A picture says a thousand words…

This picture probably does say a thousand words. This picture is one of the most important photos I’ll also probably take and share with you. This picture is of a family, plain and simple. But it’s not that plain and it’s not that simple. This is a photo of us six months into divorcing. But this photo wasn’t hard to take. And it wasn’t hard to post.

That is because it’s all about HER. 

Just saying that “you’ll put the kids first,” isn’t enough. You have to practice that sentiment. You have to live it out loud, and then you have to remind yourself of it even on the days it feels impossible. Yesterday, though, it wasn’t hard. Yesterday was her birthday. And on her birthday I want her to deeply feel that her parents love her more than anything.  It’s about making sure she sees us sitting at a table, enjoying a meal, all together. STILL. 

There will always be two homes. She will always have two rooms. But she will always have two parents who will work as hard as possible to show her love has many forms. If we can take this photo now, at this juncture, I feel she will see that love doesn’t stop when divorce happens. It opens windows to a new kind of relationship. One where she continues to be the focus, because as I continue to tell you… she is the light. 

This picture does not say we have it all figured out. Hardly. We are parents and we have been through this very hard thing while raising a toddler. But… I’m proud of this photo. I’m proud of myself, frankly. I want to show Landon that women are built of really strong stuff. We can be survivors of disappointment, sadness and pain. We can and will get ourselves up off the mat and treasure the things and people that make us smile again. We can also see the best in others… even our former spouses. 

This picture is also for Landon when she’s older. I want her to see the genuine smiles on all three of our faces and know… that joy in our faces exists because of our love for her. Joy from all that we’ve shared with her, all that she’s given us. I want her to know that although it may feel like everything has changed, THE most important thing of all… our love and intense support of her will never waiver. 

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Happy Sunday, friends.

xoxo,

Eloise

THREE

Dear Landon,

Today, you are three. Three whole years old. This past year has flown by. I remember your second birthday like it was yesterday and marveling then at the little girl you’d suddenly become. And now… you seem grown up. Too grown up for my liking. You are tall, beautiful, unique, silly. stubborn, funny, loving, and have the world’s best laugh. 

This past year, you’ve started two different schools, learned how to ride a tricycle, developed an intense love of trains, discovered their cousins trucks and cars, learned the alphabet, how to count to thirty, and fostered a love of dancing with your entire body including your toes. Your lamb Lenny still gets top billing in the bed, but Thomas the train isn’t far behind. You like to sleep on top of all of your (very hard, plastic) trains and anything with wheels. 

Your girlish, tomboy personality makes me so very happy as does your new found love of carrying around my lacrosse sticks. I hope with everything I have that you remain as unique and different as you are today. May you continue your love of building things, studying how they are built and using your princess castle for a parking garage. May you always ask for a hug when you are upset or nervous that you’re in trouble. May you always be fascinated with animals, dinosaurs, bugs, and lizards… even if I can barely stomach reading about them. 

May you always have this particularly bright and beautiful spirit. You are changing the world Landon. Everyone that knows you, loves you and knows you will do great things. 

You are brave and have taught me how to really live. You are my light. You are my joy. 

I love you, sweet girl. Always. 

“I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.”

xoxo,

Mommy

The thing about Wonder

So I finally did it… I finally read Wonder. I just sat down on Sunday morning while Landon nuzzled next to me on the couch and read it. For years now, when folks hear about Landon’s syndrome, most people offer “have you heard about the book Wonder?!”. This question is sometimes accompanied by an I’m-so-sorry-for-you glance or even a I-know-how-hard-this-must-be stare because of this book.

But until now I just didn’t want to finish it. I started last summer. I cried at page 3 and thought “Nope, not going to purposely make myself cry anymore right now.” Part of me didn’t really want to read it because living it was certainly different than a tale of fiction. The other part of me hesitated because this was written by a random author, NOT by a real parent or family member or person with Treacher Collins. When I heard that the author simply saw a child one day with TCS, and she and her family fled from the store prompting her to reflect and then write the book… I had a hard time even looking at the book on my shelf.

And then I realized, this author, this book, this story that “teaches kind” is exactly what this world needs. It’s THIS book that may change each and every middle school out there. THIS story that might make school life for Landon happier and more full of kindness.

Now, I’ve spent time with the story. I’ve cried with the characters and the painful words the children call Auggie. I really marvel at how much research this author must have done. And I now love that she took her own missed opportunity for a teaching moment with her kids and is in turn teaching the world how to choose kindness.

This book also provides peace of mind for us “special” parents. We face this vast unknown in sending our kiddos off to school. With headlines about bullying and remembering how tough middle school even was for ourselves, THIS book now gives us some solace that KINDNESS is being taught in the classroom in a really cool way. It’s prompting discussion and debate and they are spending time on this during the school year. THIS is huge.

My heart will break 1,000 times before she even reaches middle school. When every child stares and points, when every parent shuffles them by while glaring themselves yet not choosing to teach their kids better. When kids are mean to her face. I will now think of this fictional boy who is teaching the world SO much love. This book is teaching us the basics and what it’s like to choose kindness at such a young age. And I marvel at what this book can also teach adults.

So, my friends, please read this story. Please read it with your kids when it’s time. Talk about how it made them feel. Talk about how it made you feel. And then pay those feelings forward.

xoxo,

Eloise

Fashion… Friday?

I’m finally coming up for air after the move… sorry these aren’t quite on Friday. We can pretend though, right? Promising more blogs this week!  Is there anything worse than living out of boxes? Love y’all! XO

Outfit One: Dot Shirt and Floral Vest: Genuine Kids at Target (!!); Cableknit Leggings- Zara; Shoes: Cienta Kids…Zappos, Bow… her own 🙂

Outfit two: Ladybug Girl!! Shirt, Sweater- Old Navy, Leggings – Gap, Tutu- Gift, Wings and Headband- Amazon. Loved this costume because the girl sleeps with these books every night!

xoxo,

Eloise

Closing one chapter…

Last week we closed a very large chapter of our lives, although it only spanned a single year. In many ways we restarted our lives after leaving New York. Nestled in a quite beach town, we resurrected so much of ourselves.  As I’ve mentioned many times on here, I left New York a little broken and bruised. After one year with Bo’s parents, running along the shore and watching my bug thrive, I feel like myself again. We feel like ourselves again as a couple. And Landon… is amazing.  

I know that had we moved straight here, we wouldn’t quite be as great as we are after that year. We needed the peace. We needed the quiet. We needed that time to rediscover how much we loved each other and how much family means to us.

There is also such healing power in water. In living in a place where family, health, and being outdoors are paramount. In feeling supported by new friends as if we’d known each other all our lives. Our move away from Pawleys is bittersweet, but it is intended to feed all three of us with what we need long term. The doctors Landon needs. The bustle and culture that Bo and I crave. The therapy options and schools in Landon’s future.  It’s the right place. But Pawleys will have a big piece of my heart.

So for now, before I start to share stories and images of our new life and digs, enjoy these photos from our last night spent amongst the sunset and waves. 

xoxo,

Eloise