"Doctors & Astronauts"

It started last night, when I rocked her to bed. When I whispered, "I love you sweet girl" and she "whispered" a bumble of words I take as "love you too".

It was there as we took one last twirl, the last dance if you will, for the day & she continually signed for "more".

And then today, picking out the perfect dress, braiding her hair & finding sandals that would stay on her bloody-Houdini-feet.

It stuck around as I watched her hug her brother with 110% effort & then quickly kiss me to bugger off & play as I dropped her off at daycare.
This strong feeling of overwhelmingly pride & sense of fear in learning to let go, consumed me - Such a mix bag of emotions having my sweet Pippy Layne graduate Preschool/Daycare today...
We sat at the very back of the room, cause I was on the later side arriving. Shocker!!! The Director started talking about how these little 3 and 4 year old's are the next generation of "Doctors & Astronauts" and if I'm being honest, I kinda twinged a wee bit inside. Maybe Pip, like she always does, will surpass all my expectations, but a part of me kinda knows those professions, just ain't in the cards. Before, I could dwell too deeply, the graduates entered the room. And Eagle Eyes spotted her momma.
And then pretty much game over. The songs she learned with her class, not a chance. Practicing walking up to get her diploma, good try. Watching the adorable slideshow, forget about it.
She wanted nothing to do with anything, except me.
For awhile, I had to bend down at the front of the room with her in my lap and I thought my dress was literally gonna split open, which would have been just super.
Point is, today isn't at all what I hoped. I pictured her smiling and goofing off, waving proudly and loudly to us, showing off the songs she's been working on with her class. Instead she was shy, clingy, in a bit of a mood & refused to let me put her down.
Today I had planned to learn to let go, but turns out, that's not what Pip needed. And I'm okay with that...
I figure we've come this far together, me & her. So, maybe it was fitting to walk today hand in hand, knowing all that we've been through. Maybe before we open the door to what's next, we needed to close this one together.
And don't y'all worry, I explained everything to her. I mean, who needs to go outta space, when you're leaving a significant footprint on this very planet.

The Short Bus...

Dear Mariah in Grade 5, "actually a Grade 5/6 split class", who wants to be an "artist & writer like me". Who has been "talking to Noal" & can't wait to see Pip next year - "I mean I can't wait it's like when you order something amazing but it takes a long time to get here." 

Your sweet, little letter & handmade presents made my day. Noal & Pip were like you predicted, "happy to get mail". Thank you for making Noal feel so special on the bus & for being so excited for my little girl to start Kindergarten. What you did was really, really thoughtful.

But you will never understand the perfect timing & way it kinda eased a momma's heart. You see Mariah who believes, "What makes you different is what makes you beautiful", not everyone does. 

And my momma heart was kinda sad & stressed about that lately. 

Pip as cute as she is & as confident as she is, is still just my little girl. And some people don't see the world & the beauty it holds as clearly as you do. Some people don't see Pip for who she is but instead for the differences she has. 

A few weeks ago Mariah, I had a meeting with your school. And while it made me feel happy knowing how much the teachers there care, how much they will look after her and keep her safe - It also brought up issues that made it blatantly apparent that my little girl is different and has different needs. 

Take the bus for example - You so kindly offered to look after Pip, to "sit with her and keep her safe". And I so wish, I could take you up on that offer Mariah - But this is one of those times that sometimes makes me a little bit sad. You see, Pip will have to take a different bus. A bus that is guaranteed to keep her safe. One that has seat belts and less people. It's a smaller bus, some might call it the "short bus". 

The "short bus" Mariah is what makes me sorta sad. I'm sad in this scenario that Pip has to be "different" - I'm sad she doesn't comprehend bus safety yet. I'm sad she is too little to climb the big stairs on your bus. I'm sad no one can guarantee that my son can go on the bus with her until closer to September. I'm sad she won't get to wait at the bus stop and meet cool, girls in the older grades like you. And if I'm being 100% honest I'm sad because the term "short bus" holds such a stigma & I'm scared other kids will tease her. 

But the really amazing thing is, I'll only be sad for a wee bit. That's the magical part about Pip. Sometimes you feel sad about a scenario for a second or two, but then Pip surprises you with how awesome she really can be. And you realize there was nothing to be sad or worried about in the first place. 

And your letter Mariah, believe it or not, held a bit of magic to it too. 

So thank you...

Love Pip's momma

Happy Soul Project Non-Profit Organization

A few months ago I put out a "call for help" to re-design & work with me on a new website to launch Happy Soul Project as a Non-Profit Organization. It's with the happiest of hearts, I introduce you to the team at Hurricane & Harbour {More on them in a later blog post} who spend countless amounts of time making my vision become a reality.

Friends, launching this new website today, is like releasing a dream that somehow has always been within me. It's such a powerful and personal accomplishment in my life.

I've come to understand that Happy Soul Project is my purpose & I'm hoping the new site shows that. Now you can read the blog, shop or visit the non-profit side of things all on the same site. You can nominate a child for a Kick-It-Cape, help the cause & donate or check out our new initiative, Change Makers.

In a way all of this feels surreal. Sometimes I wonder how in the bloody world, any of this happened. I mean there are days I literally don't have time to brush my teeth or I literally don't have the energy to get the kids outta pj's. So, the fact that I run a blog, shop & now a non-profit organization truly blows my own mind.

