My wonderfully sweet little son has a webpage, a caringbridge page, that we update about him and how he's doing. It's like an online journal of his cancer journey - this is what I posted on it recently:
I've mentioned scrapbooking here before I'm sure, or even posted some of my layouts of Cole. Well on one site I'm active on they list challenges for us - something different for us to think about in our scrapbooking really, or a different way to do something on our page. The most recent one really hit me over the head. Shelley challenged us with a quote from a book - this is the quote - "Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place.... Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures." So we were challenged to scrap about the small pleasures. Now I've known for well over two years now that the things we take pleasure in some may take for granted. Not on purpose, but just strickly because they haven't been in our shoes. I can remember a friend telling me once that I must be sad about Cole losing a tooth and how he's growing up so fast. I told her I wasn't at all because if he lost a tooth - that's so normal compared to the other things he's been through and if he's growing up that's just a sign that he's a survivor - he's still here with us. So I know that the things I get excited about in Cole's life aren't your typical boyhood things (making the football team, scoring in soccer, whatever other normal boy things there are, I seem to not know many). The things we get excited about are how he stepped off the curb without holding our hand (which he does all the time now), or he smiles at us and it's a perfect smile - not a lopsided smile. I love documenting the special little things that mean so much to us given the child he is!! Once in a while, I still long for the boy he could have been - the boy I still remember and miss. But I'm so thankful for what he will be. I think the journey he has ahead of him will be fantastic. I know he'll do wonderful things - even if all he wants to be when he grows up is a race car driver - that'll change I hope!! I worry enough about him now - in a race car? Forget it!! I'm so thankful for the small pleasures we enjoy every day with him.
Today's small pleasure was not so pleasurable at the moment. Cole tends to pout each morning about school. He always wants it to be a 'no school' day. And he counts how many days he has until 'no school'. Today he said "I have three more days until a no school day - it hasn't been a no school day in forever!" So sweet!! I love when he says things like this. That was my pleasure today - just knowing that he can count how many days until Saturday and he has no clue what's coming Saturday - two of his uncles will be here and I'm sure it'll be a blast - another pleasure!
So - what are you doing about your pleasures? Your small pleasures. Are you enjoying them, savoring them? You should!! I challenge you to - and it would be great if you scrapbooked them, or just wrote them down somewhere, or emailed them to everyone you know (including me)!!! :)
Ok - that was the end of his post and now here's a picture of the layout I created. It's now hanging in Cole's room. I really love it. I loved the paper and thought of Cole when I picked it out so I was just waiting for a reason to use it. This challenge was just the right thing. Sometimes it's hard for me to get the right words when I'm thinking about Cole and cancer. Sometimes I've been moved to document something and then thought 'do I want him to read this one day and see how sad it is?' and I don't do it. Just last weekend I came across a stack of pictures from August of 2004. These pictures were taken one week before Cole started showing symptoms. He was a different kid!! WOW - that big giant smile that lit up his face!!! His eyes were so bright and they were smiling too really. I remember how strong he was - able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - strong! He was so fast - we would always tell him to slow down. He'd run and dodge things so quickly, it's amazing he hadn't fallen and needed stitches already. We joked that he would make a great football player the way he moved so quickly around any obstacle. That little boy didn't get his chance to play football though and that's so so sad. It makes me sad to think of the boy he isn't but could have been without cancer. BUT at some point, I remind myself of what he will be. He will be something wonderful despite cancer and because of it. It's still so sad to me though, when I see those older pictures and how different he was. I remember just watching him play and I would think 'what's he going to look like, what will he be? what will his voice sound like in 5 years?' None of the things I thought, or dreamed or envisioned are what we have now, BUT what we have is wonderful. He's so smart, he's getting stronger each day, he has a great little voice that sometime sounds so grown up and the next minute sounds like my sweet little mommie's baby!!! He doesn't run as quickly or with the accuracy and I still long to follow him everywhere he goes, just in case - but he's standing on his own two feet and walking without a walker so we're all good!!! I want to remember these sad feelings, so I guess this is a good place for them, but I don't necessarily want him to know about them anytime soon, if ever. I know that there will be days when he has his own sad feelings about not being able to do something, or maybe about missing some great school activity or party with his friends because we're heading back to the Jude for a check up! He'll have enough sadness in his normal everyday life that he shouldn't be burdened with mine. So you have to read it here, I guess!! :)
Anyway - sometimes it's magic, sometimes it's tragic but I've had a good life along the way - as Jimmy Buffett would say! And that's so true.
So back to small pleasures - I really want to remember them - mine may not be anything to someone else - but to me, they just might be everything! So I'm going to come up with some way to document my pleasures and I encourage you to do the same.
Yesterday's small pleasure was something I got to see three times!!! I was turning onto the stadium parkway (not sure of the official name of this road) taking Cole to school. There were about 15-20 trees lined up in the median - all blazing in the sunlight - orange, yellow, browns and a little green - just beautiful. My heart actually smiled. It was so pretty! I wanted to just park there and look, under the trees - but the car pool line would have been quite angry with me. Coming back up the road, the view was different and the trees didn't have the same look from the other direction. But, I had to pick Cole up and got to see it again just as lovely. Then we headed back to the school for the Pirate Bash and saw them yet again. Monday will be just as beautiful I suspect and hopefully I can snap a picture at some point just so remember how pretty it was. Maybe I can find a great journal to use as my 'Small Pleasures' book!!
SO a huge giant thanks to Shelley for inspiring me with the quote she provided and challenging me in the great ways she does!!! Thanks!!! My dad even emailed me his 'small pleasure' this week and what a wonderful thing it was - ME!!!! Another heart smiling moment!!
Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy your small pleasures!!