Angelica Grace Designs Blog

Monday, April 13, 2009

SIMPLE GESTURES

We are home - safe and sound. We made it back last night around 7pm. It was good to walk into the house and smell "us." Isn't weird how after you've been gone on vacation and been away from your home, you can come in and "smell" your family within the walls of your house? Strange but yet oh so comforting. I love that about 'home.' Although we left sunny and 89 degree weather for 40 degree temps and pouring rain here in Indy today, I'm thankful we leave Bonita at some point. If we never left, we'd never learn to appreciate our comings and going there. When we come home and go back, we always take advantage of our time there to the fullest extent. If we lived there full time, I honestly believe the beach would become second nature to us and I'd NEVER want that to happen. I also love coming home back to our house here in Indy which for me is truly like our beach house away from the beach. Our vacation was grand. Just grand! Especially the last 5 days of it. I've included some close up shots of Kenidi that I took while there. This third one down from the very top ended up being a photographers faux paux- very blurry - but yet there was still something I loved about it. She is getting so big and so very beautiful. I felt like these shots - for the first time ever - showed that she really is almost 6 years old. Many times Brent and I still consider Kenidi like our baby mostly because of the developmental delays she has. Although she is 5, she functions more on a two or three year old level. However, these shots really prove that she is getting older, growing taller, and just becoming a young girl right before our very own eyes.

I've determined in our trips back and forth to the beach...that if our flights were just 2 hours even...they might be perfection at its finest. However, because they are 2 hours and 35 minutes most times...those last 35-40 minutes with Kenidi on an airplane are like a ticking time bomb. It's truly a very stressful event for me as I pray with all my might and give her non stop attention as we color, play with play dough, do crafts, play toys, dolls, animals, etc. that she will make it thru the entire flight without one of her meltdowns. This trip - there and back - was no different. Thankfully, we didn't get kicked off the flight or have to make an emergency landing anywhere due to her screaming. We always sit in the back of the planes near the engines in an effort to drown out the sound should she get wild and crazy. Sometimes it helps - sometimes it doesn't. Either way, we made it thru this entire trip without having to go to jail over someone making a rude comment about Kenidi and her screams, outbursts, etc. Brent did have to stand up at a restaurant on one occasion as we were leaving dinner and remind two businessmen who sat behind us "to be glad God gave them words to speak." He told the both of them (after a full dinner of their eye rolling, head shaking, and blatant comments out loud) that God didn't bless Kenidi with very many words as of yet and that for the time being, she gets frustrated at certain moments in an effort to try and communicate with us when wanting something. He reiterated to them that we were leaving and that they could carry on. One gentleman replied with "What a shame!" My words to him were that he had obviously forgotten what it was like to raise children let alone a special needs child at that. He just shook his head at me and I walked off. Satan tests my patience a lot when it comes to the stares and comments we get regarding Kenidi. I'm not a shy character. Nor am I one to just sweep things under a rug and pretend they never happened. Some people can do that. Brent and I cannot. There are individuals in this world who can't stand conflict and will endure years of silence in an effort to keep the peace and avoid any type of conflict whatsoever. In the long run, I truly believe that one looses one self when choosing to remain quiet at times when you feel hurt or wronged. If you know Brent and I well enough, you know that we are outspoken and not afraid to let you know when you've upset us. To pretend otherwise and fake your way thru life would be a crime to your inner self and a lie within your core. Silence creates walls and barriers over time that mold you into someone different - someone other than the real you. The real me cries when I'm angry. The real me screams when I'm royally ticked off. And the real me has a hard time forgetting specific words and hurtful statements that in a nut shell can never be forgotten - no matter how much of a Christian someone is. I'm clearly a sinner. I'm no perfect Christian. Far from it actually. I'm God's worst student and am always carrying a failing grade when it comes to the option of turning the other cheek. Where Satan really tempts my tummy is during those moments when Kenidi is being shamed or I feel my family is being stepped on. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Life is too short! Call me rude - call me mean - call me what you want. In the end though, we don't have time for the pain. We are in this life to love unconditionally and treat people fairly. If someone can't reciprocate that, then we walk on - never looking back - praying for them while on our knees and praying for ourselves on how to soften our hearts and handle it/them best. I was raised as an 'Angie' that comes out swinging. If there is one thing my Christian mother always taught me, it was to never let anyone _ _ _ _ on me. Sometimes that can be good - sometimes it can be bad. In the end though, it's the REAL me. The real Angie! Brent calls it the Mafia mentality. I'm an extremely loyal person and will do anything for anyone when given the chance. However, when you attack my family - either with words, actions, demeaning innuendo's, etc., I'm not one to immediately look the other way and pray for peace. I'm actually the one praying I don't go to jail as I'm about ready to throw a punch. Yes, this is the REAL Angie. And when my life is said and done...I hope someone will stand up at my funeral and say that "you always knew where you stood with Angie. Angie was the REAL DEAL. No secrets. No shame. No fakeness. Just transparency at its finest. Rawness. Pure truth!" And in the meantime, I will continue to fight for that in which we believe in. That would be things like fairness, genuineness, realness, unconditional love, loyalty, friendships, relationships, kindness, generosity, and the right to be loud and be me when I need to.

