Thursday, June 21, 2012

The One Who Gets Its

A few weeks ago I was invited to an very special event; the assembly hosted by Mischief's grade two class. Each grade takes a turn hosting an assembly during the school year and May was Mischief's month. He was so excited he could barely function the morning of the big day; he couldn't wait to share with us the special songs and poems his class had prepared. I wouldn't have missed it for the world ... not even for a chemo treatment.

Turns our the big assembly was the afternoon of a treatment. Bad timing. And to make matters worse my treatment was delayed by about an hour, making the possibility of attending the assembly very dicey.

I tried to explain my predicament to the doctor but he didn't really get it. He just kept telling me that my son would understand and my health has to come first. In theory that made sense but in reality I knew that two little blue eyes would be scanning the crowd and two little shoulders would slump when he realised we weren't there. So I tried to get through to the nurses.


The nurse, a mom, totally 'got it' and she hustled to get the meds in and let me skip out on the last ten minutes of my hydration so I could zip to the school in time. I was able to sneak into the gym just as my little Mischief took to the stage and just as I thought his baby Blues scanned the crowd, looking for us. At first he didn't see us and he slumped a little until his pal spotted us near the back of the crowd and pointed us out to Mischief. Instantly he jumped up, waved and winked. And that made my hurried, desperate day worth it.

As the assembly progressed, Mischief sang, recited poems and danced until his pants were saggy, all the while beaming at us from the second riser. I wouldn't have missed this for the world!

As we filed out of the gym after the program was over, many of my friends who knew it was a treatment day couldn't believe that I was there. I got a ton of comments about how I should be at home and how my kids would understand and forgive me and how there will always be another assembly to attend. After hearing about half a dozen comments like that, I ducked out to the van, a little dejected. How could no one get why I was there?!

A few minutes later, Mischief and Crafty came running out of the school and hopped into the van.

"Mom, I was so afraid you wouldn't be there! Thanks so much for coming! I liked seeing your face smiling at my face!" Mischief said as he gave me a huge hug and a sloppy kiss.

Well, okay ... someone got why I was there!

Here's the last song that Mischief and his pals sang at the assembly ... it lifted my spirits, made me laugh and reminded me to believe in myself, be true to myself and to celebrate the things that make me me, even if no one seems to 'get it' ... hope it does the same for you!

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. ~Johann von Goethe

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A League of Our Own

I'm having some performance anxiety this morning so please bear with me. Its been a long, long while since I've sat at the keyboard and although I have so much I want to say, I'm a little rusty and a little out of practice but here it goes ...

About a month ago I planned a little dinner party and invited some of the most amazing women I know. I was halfway through my treatments, feeling a little tired and down, and I knew another dose of My People was just the thing. We (my sister was a massive help, as always)  made a reservation, invited everyone to don their favourite hat or fascinator and join us for a girls night out. I called our little group The League of Extremely Fascinating Women.

That night women of different ages, backgrounds and walks of life came together, mingled, chatted and encouraged one another. I was amazed by how eager everyone was for a girls night, how open everyone was to meeting new people and how easily the conversation flowed. I laughed harder than I had in ages and was more encouraged in those few short hours than I thought possible.

Driving home after dinner that night I had a couple of IGIMs ('I Got It Moments') that took me by surprise. We all make assumptions about one another and usually those judgement calls have us thinking that everyone else has their stuff together, is happier or is more popular. Planning that girls' night out opened my eyes to a few truths that are pretty universal for women ... at least I think so.

Every women wants a place to belong, a group of women to hang out with, to be included but very few women are willing to risk planning an event for fear of no one showing up. When I sent out the invites for that dinner I was surprised by how many women jumped at the chance to get out of the house and hang out with other women. There were women who I invited thinking that they were going to be too busy with their fabulous life, family and friends to accept an invite for dinner from me but there they were, sitting at the table with us, thanking me for thinking of them. Who knew that we all feel lonely and disconnected sometimes ... maybe 'sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came' after all.

Every women has a story, life lessons to share and encouragement to give. I didn't want this night out to be just a dine and dash event, I wanted it to mean something more. so in the week before the dinner I started making cards, one for each women who was attending our girls night. I left the cards blank and at the dinner I asked each women to write a little note of encouragement and then I collected the cards, shuffled them up and handed them out again. My hope was that each women would walk away with a little piece of goodness that would life their spirits a little. In the week that followed I received several emails from women who said that the card they received was exactly what they needed to hear or that they ended up having a conversation with someone who totally encouraged them. Mission accomplished!

Every women needs to have the opportunity to connect with other women, to be encouraged, supported, inspired and to have a few laughs. In the weeks since that girls night out I have really felt like all of us need a place to learn, grow and laugh. We all need People who will have our back and kick us in the butt. We all need a place to belong.

So I made a place.

Today I created a place on Facebook. I started a group called The League of Extremely Fascinating Women. This is a place of encouragement, sisterhood and fun. This is a place to be awesome. This is a place to be fabulous. This is a place to be the person you were always meant to be and to encourage others to be the fascinating person they are meant to be.  Hats required, fascinators encouraged!

This is an open group so please join, invite others to join. Periodically, I'll post questions or create an event and I invite you to share quotes, messages or pictures that are encouraging, inspiring and life giving. This is our place, this is a League of our own.

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood. ~Louisa May Alcott