Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stop and Smell the Flowers

My daughter and I were driving down the road in our car today. This afternoon was bright and sunny and just begged to have the windows down with the music rolling out of the car. I took a deep breath of the warm springtime air and a smell hit me right in the.... memories!  What did you think I was going to say?!? Anyway, the smell took me back to childhood.  I thought of taking lazy walks in the early morning haze on a summer morning. Down by the railroad tracks there were so many delights to be seen by a kid walking with their Grandma.  My favorite thing about those walks sprouted wildly in an alleyway, almost forgotten. Honeysuckle grew in a beautiful row like yellow flames reaching for the sky.  I loved to run up and sniff all the aroma those flowers gave off. The heady sweet smell made me want to stay in that alleyway all day. It's one of the smells of my childhood. I smell honeysuckle and it instantly brings me back to those walks with Grandma.

Which makes me wonder, how often do I actually "stop and smell the roses" now that I'm older? It takes little time and almost no energy to smell a flower. Something I can assuredly do even on my most energy deficient days. I see my daughter doing this all the time. Wherever she goes she immediately finds flowers to smell. It doesn't seem to matter what they look like. I have even seen her try to bury her nose in a little tiny clover. Big, small, green, withered and brown, if it looks like a flower "L" seems to think there's a smell to be sniffed out of it. That leads me to wonder what it is about kids that makes them do this?  Is it because they have no sense of time? Or that they have no "schedule" to worry about curbing by taking the time to smell them? I think that, partially, it may be that kids are so fresh and new that it's truly the "little things" in life that fill up their little worlds. I'd like to think that maybe I am better at taking time to enjoy those things than some.  I'd really like to be more aware of the simple joys in life. Stop to smell the flowers, enjoy the sun on my skin, and the beautiful blues in a coming stormy sky. I can most definitely look to my daughter for inspiration. And there's no excuse of Sjs to get in the way of something so elementary. That in itself is fantastically refreshing to me!  How often do you take a deep breath of the warm springtime air and a smell the flowers?

Image found here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello-ello-ello Out There!

I am currently a 29 year old stay at home mom to my beautiful daughter "L". My husband works so that I can stay home and raise our daughter. Like most moms, it is sometimes a 24 hour job, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! My daughter and I love to throw ourselves into new adventures and experiences, with excitement.

I am the organizer of a stay at home moms group in my area.  We get together with fellow "sahms" and their kiddos about two or three times a week.  We keep each other sane and the kiddos get some great play/learning time in!  Two years have gone by with the wonderful group. We have done so many things with our group of friends.  Quite a lot of it being things that most kids don't get the chance to experience.  There have been trips to our local farmer's market Strite's Orchard to pick apples in their orchard, deer and squirrel spottings on a walk near downtown Hershey, and "wild animal" feedings at a semi-local attraction Lake Tobias. My daughter has been stripped down to be cleaned off after; playing with food coloring ice cubes, pudding painting, run-ins with a pond, thrown handfuls of sand, mud pies, glitter glue mishaps, and many many baking adventures, by herself and with friends.

The only thing that can sometimes curb my enthusiasm for my "second childhood" is Sjogren's Syndrome (Sjs).  (I also have another unspecified connective tissue disorder.) Almost four years ago I had my daughter.  What, do you ask, does this have to do with my Sjs? Just sit back and get yourself something fruity to drink...One thing I have forgotten to mention, about myself, is my ability to ramble and go completely off subject at a moments notice.  My husband calls this the Squirrel Syndrome (from the movie Up)...And there was your very first experience with my rambling. Any..way....Following having my daughter I was having some not so nice symptoms that I hadn't had beforehand.  Headaches, body pain, dry eyes and mouth, and extreme exhaustion. To make a long story short, or not as long, I went to many specialist before I found my wonderful rheumatologist, Dr. A.  It took multiple tests, a lip biopsy and many many months for the diagnosis I have. It seemed like a long time to me, but now I am learning that my "process" took an amazingly short amount of time compared to the years that it takes some to travel the same journey to enlightenment.

To say the least having Sjogren's can sometimes feel like having a huge, nasty, energy sucking, moisture evaporating monster hanging over my shoulder.  At other times I can almost, almost forget that it's there in the purest moments of life. I am not setting out a soapbox to preach from, but I would like to bring some notice to Sjs.  Even if it's only on this very low key level!  Or if I could humbly encourage some, through my experiences, to live their lives to the fullest despite what "issues" they may have, then I would be a very happy lady.  

So now I am off to make some frozen strawberry lemonade with my girlie. Mmmmm!