We have two pictures that hang in our hearth room and depict our family to the fullest extent. I love these pictures because they are "us" summed up in a few sentences. They are realness - not fakeness. They are life. It's our life. And we love it! I took a photo of them for you shown below. I found these at Hallmark one day last year and got them for our house and also got one for a good set of friends we have. Friends whom we are never afraid to be REAL with. Friends who are just as real themselves and that is why we love them so much.

With all this said, I must give a huge shout out to the Mom of four at the Bonita Springs Target store last week whom I will probably never see again in my life and whom will probably never read this because she has no idea who I am. As Kenidi was screaming in the aisles, I told Brent I was going to make my way to the car with her and that I'd catch up with him out there. I headed to the front door praying I made it out alive and without going to jail as people began to stare. As I dropped the cart back off and headed for the automatic doors, a woman came up to me with one child on her hip and three others in tow. She looked dead at me and said..."I just wanted to tell you that it is going to be OK." She began to tell me that she has been in my shoes and just wondered if I needed any help getting thru the line and paying for something. She offered to go take anything I had back and in thru the cashier line if I needed help. Luckily Brent was handling what we needed and I was just making a mad dash for the car. However, I told her what a pleasant surprise it was to get someone that was blessing us rather than cursing us when it came to Kenidi or our life. I fought back the tears as I told her that Kenidi had special needs and that 90% of the time we are getting stares and comments made about her behavior. She explained to me that she had a dear friend who had a child with autism and that she felt for me given what she knows her friend goes thru on a daily basis. She also told me that she has a normal healthy child (and pointed to the one on her hip) that screams and throws fits for no reason and he was completely healthy. She said "And he knows better!" We laughed and I told her thank you for her kindness and very simple gesture that had made my world. She looked at Brennen and asked him if he was a good big brother and I made sure I told her what an AWESOME child he was. Brennen gets the short end of the stick a lot when it comes to Kenidi and our life. This past week was no different. If there is one piece of advice I can pass on to people out there...it's be careful what YOU think YOU have under control. Just about the time you are smiling and thinking you've got life down pat, God throws you a curve ball that ends up being a really big rude awakening. In the meantime, lend a shoulder to cry on for those currently or already experiencing their curve balls in life. Don't condemn, judge, or criticize them during those moments when you think you could do it better. Fight fair!

(ABOVE: Horribly blurry shot but I just couldn't part with it. It makes me smile - everything about it.)

There is one thing in life that I believe to be a guarantee...that would be..."words will come back to haunt us!" No question about it...we reap what we sow.
For now, I'm climbing down off my soapbox and headed out in the rainy Indiana weather today to run some last minute errands since returning home. I have so many posts to update you with but no time to do it all in right this moment. First off being the three new AGD designs that I got photos of while on vacation. I'll be back with those soon. In the meantime, hug a fellow parent today and let them know that everything will be OK. Let them know that you've "been there." And if you haven't been there...pretend that you are and put yourself in their shoes for just a second. Walk a mile in them maybe. You'd be shocked at what a life changing event that one little gesture can be for somebody.

xoxoxo, Angie

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19 Comments:

Blogger smileyseats said...

