Monday, October 3, 2011

Fast Forward... Now Slow Down

August and September blew by this year without any posts. Daisy seems to have gotten past her bout with mortality and is living each day to the fullest.  Sticking to her wheat-free-hypo-allergenic dog food has been relatively easy for us. We made her grass fed beef and rice mini-meatloaves shaped into dog-paw shapes for her 10th birthday on September 11 and all of us ate them for dinner!  We know that we are on some borrowed time with her - as whatever it was that caused the dramatic increase in pancreatic enzymes and the enlarged adenoid is still there. But we are grateful for each day and hopeful that she will be with us a few more years.  She makes her way up to Sadie's room every night for stories at 7:30 and often will stay there, asleep next to Sadie's bed, until Daisy may wander into our room when we go to bed. There is nothing like the feeling that one gets when you crack the door to check on your little human at 10:30 at night, and you can see her pet companion raise her own head, as if to say "All is fine, you don't need to check on us... I will guard her" just with her own bloodshot and tired eyes.  Daisy has lived up to her birthright as she was born on September 11, 2011. She is indeed a very special dog.

We survived an earthquake and a hurricane in Richmond VA. And we squeezed in a last trip to the beach and stayed with Mark's brother and his family who were just a block from our dear friends, the Littles, so Sadie enjoyed beach days with her best friend Isabella. Watching these girls who were born just two days apart, both with identical birthmarks, grow up has been remarkable. They have been each other's constant companions for so many years -- and now have turned into these little ladies with plenty of sass!  The Littles are God's answer to Mark and I not being able to give Sadie a family of many siblings. She loves the hectic chaos that is in their house, and yet appreciates coming home to our peace and quiet at the end of the day. And we love them for it!

Sadie's last year at First Baptist started in early September and we have been rolling through the weeks with a whole new set of rules with Pre-K. She is loving all the new responsibility that comes with being one of the "Pre-K Kids", including crossing the street to go to a new playground, having her lunch at school, carrying her own tote bag, and writing a ton more.  Every day there is some new discovery. She is a reporter, always full of details on what happened during the day during dinnertime with Mark and me. She has a keen sense of humor. She's a list maker --- I am constantly spelling words for her so she can write them down. She makes us laugh. And she makes us grateful. Four and a half is my favorite age ever (but I will admit at saying that at a lot of other ages too).

And now we are upon our favorite time of the year. Sadie has joined me in a true love of the lead-time for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are fully into reading holiday books and listening to Christmas music whenever we can. We have great plans to decorate this year. Our house on Monument Avenue will shine with lights of every sort and every color as Sadie has designed new specs for lots of decorations. And we are new owners of a small pad in Urbanna, Virginia where we will hopefully stash some decorations to use for the holidays too. It is all so exciting and thrilling!

We visited with my parents this weekend and we are anticipating my mom's 70th birthday on Halloween. It was a great visit, full of laughter. And all of the Misage kids and grandkids will be together for Thanksgiving this year.  We are lucky to have my parents doing so well. Unfortunately, we continue to be saddened by Mark's mother's battle with Alzheimer's and, added to that, the dramatic decisions that his father makes in his own sort of vacuum.  The stress of the latter has been unlike any I have ever known. We continue to pray for some resolution there, and try to preserve our marriage and our nuclear family in the meantime.  I never expected how hard it would be to balance giving so much to your own child and to also watch horrible things happening to your spouse's parents.  Mark's mother has been a saint. I realize how good my own marriage is, probably in large part due to the sense of consideration and understanding with which she raised my husband, her son. We try to pass along who she was to Sadie, and shield her from all the ugliness that is happening at present. As she gets older, that is getting harder and harder.

And so, we focus on the holidays. This little girl that we waited for so impatiently in our marriage... she now is developing at lightening speed.  She greets the days and the seasons with joyful anticipation. I try to learn from her and have her optimism.  We will enjoy the last quarter of 2011 and try not to worry about all that we can't control.