Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The most beautiful girl I have ever known

I remember the exact moment I realized I was going to have another one.  I was already the mother of 2 boys.  I was content and ready for the next stage in our life which didn't include diapers or midnight feedings.  A very dear friend said to me "God must be so pleased with the work you are doing that he has trusted you with this next one whom he has such great plans for".  Upon hearing I had given birth to a girl that same dear friend said "you now have the perfect variety to this perfect family".  This dear friend happens to be a male but sorry ladies, he is very taken.
Selena with her two brothers

 When Selena was 3 she looked just like Dora The Explorer.  It was the hair.  This dark, bob cut hair that framed her face so perfectly and was so adorable.  I remember looking at her and thinking "she has the most amazing hair".  Little did I know how her hair would later help define who she is today.

When she was 5, Selena saw a news story on The Today show about 3 13 year old girls who had known each other since birth.  They all had beautiful, long, black hair and had made a promise to one another that they would never cut their hair without the others.  One of the girls was sick with cancer and the other two decided to cut their hair & donate it to help make their friend a wig.  At age 5, my amazing daughter instantly was moved and said "Mom! I'm going to grow my hair long so I can donate it to someone who needs it, too!".  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Was my thought.  But as the weeks turned to months and the months turned to years and this amazing person continued to refuse to cut length from her hair, I began to realize how serious she was.

Selena spent the next 3 years growing her hair and when the time finally came she had recruited 2 friends with long hair to do it with her.  Because they attended a Christian school the teacher considered it outreach and allowed them to leave during school hours.  When the stylist measured Selena's hair it was discovered she could do it, but it would be shorter than she had anticipated.  I told Selena she didn't have to do it that day and we could wait.  With tears in her eyes she said "It's OK, Mommy.  Mine will grow back. But someone else's might not".  Remember she was 8 at this time.  The very next day another little girl at her school showed up with her hair cut and within a month others had been inspired to do the same thing.  Selena and her friends were talked about at the area churches and even appeared in publications.

Since that time my daughter has done many more amazing things.  She has opened our home to a friend in need and shared her bedroom with this friend for 4 months.  She is always the first to offer help, she has befriended those who are "different", she has recruited for and participated in a PSA aimed at fighting the stigma of Mental Illness, she has battled bullying in her school and in her theatre where she spends her spare time.  I have seen her forgive wrongs done against her time and time again.  The child never stops amazing and impressing me.

Recently a friend of Selena's found out his 8 year old sister has cancer.  The poor child is confused and scared and on some days can't even leave her home. It came as no surprise to me when Selena wanted to attend the fundraising benefit for McClain with all her friends.  Selena even had her own money she saved up to spend.  Even knowing who my daughter is, I was ill prepared for the phone call I got just after her dad dropped her and her friends at the event.

"Mom, all the boys are shaving their heads to support McClain and I'm going to do it, too.  OK?"
Dead silence on my end of the phone
"Mom..... are you there?  Mom.... are you crying?"
"Yes, I'm crying.  Do you want to talk to your dad?"
"No.  I want to shave my head"
"Wait a minute.  I'll be right there"
I jumped in my car and drove down there to try to talk some sense into this child.  Silly me.  It was HER who talked some sense into ME.  When I looked into her eyes I did not have the heart to tell her that her hair; this amazing, beautiful, long, thick, black hair was more important than supporting a little girl who felt scared and alone and had no idea what was happening to her body or why.  You see, it was my daughter's loving heart that once again taught me the lesson of selflessness.

Selena, Kelley, Brittany (after)
 Selena shaved her head that day.  And although she was not the only girl who did it, she was the only girl from her own school.  When I look at her and her friends I see a beauty that is so rare; so full of love & compassion. I know that all these girls did a fantastic thing that day.  I am so impressed and proud of every single one of them.  I also know that this will not be the last time my daughter does something to make the world stop and think.  She will amazing me again.

So you see, Selena is the most beautiful girl I have ever known.  And her hair has nothing to do with it. I often thing back at the prediction of my dear friend that God has great plans for this girl.  I have often been told I should be proud to call her my daughter.  The truth is, I'm honored to be called her mother.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why I decided to blog

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to speak my mind.  In the very recent years it seems that so much has happened in my life and there are so many people I want to share absolutely everything with.  But my f/b status will only hold so many characters.  So on the very day that I was going to post that I needed help starting a blog my sister beat me to it (great minds).  And with the help of her friends, here we both are.  Although, depending upon what you are looking for her stories might be more interest....hehehe.

To recap who I am and what I am about I will start with telling you that I grew up in a very small town in the mountains of Northern California.  I considered Yosemite my backyard and in fact spent several winters skiing there.  I come from a family of very modest means, my high school was small and the town was such that everyone knew everyone.  You know the place; that one horse town that everyone can't wait to get out of.  But looking back now I am glad to have been raised the way I was.  20+ years later I can go to graduation and see teachers I haven't seen since my own school days and they still know me.  I firmly believe that growing up the way I did has made me who I am today and has helped me become the mother I am.

Which brings me to my kids.  I am the mother of 2 fantastic boys and one amazing girl.  I believe in raising "gentlemen" and "ladies".  I also believe that parents should play an active roll in their children's life which includes being involved in the lives of their friends.  I sleep with my cell phone on & next to my bed.  I have taken midnight calls from kids I barely know because they need help and don't know where to turn.  Most weekends we have a houseful of kids and I wouldn't have it any other way.  That's who I am, that's what I do.  My high school mascot is the Grizzly.  Coincidentally my children's high school mascot is the Bruin.  Research shows that out of all the bears the Grizzly mother is the most protective and caring over her young.  The Grizzly mother is also known to be the most fierce when her young are threatened.  That's me.

I am new to this whole blogging thing so who knows what will become of it.  But if you are interested, I welcome you to follow.  You will read stories of my kids, my husband, my travels.  You may even come across a recipe or two.  I like to share my thoughts.  I hope you will like to listen.