I just love your blog and today was such a great message. We all forget others needs and challenges, but hopefully we can all be there for each other when we need it the most! Kenidi's pictures are beautiful!

Susan

4/13/2009 11:41 AM  
Blogger RockinMom said...

I just e-mailed you. :)

4/13/2009 11:50 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Angie, I am so sorry for the rudeness that you have to endure. I do not have a child with special needs but have worked several years with children with autism and I know what you are going through to some extent. I have seen the looks and heard the words when we were on field trips and have had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I loved my kids and would have stood up for them had need be. I also had so much respect for the parents and families of our kids as they deal with everyday lives with a special needs child. The love they shared with us because we cared enough to be there taking their child under our wings during the day and loving them and giving them the chance to learn in a new environment made just for them.

Kenidi is such a beautiful little lady and I would be proud to know her, as I feel I do from your posts.

God Bless you and your family, Angie. I will be praying for you and for those people who can't, or won't understand.

4/13/2009 11:50 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Angie,

I just absolutely LOVE you! I had tears in my eyes as I read your post, because I can feel your love and protectiveness in your words. You are such an awesome Mommy.

I would never be rude or mean to a Mother whose child was acting out, but I will admit I have thought those things before, like "why don't they make their child act better?" I want to put emphasis on the word BEFORE, because after I found your blog, I don't ever look at those situations the same anymore. You helped me to always realize that things aren't always as they seem. Your story has made me really want to be like that woman in Target. I want to always remember to be understanding. I don't ever want to jump to conclusions and assume that I know what's going on in another person's life. I want to be that friendly, Christian face for the Mommy who just needs someone to understand. Isn't that what we are here for really? To love others?

I love that you both stood up to that man in the restaurant. It amazes me that people are like that and that man should be ashamed.

I found that same "In this House" painting and gave it to one of our cousins last year for Christmas. She loved it! I need to go back and get one for our house!

You continue to be such a huge inspiration to me, Angie. I just love reading about your vacations and adventures, and I love seeing all of your cute creations with AGD.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Kristin

4/13/2009 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the same shoes you are in, except that Alicen doesn't scream or have melt downs, she makes little movements that people seem to find uncomfortable. I would like to say, walk a mile in my shoes. I have been told that Jesus gives special needs kids to special families. we need to stick together. Love the pictures of Kenidi, such a little beauty.
Oh and the story about the plane, wow what a story. Praying for the family.

Christina ( a preemie mom )

4/13/2009 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Mommy said...

I swear I can go through 5 different sets of emotions while reading your posts. I could never hold my feelings in either. I have learned how to hold my tongue somewhat, but I still get a permenant crease in my tongue from not saying what I want.I do have to say that when it comes to my family, I don't feel Like holding my tongue. I just repent later! ha ha. Angie, You are a wonderful Mother, wife, and daughter! Don't ever forget it! God will hold certain people accountable for their actions, never fear. Pictures are awesome!xoxoxo

4/13/2009 4:17 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I wish I was as outspoken as you. I usually just blow off people's comments or looks as pure ignorance on their part, although it may bug me to death on the inside. I heard a great way to get kids to understand the weight of words. You get a tube of toothpaste and empty it out on a plate. Give everyone toothpicks or small spoons to try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It is impossible to get it all back in. Just like our words can't be "taken back" just with an apology. I think if people thought more about their words being forever they would probably be a lot more like the woman at Target than the men in the restaurant. Thanks for always standing up for kids like ours. Have a great day!!

4/13/2009 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Nicole Ryan said...