In a few hours I am giving another school talk - This time at the elementary school I attended as a child.

I'm sure it will be weird to walk the halls again, to remember the classrooms as a little girl, I would daydream about becoming a writer in. To see a part of me from that time & now stand before students telling them that dreams with hard work really can come true. Cliché I know, but so undeniably true. I also want them to understand though, that sometimes you have to be open to opportunities in different ways. Going to college for Journalism & writing for a newspaper, was what I thought would make me a writer. That "kind of writing" though was not for me - My heart was not in reporting the facts, it was in sharing my story. So while, dreams can definitely become a reality, sometimes ya just gotta get creative in getting there.

I hope today the little girl sitting in the room I once did, the little boy daydreaming in the spot I use to sit & the kid in trouble about to go to the principal's office, like I use to have to, realizes & finds their purpose one day, like I have.

I hope you love it as much as I do...Click HERE if you haven't already linked to new site.

70 cents....

Today while number 2 and number 3 napped, number 1 and I ran errands...

We went to a Dollar store but when the cashier tallied the total I was short 70 cents. I awkwardly looked at what I bought, moving things around and debating in my head what I could possibly give up. 

I could have put it all back. Seriously ANY SINGLE item. But I didn't want to. I mean Candy - More baskets - Chocolate - Water balloons. Hmmm, really big decisions.

Anyways, without even batting an eye, the young friendly cashier took out her purse from under the counter and paid my debt...I mean, come on. Kindness slapping me right in the face. She didn't know or ask my story, she didn't even take time to assess the situation. She didn't know I was there simply to have an outing to spend time alone with my son. Or that the ice cream we had across the street just wasn't enough, I needed more time with him. She didn't know that walking the aisles of her store and being silly with my 4 year old was most definitely the highlight of my day or that I desperately wanted a chocolate bar. {Or Two - Don't judge}

She didn't know anything. Literally. No questions asked. She just immediately thought kindness. And that, to me, is what is so beautiful. To have kindness come first in your thought process - To just immediately act no matter the situation in kindness. That's what the world, that's what all of us, need to do more. 

Next week, Happy Soul Project officially launches as a Non Profit Organization & we are introducing a new initiative called Change Makers.
It's a way to hear how you, how others, are helping to change the world a wee bit. It's a way to see the power in kindness. I'll tell y'all more about it next week, but I'd love for you to start sharing our new hashtag #immediatekindness when you know of how someone acted immediately with kindness before anything else. 

Whoever said, "Above all else, be kind" - No doubt, most beautiful way to live...

Couple Things from a Fish Funeral & Cream Cheese Chow Down...

Couple things to clear up since posting about our Fish Funeral & Pip's cream cheese chow down:

1. Literally two seconds after Noal flushed Finny & needed a hug. He also need a bunny, a parrot, a gecko & pleaded for a cat. 

2. Those that truly know me, know I'm not much an animal-type-gal. For the most part they scare me. To see me getting swarmed by birds is not a pretty sight.

3. After hugging Noal, wiping his little 4 year old tears away and determining that Finny had to go, cause obviously Maiysn needed a fish. I quickly set a home team rule that no pet can be in a cage which easily meant reptiles, rodents or anything with wings. Noal accepted the rule laughing cause he knows I'm scared of most of those things. Then he gave me one of the smiles that's gonna get him so far in life. I swear this boy's charm is something to see. He then shrugged his shoulders & said, "Well then a cat." 

4. Hell-to-the-no-bloody-hell way. Not only does my face blow up exploding from allergies but I'm truly petrified of the moody little things. 

5. Please all y'all cat people. Calm the heck down. I know y'all love them cats, but I don't need tons of messages to try and change my mind. To each their own.

6. Speaking of messages, to everyone who messaged saying you'd like to get Noal a bunny, so very sweet and extremely thoughtful. Seriously. But please see comment #3.

7. If you want me to be brutally honest, I was sad to see my kid sad. And it gave me a flash forward to seeing how awful it would be if our pup died. But Finny, I wasn't that attached. I HATED cleaning the fish bowl, I'm the only one that fed the darn thing & I thought when I got him it would be a short-term thing. How long do fish live? Heck, I thought we'd have him for a month or two. 

8. When I told Noal I was amazed Finny made it to 8mths, he started bawling & said, "But momma, he didn't even get a birthday." So, cue the birthday-funeral-flush-send-off.

9. I love that my kid has such a sweet yet dramatic heart.

10. My other kid however, is in a real Miss Independent Stage. I answered our front door and signed for a package. Came back and she was like "What, nothing to see here. Move along momma."

11. I do not label my children's food - Well not all of it. So many questions, messages or comments about Pip's big-ol'e-jar-of-Philadelphia-Cream-Cheese with her name on it. The reason I do that is because of Celiac Disease.

12. Cross Contamination - WHAT? Ya, not only can Pip not eat gluten, but you have to worry about someone else's gluten getting in on her food. So separate toasters, things like peanut butter, cream cheese, jams, etc - anything where a crumb from a slice of bread could possibly be, Pip has to have separate. Uber annoying having to pull out two toasters every morning, but has to be done. 

Hope y'all have a good week:)