Saturday, September 3, 2016

Dear Kendall

Dear Kendall,

Today I watched a 13 year old and her mom.  She was a few inches shorter than her mom, they spent time chatting and walking.   I thought about if she looked more like her mom or dad.  I watched their interactions.  For a few seconds I had what if's running through my mind.  What if you were not born with a rare chromosome disorder, how tall would you be,  what would you look like, what would you be experiencing in 8th grade that you aren't right now?  What if, what if, what if.  Those thoughts could tear me apart if I let them and they have in the past.  However, rather than in years past where I would get stuck on the what if's, I quickly changed my thoughts.  I thought about how far you've come,  how you talk after years of not talking and it's understandable, and I thought  about how great your laugh is.  How you still throw one hand over your face when you laugh really hard.  I look at all the amazing lessons you have taught our family and friends in life.  Look at how you see the world, full of love and kindness, never hate.  What if you were a "typical" kid?  What if?  Who would your brothers be if you were "typical"?  Would they understand compassion and have the empathy that they have now?  Would they take the time that they do to help others?  Would they know how to help their sister when she needs it?  Would I have the empathy and understanding of others that I have because of having you in my life?  Would I be able to look at the world through your eyes if I had a "typical" daughter?  Would I see the world with the same love that you do if it weren't for you?  No.  No way.

I am smarter because of you.  Wiser because of you.  More accepting, patient(most of the time), and caring because of you.  I've lived a lifetime in almost 13 short years because of you.  Because of you I'm resilient.  I get down but I don't stay down, not for long.  I come back.  Yep, I keep coming back.    I come back better and stronger because of you and I will continue to do so.  You inspire me.  You make me speak my mind.  You have forced me to advocate, not just for you but for myself and my life.  You have taught me to talk about my feelings more, to express myself, to share what it's like to raise you.  You are one of the best lessons I've ever had in life and I think what a shame others don't get to learn the lessons that you have taught me.  You made me a mama but the non "typical" you made me a better mama then I ever would have been if I didn't have you.  I saw another girl and mom walking today, I compared lives for a moment but I didn't get stuck in that moment.  Rather, I was able to think about all the moments we have had because of you that in turn have made us all better and stronger.  I don't know anything different and after almost 13 years I can say I don't want to know anything different.  Thank you for being one of the greatest teachers in my life.  You are small but mighty and very very loved.  I sure hope you know that.   


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About Me

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Married mom of 3 not so little ones anymore but they still keep me grinning and giggling(most of the time). Kendall, age 12, Brady age 8 almost 9 and "baby" Chase who is 7. I have been married for 14.5 years to Dan Graff, who I think is the best dad ever to our kids. He certainly makes me grin and giggle to this very day. I have spent my non mom career working in recruiting on and off over the years recruiting Software Engineers. Other than my kids my most favorite thing to do in the entire word is ride horses followed by Kung Fu, where I earned my purple belt last year. I have been riding since I was 8 years old, with some time off here and there but I always go back to it. As Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"(or woman in this case)!