Angie,
Try getting kicked out of a Donatos, pizza joint, b/c the "shift manager" told myself and 2 other friends we had..."too many kids" I have 3, one girl had 3 and my other girlfriend has 2...my lil' guy (who has a speech delay and also often gets frustrated ) spilled his drink and this "shift manager" told us we should leave...I was all over him...he thought he was tooooo cool that he was the "shift manager" so I told him to "dream big buddy" as we headed out the door...only to get in my car and call the district manager, who our family is friends with!!! HAHAHA
I always try to put myself in others shoes...but thank you for reminding me and others to always be kind to others, especially us Mommies!!! We have a tough job and really need to help each other out whenever we can!!!
We are in Cocoa Beach...so I am going to be feeling your pain, heading back to Columbus Ohio soon...! AHHHHH

4/13/2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Krissy said...

I read your post this morning and loved it very much. It touched me more than you know. I am a preschool teacher with 2 grown children and 2 middle schoolers at home. Everyday I think about words that come out of my mouth and hope and pray that they will exhibit God's love and grace. Some days I succeed and some days, not so much. I have a couple of special needs kids in my class and the most wonderful thing I ever see is that the other children do not even notice at preschool age. It blesses my heart. I love to see their love toward one another. I agree with the other comments that said they hope they will be like the woman in Target. Me too. I hope that I remember this post when I have one of my too busy or too tired days and don't feel like getting involved. I hope I stop and remember that I can be a blessing to others. Who knows, they could be an angel in disguise. I'd hate to miss out on that opportunity. As for your outspokeness. Good for you. We do not have to turn the other cheek to injustice. We should have a voice for those who cannot. You are protecting Kenidi's little heart and God would never be disappointed at you for doing that.
Sorry you're back to blah but at least you have another wonderful trip to look forward to soon! God bless Angie. Have a great week and thanks for being the voice of others. We need to be reminded. (and by the way, our pastor's sermon was really weird and off yesterday, so I was needing a good sermon and you fit the bill. Thanks again!!!!)

4/13/2009 5:46 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Love the pics of Kenidi (they always make me smile).

I had a women come up to me at a store one day while having a time trying to keep my 3 year old and 1 year old quiet from throughing a fit. She said, "I just wanted you to know that you are doing a great job as a mother." It really did change my whole day.

I love the fact that you are REAL! It helps me to keep my realness going on. You are an AMAZING mother to both of your children.

4/13/2009 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Jill Rodriguez said...

WOW! You really are Amazing!!! You inspire me everyday!
Blessings,
Jill Rodriguez Hoover, Al

4/13/2009 7:44 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Amen sista...I love it when you are on your "soap box"...I love the realness you bring...you are inspirational and I am so glad Brent gave those guys a piece of his mind...what goes around certainly does come back around. All the best to you! Glad you are home safe!

4/13/2009 7:54 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Angie people can be so mean and rude. People need to remember that children are a gift from God no matter what shape or form they come. I have told you in the past that we have gotten mean looks and comments regarding my sister and her vocabulary and just trying to communicate with others. It breaks my heart to see anyone go through that. I have come to the conclusion that people who make comments about others are just trying to cover up a flaw within themselves and it makes them feel better to belittle or put others down. Kenidi is a beautiful child and I am sure that God has some AWESOME plan for her in life. If God takes one sense away he makes the others stronger. My sister can dance beautifully and many people told us she couldn;t because she is deaf. I can see her dancing professionally as she gets older. All children have a special gift and only God can show us that. I will definantly keep little Kenidi in my prayers. She is a precious gift from God and more people should see that instead of putting her down for trying to communicate.
your friend ~ Molly P

4/13/2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I would love to hand out something that says this

CONGRATULATIONS!!

You have been selected to receive the biggest boob in the public award. Your obvious annoyance, eye rolling, ignorant comments, and/or direct stares at a very special child did not go unnoticed.
Since this child cannot advocate for themself, as their parent, I thought I would let you know your message was heard loud and clear.

God doesn't make any mistakes and while we were wondering if that was really true while we watched your adult size tantrum, we decided that you, too, are a loved child of God and he has plans for you that include learning from this experience.

