Studio Rats – Wednesday, February 3, Omnisound in Nashville

It’s a calm moment. I mean, there are plastic tea cups and papers and dollies all over the floor and dishes in the sink and my stomach is in serious protest of that stop at McDonald’s, but the girls are sitting in their carseats watching Cinderella and Rod is getting us as smoothly and quickly as is possible in our home on wheels to our home-not-on-wheels.

There are four hours to go. I am working, as the magazine is due tomorrow night. Kaity is playing peek-a-boo with me. From 10 feet away the sparkle in her big blue eyes is still so easy to see. Her, um, poop-eatin’ grin will get her both into and out of trouble countless times over. She will be 2 years old in just 2 weeks, our baby…the one who took us by surprise, threw us for a loop, and filled our home with nuttiness.

I read this story last night, from a momma of two baby girls. When the second was born, they discovered she has Down Syndrome. This story has stayed with me – and even Rod – through the night and all day. When kids are born, you thank God they have all their bits intact, that they aren’t sick. But what do you do when they are not what you hoped or assumed?

You love them, of course. Fiercely.

Rod is the only one who knows how nervous I was about Kaity’s arrival. I didn’t think she was sick. I didn’t fear she was out of the ordinary. Truth is, I just didn’t know if I could hack it as a mama of ‘two under two.’ And honestly, God help me, I was a little miffed. Miranda was still an infant – seven months old – when I found out I was expecting. I was still basking in the glorious miracle of having any baby at all. I was planning baby-outings and losing weight and starting to feel ok about leaving her for a few hours. I was fantasizing about the first birthday party and all the mommy-daughter things we would do together. I knew I wanted more children…I just didn’t want one so soon.

Fast forward two years, and as the saying goes, I cannot imagine our lives any other way. Not only did our sweet KK add to and fit in and make better, but she and Miranda are peas and carrots. I am not sorry to admit I am jealous of the sister-thing they have. I am also overtly impressed by and proud of their ability to go with the flow. They are not schedule kids or routine kids. They can rock it on a bus for eight days, staying up late, eating out with a dozen adults, napping in recording studios or in the arms of brand new friends, and then go home and rock the play date-library-grocery store-naps at 1pm after lunch scene.

They amaze me.

I don’t have an extraordinary story. I am not a beauty queen or an artist or blogger with lots of commenters or a person worthy of fame. I have not done many of the things I wanted to do or thought I would do. But in the words of Birdee Pruitt, one of Sandra Bullock’s great characters, to her daughter:

You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don’t know, special. But I’m not. I’m just… I’m just an ordinary person. And that’s OK. Because… you make me special.

Our week in Branson/Nashville has been special… full… amazing… maybe life changing. But from the bottom of my overflowing heart…if I never meet another cool person or chase another crazy dream, having these babies call me ‘Mama’ and find their safety in my arms will be the best thing I have ever done, could ever do.

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