Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cancer and Competition

Have you guys ever noticed how competitive some folks are?
I'm pretty sure that everyone knows someone who when you engage in conversation with them they always have a come back about how they know someone or are better than your experiences.
I'm not naive and think that my experiences are far and away better than others or that they make me anywhere close to an expert on anything, but I do, however, feel like some of those competitive types of conversations should be taboo.
Obviously the title of my post being one of them.
A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to an acquaintance on a social networking website who had suffered from another type of cancer that, to look at her now, you would never know. Basically, she made me to feel, stopping short of actually saying, that my issue was far and away the most minor issue as compared to hers.
Here's the thing, how would she know when she's never walked the path that I have?
She bears no outward physical (we all have emotional) scars from her cancer. I have a huge one.
No, I didn't have to partake of months and months of chemo, but I did lose a large amount of my hair and eyelashes, much like her.
Do I even think that I can understand or empathize with her? Absolutely not.
I guess my whole point is that until we walk anothers path and know what the experience is to go through what they are going through, we should never assume that we know.
It doesn't matter who you are, you won't ever know.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yearly Photos with The Boy Wonder and his Trusty Side Kick

Every summer, I try to schedule an outdoor photo shoot for the kids to not only capture their adorable faces and antics, but also to capture them in their natural state. While I think there is a time and place for posed, studio type photos, I much prefer my kids to be in their natural state, running, laughing, jumping and having a great time. Just a few weeks ago, a former student of mine, who is trying to build her portfolio, offered to take their pictures. For. F-R-E-E! Yes, please.
Anyway, I wanted to share a few of my favorites, although it was so hard to narrow them down to just these few!
My sweet 2 year old. I'm not sure how we ended up at this point where my sweet little baby is a big 2 year old girl, but we are. She is super fun and loves all things girly. Love, love, love her!
I have mentioned many times how much Caleb loves his sister. The above is just photographic evidence. He is her biggest cheerleader, favorite playmate, and often the one she runs to when she's sad/hurt/scared etc. If you were to split to the two of them up and take them separate places, they are lost. As an only child (with much step siblings, most of them MUCH older), I had no real idea what the idea of having a sibling to grow up with meant. Now that I have a pair of kids, I am so thankful that we were blessed with the two of them!

Can I just tell you how scary it is to have a walking, talking clone of yourself? We have compared photos of myself, my mom and Piper and it is very difficult to differentiate between all of us. She does have some of the more distinctive Mathis characteristics (her AMAZING eyelashes!), but she is mostly an exact replica of myself.

A bunch of people commented on this photo on facebook that is was so pretty and that it looked like a greeting card, but if you could read her mind you would hear that she was plotting taking a swim. What you can't see in this photo is me right behind her lunging toward her to catch her before she leapt into this pond! My girl is super sweet and so fun, but she has NO fear!

My boy! I love this boy more than words can say. We have gone to our highest highs and lowest lows with this little boy of ours and are so blessed that we have him for this short time.

I think that this is probably one of my most favorite photos of the kids. Ever. A good friend of our family once commented to me that Caleb always had a smile on his face, regardless of how gloomy the day was and I have to say that is so true! Piper always has hair in her face and is always laughing with her brother, while they move on to their next, newest adventure.

My sweet, curious baby (don't tell her) girl!

So, here's the thing about my kids, Caleb is 5 and can do SO much more than Piper, and Piper, being 2 and, in her mind, indestructible, will try to do everything her brother does. But, most of the time what you will see is Caleb coming down to a level where his sister can keep up and participate in his activities too. Yet another example of just how wondrous my boy wonder is and how blessed we are to have him!