Saturday, October 20, 2012

Finding Our Way

"Just keep swimming."

"Just keep swimming."

"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

Words made famous by a little blue fish named Dorie in the 2003 hit movie Finding Nemo.

If you think this post is going to be about how our family has adopted little blue's sing song-y mantra as our own, it's not.

This post is about choices.

Specifically, the choices we make as parents.

You see, Nemo was Addie's baby-sitter all-time favorite movie from age 18 months to probably about age 4. Pop that baby in and you knew you could get a little work done around the house - if you didn't get sucked into watching it too. Shark Bait, Hoo-Ha-Ha.

But, being the cautious parents that we were, Scott and I always went to great lengths to start that DVD at Chapter 2. If you're at all familiar with the movie, then you know the opening scene shows Nemo's parents, Marlin and Coral, scoping out their new digs. Then a big, bad fish swoops in, eats all but one of the 'lil fish eggs, and mom.

Yes, mom.

Our little girl was not going to play witness to that.

Too scary.

Fast-forward a few years to Marley and Me.

Oh, Marley and Me. I've only seen that tear-jerker once and once was enough.

Even though we have it stored on DVR, Addie the animal lover, never got to see it. Because her parents said she couldn't.

Too sad.

These were the choices we, as parents, made to protect our little girl - along with keeping up with childhood immunizations and enforcing the look both ways before you cross the street rule. Heck, we even kept all of children in rear-facing car seats way past the guidelines just to be safe.


What's that?

There's nothing safe with a cancer diagnosis, but there's a whole lot of scary. And sad.

I'm often left to wonder how this will affect the choices we make in regards to Isaac, Tripp, and Baby No. 4. It sure seemed like we did everything "right" and yet we still ended up with a pretty crappy deal.

What more can we do?

Routine blood draws, I guess. I'm only half-serious. It's not as if I take the boys in every month and request a CBC. But I'd be lying if I said they haven't each had one.

So what about Nemo?

Do they get to see it in its entirety? Yes. But let's face it. We'd relaxed (a bit) in our parenting ways long before this.

And Marley?

Lucky for us, we have a few more years before we have to address that one.

But it's not as if my boys don't know sad.

And that, to me, is sad.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Last weekend I found myself in organization mode. It's too early for nesting (I think), so I'm guessing this was more of a "let's see what I can do to keep my mind occupied for an hour or two" thing.

Whatever it was, I found myself knee-deep in a pile of papers and pictures. In the midst of it all was a note from my Grandma Reynolds dated March 21, 2002. Here's what it said:

Dear Jamie, Scott and Bailey,

My new "cute as a button" picture holder is sitting on the coffee table waiting for pictures of the littlest one! We have plenty of film too! Thank you so much!

We're happy that you could join us on such short notice to meet us at the Cracker Barrel. That was fun...

Now, we're waiting! And we know you are too.



With such anticipation for our first child (and their first great-grandchild) to arrive.

For seven days we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Then we scheduled an induction. Not because I was overdue, but because my doctor was going to be out of town and I did not want anyone else to deliver this precious babe.

Addie, it seemed, had different plans and I went into labor the day before the scheduled induction. Oh how she loved to hear the story of me kicking her dad out of our double bed. Yes, double bed. A pregnant woman and her husband slept in a double bed.  I can't even imagine. Anyway, Scott's incessant snoring was ga-rating on my nerves, so I shooed him down to the basement. And two hours later I had to humbly waddle down the stairs to inform Sleepy that I was in labor.

We called the doctor and our moms and dads and wouldn't you know the first people to show up at the hospital were Grandpa and Grandma Reynolds. So excited, so ready to welcome this little human being into their family, so not realizing that they just might play witness to their first favorite granddaughter (me) using language that might best be described as colorful. Don't worry, mom, I didn't let anything slip before the epidural man arrived and Grandpa and Grandma departed.

Throughout the day doctors and nurses came and went, the big hand made its way around the clock, the little hand did too, and at 4:05 p.m. Addison Shelby entered this world.

And you better believe Grandpa and Grandma Reynolds (along with a whole host of family) were out in the waiting room, well, waiting.

Grandpa and Grandma Reynolds, my mom and Addie.

To celebrate.

To ooh and ahh.

To tell this little baby how much they loved her and wanted her to be a part of their lives.

And so last night as Grandma Reynolds took her very last breath, I wanted to be there.

To tell her how much I loved her and how happy I was that she was such an important part of my life.

To know without a doubt that there were two very important people on the other side waiting for her to ooh, ahh, and celebrate that wonderful place we call Heaven and they call Home.

Grandma, Addie, and I shared birthday celebrations
for many years.
In recent years, we had to share birthdays with Isaac
and Tripp too. Here's a picture from last year.

Love you, Grandma.

P.S. Take care of my little girl 'til I get there.