Here's an anonymous poem that will give you pause in the future, unless you are too far gone. In which case, I pity that you will never have the truly spiritual awakening we have had caring for one of God's angels. OH, and if I have anything to say about it, God will level the score and you'll be drooling on yourself one day in a nursing home. Take care.

I Am the Child

I am the child who cannot talk.
You often pity me, I see it in your eyes.
You wonder how much I am aware of - I see that as well.
I am aware of much - whether you are happy or sad or fearful,
patient or impatient, full of love and desire,
or if you are just doing your duty by me.
I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater,
for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.

You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.
I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated.
I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well-being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world about me.
I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards -
great strides in development that you can credit yourself.
I do not give you understanding as you know it.

What I give you is so much more valuable - I give you instead opportunities.
Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine;
the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities;
the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible.
I drive you further than you would ever go on your own,
working harder, seeking answers to your many questions with no answers.
I am the child who cannot talk.

I am the child who cannot walk.
The world seems to pass me by.
You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair,
to run and play like other children.
There is much you take for granted.
I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I've dropped my fork again.
I am dependant on you in these ways.
My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune,
your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself.
Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them.
I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright,
to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent.
I give you awareness.
I am the child who cannot walk.

I am the child who is mentally impaired.
I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick,
what I do know is infinite joy in simple things.
I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts of a more complicated life.
My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child,
to teach you how much your arms around me mean,
to give you love.
I give you the gift of simplicity.
I am the child who is mentally impaired.

I am the disabled child.
I am your teacher.
If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life.
I will give you and teach you unconditional love.
I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.
I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted.
I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.
I teach you giving.
Most of all I teach you hope and faith.
I am the disabled child.

- Author Unknown



Just a fantasy of mine, Ang. lol
Don't think I could fit all of that on a business card.

Melissa Roark

4/13/2009 10:12 PM  
Blogger Angie Seaman said...

Oh my gosh Missy. This poem has me in tears. I love it. I also love the "biggest boob award" idea. I sware I'm going to print this off on pieces of paper and hand it out to the next individuals within our future who dare to make such noticeable snares regarding Kenidi. Girl, I can always count on you for the best come backs of them all. We've got to do lunch here soon. (with both kids in tow) God help them should something like this happen when we are out together. HA HA! We'll be sharing a cell together, won't we?

Love ya dearly friend!
Angie

4/13/2009 10:42 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Do they have room in a north side jail? lol
Not only would they be getting a 'talking to' from 2 special needs moms.....it would be some south side girls. Nuff said. lol

Indeed, we need to get together. I keep hoping maybe we'll catch you in passing at hippotherapy. Our schedule keeps hopping around to different days, but of course you've been sugaring your toes in sand.....

Melissa Roark

4/13/2009 10:53 PM  
Blogger hdbl said...

I know things must get tough for you.

I can only imagine and I am sure it gets difficult.

Thank God kenadi has such a protection and gentle guidence with you. She is one blessed little girl.

We must connect sometime! ;0)

4/14/2009 5:17 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I'm with you on so many levels. I feel like I'm as real as they come. I want to turn the check and I will forgive anyone and I pray for ignorant people that say hurtful rude comments. It is hard for me to keep my mouth shut. I put my foot in mouth sometimes. I try to be the best wittness I can be for Him though and have been persecuted by non christian family. I have had to turn the other check and move on. I think your doing a terrific job with Kenedi. No matter how many kids or what issues they may have it is difficult at times. I have had many crisis momment with my kids or calgoon take me away momments. God Loves you, keep your chin up.

4/14/2009 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie- I'm so sorry about what happened! I can relate myself personally. I have an invisible disease (like most people). It's hard. I praise you for being such a wonderful mommy and not being afraid to take her out in public places. I myself tend to stay indoors so I can avoid the confrontations of others because it makes me so angry. You are a great person!! People are people...just don't understand and take things for granted themselves. I just try to keep living a life of significance for HIM.

4/15/2009 8:25 AM  

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