At the Beach.
At the Beach.
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"I got my first wagon when I was a small child. I am now 33 going on 34 years old....here is my red wagon story: I had a bit of a rough start in life, my mom had severe pre-eclampsia with me and I had to stay at the hospital with her for a week. I was almost too small and almost had to go to the Childrens hospital. My mom and I both lucked out. I am my parents only child and I am their miracle. I got married to my husband on Febuary first 2008, one year later we were expecting our first precious little one together. Six months into the pregnancy, I had severe pre-eclampsia and Ronan was born via emergency c-section on August 2nd 2009. He lived for one month and 9 days. He passed away on Spetember 11th at 10 in the morning. My dad in whom I am very close to, was looking very forward to being a biological grandfather and kept telling Ronan about how he was going to pull him around in that red wagon of mine. My dad brought me to tears when he told me "I would have made a wonderful grandpa" I told him " you already are". I have two wonderful step-sons that I think of as my own. I almost died with Ronan and was told that it would be 50/50 odds that this would happen with any baby that I try to have. My husband and I did not want to give up, we love eachother so much...that we wanted another child to share in the love. So one year later, we were expecting again. This time I carried the little one to full term...however little Willow had to stay in the same NICU as her big brother Ronan. She had the same surgeon as Ronan. The Surgeon remembered us and smiled while telling us congrats on trying again, you have a gorgeous little girl. He became like another parent to Willow during her stay at the Childrens hospital. After two lung surgeries, and a feeding tube surgery...Willow came home after five months in the Hospital. She got her feeding tube out at 11 months of age, and will be turning 4 in November. She is my miracle like I was my parents. I took Willow for a ride in that red wagon of mine and that was one of the best days of my life. We have come full circle as a family...and there are many adventures and precious times with that wagon. I wish I had pictures, the wagon finally met the end of its journies last year. However the memories and the joy had in that wagon will live forever in our hearts."
When you are a single mother raising three children that were all born in a four year span, the most important shield against trouble is a strong, flexible smile. If it is 9:00 pm and you think all munchkins are asleep, but you hear a gurgling noise and a little voice, "Mommy, I think Liam flushed my Barney down the toilet", you put your 'grit your teeth smile' on and grab some rags. When your mother tells you that your three adorable offspring are the smartest she has ever read to, you beam - without thinking your 'all-teeth smile' shines. When my middle son, Christian, was seven years old, I learned my Radio Flyer smile. One Saturday, I was cleaning windows and doing my version of home karokee, when the doorbell rang. As I marched down the stairs, not happy with whoever interrupted my ABBA jam, I saw the crabby mother of two from across the street. We had not spoken more than three times since I moved into our home because she insisted on criticizing everything from my boys' bug collecting to my daughter's propensity to wear a Trex costume in off Halloween season. I knew what was coming, and it was not going to be pleasant. "Do you know what Christian is doing?" she didn't even pretend to be polite. I answered honestly, "Not really, he is out playing with his brother I think." We lived at the end of a circle drive in a very small subdivision, I was certain the most trouble they could get into was picking the wrong neighbor's dandelions and blowing them all over. "Well, he has his wagon and is CHARGING other kids $0.25 for a ride around the block! And he is charging an additional $0.25 for pretzels or a drink from his water bottle during the ride!" the neighbor lady's voice was raising and lowering as if she were telling me that my seven year old was threatening kids with a BB gun - not playing with his wagon. And then it happened, the Radio Flyer smile, I couldn't help myself - I was proud that my grade school son had some entrepreneurial spirit, I was not happy that the neighbor failed to agree and I was confused on how to explain to my son that it may not have been appropriate to conduct business transactions with five to eight year-olds. The smile just wouldn't go away - mostly because I was so proud, yet so confused, but as I explained to my son the neighbor's complaints, I was still smiling, and so was he. Christian continued to be quite the entrepreneur and when the school called, or another parent, I always put my Radio Flyer smile on and remembered how it all started.