little sad that it wasn’t both of them together.
I pushed that feeling away because I couldn’t let it take over me. This was a happy day. This was Giovanni’s day and this was just happiness. I remembered that Isannah would get her solo birthday party and celebrate it the way she wants. That day will be a day of friends, happiness and joy.
Let’s just say I can’t promise not feeling a little something when a cake is placed in front of her that day. I guess its just part of a being a mama of twins.
My husband reads pages from Harry Potter right before bedtime to G and I. If we are running late with our bedtime routine we skip the night but tonight everything was right on schedule. The kids both snuggled in their beds while he began reading where they left off. I love the silence and just the sound of my husband’s voice very animated and alive. He changes his voice and tone with every character he reads. I just sit back in my room and listen with a smile.
After they were done reading, it was time to go in each room and say goodnight. When I walked into Isannah’s room she immediately told me she wishes she was a girl witch like in Harry Potter. I asked her why and she responded by saying, “If I were a girl witch then I would be able to have powers and go back in time to where Nonna’s mom was alive so I could meet her. I think it would be a nice idea to meet Nonna’s mom. I never met her but I think about her a lot. I think that would make Nonna happy.” I just smiled and agreed with her. I said it would make a lot of people happy and she would be so happy to meet you too.
Just then she said, “I’m just happy Nonna’s mom, the white butterfly, always comes by us.”
I gave Isannah a hug with tear filled eyes. That was so sweet and tender and I truly was happy to hear that from her.
If reading Harry Potter brings out this kindness even more, I hope the books last forever.
We have been truly blessed every year with some amazing teachers. From the very beginning when the kids began their educational journey and I was frantic to let them go and worried about how their teachers would treat them, I saw the love and kindness in the eyes of every teacher I met. They reassured me every day that G and I are fine. It’s a beautiful bond to experience and a comforting hand that is very much needed. This year is no different. Not only are they present, available, kind and supportive they are also friends. My family and I have gone through some tough times throughout the years especially this past week and even though my mind was filled with fear and just all over the place those teachers have been present and went out of their way to make me understand that their thoughts were with us all. From the inspiring texts, to the hugs along the way, it’s been a blessing to us all. When people ask me about our current school I simply smile without hesitation just thinking of the wonderful teachers we have had and the staff that has become apart of our life. It’s friendships like these that see no boundaries, no color and no religion. It sees love, kindness and care. We are truly blessed with our kid’s teachers and in return, I would like to say thank you once again.
To all the teachers out there that take care of our children, we thank you. To those who put the needs of their students before their’s, thank you. During this time of year and every day, take time to thank a teacher.
The kids woke up so excited this morning. It was fairytale day at summer camp and they were ready to celebrate with their friends. The laughter and the silly giggles between G & I had me smiling all the way to camp. It wasn’t until we got to the corner and a lady walked up the stairs at the subway station that my smile sadly turned in to a bit of anger and sadness. As my giggling holding hands twins were walking by this lady, she looked directly at them with this horrible disapproving expression while mustering the words “it’s not a good time for him to be wearing that costume.” Shaking her head disapprovingly while continuing her rant. It took all that I had in me not to lose my temper. I immediately looked at my children still walking ahead of me but now slowly to try and make out what she was saying to me but at the same time still trying to continue the happiness they had been enjoying all morning. I stared at them to make sure they turned away from us and I looked at this lady and as much as I wanted to protect my kids by saying something I would regret or could possibly turn into something that I did not want to teach my kids, I swallowed and said I am so proud of my kids and the costumes they selected to wear. I followed that by saying, it’s with a pure heart of love and kindness for my children that I will continue walking along without letting your ugliness affect my day. She said something about mother’s like me…at that point I could no longer hear her because all I could see in front of me was a beautiful tinker bell and a handsome sweet police officer who said he would protect all the fairies at camp and that is why he chose that costume for today’s event.
We finally got to the front of the school when G stopped us and asked me why I looked sad. He then said was it because the lady was sad? I smiled realizing that he was just worried that maybe she was unhappy and couldn’t see how mean she was being. Instead he chose to believe maybe she wasn’t happy and that was why she was saying things to me. At that moment, I realized how kind and innocent their hearts truly are. How much love they are surrounded by and how we strive to teach them every day what love is and how to treat others with that same love and respect. We walked into the camp and were surrounded by different religions; different race, different colors and all they saw were friends. They greeted each counselor Black, White, Spanish, Italian with smiles and hugs. It was then that I realized this is how we should be. Why can’t we just see this? Why can’t we lift each other with happiness?
With all the sadness going on in this world why do you want to take away children’s happiness?
Before I left the camp I looked back one more time to see how everyone despite the color of skin were getting along, smiling and just appreciating all the costumes and the bonds they were making. My smile came back and I walked out knowing that today was going to be a good day!
When there’s so much sadness, heartache and confusion in the world sometimes all that’s needed is a dance to bring you back to a place of happiness and love.
Seeing the kids excitement as they danced to freestyle in the living room brought me to a place of calm and joy. I just stared as they giggled, moved and wiggled with these smiles that would light up any moment. They were having too much fun and with all that’s surrounding us, I decided to get up and join them. Feeling the music and letting my body go while giggling with the two miracles dancing before me was just what I needed. It wasn’t long until we pulled my sister Mary and mother to their feet so they too could enjoy the music and life that was taking place in our home.
The laughter, dance moves and constant giggles continued for what felt like a lifetime. It’s been way too long since this happened last and I couldn’t understand why.
In the middle of all the death, hatred and sadness, we lived, laughed and loved. We just enjoyed being here. I couldn’t stop laughing watching my mom and sister keep up with Giovanni and Isannah. There was no holding back. We were dancing like we were at the biggest club party. It was a great feeling and it was being felt all around.
It’s times like these you remember what’s important in life and how grateful we are to be surrounded by family.
Remember there is always a dance in your heart.
Another school year begins and that means the nerves, the tension and the hope that your kids will transition painlessly. It also means letting go. It is another year where you need to trust your blessings to someone else for several hours a day. No matter if it’s preschool, elementary or higher all the feelings are the same.
It is also the time that moms feel most judged. Whether it’s by the looks you receive at drop off or pick up or just the quiet whispers as you pass. It’s felt immediately.
We should lift each other up and remember at that moment we are all going through the same thing, instead of that look of comparison and judgment.
It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or what my kids are wearing that needs to be the focus. What matters is that we are all here encouraging our children to be happy, polite, courteous, respectful and empathetic. To walk in to the classroom (that can be scary) confidently knowing they can be whatever they want to be and know that we are here supporting and loving them dearly. Then as the door closes and you know your children are safely in class that is when you just drop your shoulders turn slowly and walk away. At that moment, some of us walk away with our heads down and begin to second-guess every decision we made from the time we woke up. That weight is too heavy and continues to drag us down. We need to try and focus on the job we did getting our children fed, dressed and in school on time rather than reflect on the in between that may not have gone so well.
This is a problem that I struggle with daily and I know I’m not alone.
I’m learning as each day passes that I need to concentrate on the good things that we do throughout the day to better our children and that will better ourselves.
This mother thing is not easy and takes many falls but with falls comes a greater climb. Because when you get that one good feeling tug at your heart with a happiness feeling that tickles your toes and runs up your nose, you have to sit back smile and say, this is what it’s all about. It can be something as small as your kid’s smile that changes that very moment for you. It can be the unexpected trip that causes you to go flying smashing your knee but when you look down to curse yourself you see a tiny baby clip from when your daughter was a newborn laying right in front of you that little thing changes your reaction from horribly upset to releasing all the tension and just putting it out through a smile. It’s little things that sometimes we overlook in anger and frustration that we should try to see.
This year I wish all the mothers (parents) strength in knowing you are doing the best that you can. It may not seem like it while you are in the moment but it is. Instead of focusing on the yelling you did and hating yourself for it, focus on what made your kids laugh and laugh right along with them. We are all learning together, parents and children.
Remember you are never alone. There is always someone trying to figure it out right along with you.