Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Friday, October 8, 2010

Leaving you with this.

I'm going away for the weekend and there may not be internet out there in wide wild world. 

Okay fine!  I'm not actually going into the wild.  I just want to sound adventurous.  And, there probably is internet there someplace, I just want an excuse if I decide not to take the time to post.  :)  Love you guys!

The point is that before I go I wanted to leave you with this post about my Claire.  As you know, there are many, many, many things that Claire has wanted to do for a loooooong time.  She waited years just to be old enough to play on a sports team with the other kids, go to homeschool classes with the other kids, play Upward basketball, and join the kids to play down the street.  She's still waiting for Upward {just a few more months, y'all} and it will be a while before she can say she's going down the road to play.  She doesn't realize that she is only 4!  She thinks she is 14!

But, a few weeks ago it was her turn.  Her turn to go to American Girls Club.  Yes.  A club dedicated to those over priced oh-so-cute historical dolls.  Isabel owns three.  Claire hasn't started her collection  yet.  But, she is finally old enough to join one of the clubs for homeschoolers in our area.  Thank goodness!

September was the first meeting and she was thrilled to run right into her class and jump into everything.  I stuck around to see how things went.  She's shy, believe it or not, so she jumps in quietly.  But trust me, she's happy about it!

A little craft action going on!

The girl is serious about her crafting, y'all.

Ahhhh, a finished clothes pin doll.

The girls were studying all about Kit.  She's the doll that "lived" during the depression.  Naturally, they talked about how hard life was during that time and it lent itself to a project for a local food pantry.  This pantry is in a house next to the church where the club meets {and is run by said church}.  At this point in the lesson the girls grabbed bags of food they donated and headed on a little {much longer than short} walk to the food pantry to drop off the canned goods. 


That meant little legs that don't keep up well, had to try.

Claire walks.  But, Claire doesn't walk like other kids.
And, that does not bother her. Not yet.

Mom waited in the wings to see what would happen.

She grabbed her bag and started out the door in the line with the other girls.
Whew. Deep breath, mom.

Did she want me to help? 
Mom followed close by.
I offered to carry the bag that was knocking her balance off.

Nope mom, I got this.

She teetered and fell several times.
But, she got back up and kept going.

The other girls in the line behind her slipped past and she was soon at the end of the line.

Do you want me to carry you for a little bit?
Are your legs tired?
I can help you catch up.

No, mom.
I love to walk, mom.
Walking makes me happy, mom.

I'm not gonna lie.  This brought tears to my eyes.
It broke my heart to see her fall behind and try to run to catch up.

But, what you can't see.....what helped me get through.....she's smiling!

She doesn't care that she's behind them.
All she cares about is that she's there!
She's walking!
She's a big girl and she has way more grit than the rest of us!
The things that this child has overcome....leave me speechless.

She carried that bag and walked all the way to the house by herself.
She was late.
The other girls were heading back and the lady was already locking up the house.

But, they stopped and waited while Claire turned in her offerings.

And mom learned a very important lesson.
I've always waited on her and tried to let her do her thing without swooping in all the time to "save" her.
I really have.
As much as I want to carry her.
I don't.
Unless she asks.

And I have to remember that it isn't about my heart.
It's about hers.

And her heart?  It was good.  She was so happy that day!
I know it's hard to believe that she wasn't bummed about being left in the dust.
But, she really, really wasn't!

One day she may realize that she's different.
That she can't always keep up.
But, it wasn't that day.
And, right now, and probably forever, she doesn't want me to interfere.

So I won't.

I sucked it up and prepared to follow her back to the meeting room!

And then.

One girl made all the difference in this mom's day.

Grace {from Our Red Thread Journey} was leading the line, but she stopped before she took the first step in the direction of the church, walked to the back of the line, took Claire's hand and walked her to the front of the line.

She'd seen what the other girls weren't seeing yet.

That someone was getting left out.

When Grace took her hand and started walking, all the girls took hands and walked together!

No one left behind.

Isn't that what being an American Girl is all about?

And determined little Claire? She got another chance to be like all the other kids!

And she loved it!
And mom loved it!

Now excuse me while I go dab my  eyes.....I think my "allergies" are kicking in.  'Cause why else would my eyes be watering? 


Chanda said...

As a Mom of a 3 year adopted from China with spina bifida who stumbles and falls as well, I just wanted you to know I was crying the whole way through your post as well! :-) That little girl Grace - don't you just want to hug her to pieces for showing such kindness to your little Claire? What special little girls...

Rina said...

my friggen mascara is down my face....ugggh

Michelle said...

i was wondering why all those adults didnt notice that there was a child behind them! WAY TO GO GRACE!!! & Claire. momma let her go! she is doing great. i am sure you will have many more ah-ha moments with this great little girl. and you do know that i still blame your family for that magazine coming to my house! LOL

Annie said...

Thanks a lot Chelsea!! I guess I have had my afternoon cry!!! Oh my goodness what a girl your sweet Claire is and what a good mama you are! Beautiful post! Have a wonderful weekend.

Scott Killen said...


Monica has been keeping me posted about your blog, and when she showed me this, I had to come read it myself. You have a lot of skill and I look forward to owning your book one day!


Scott Killen said...

I'm baaack...

I've have been giving your article a lot of thought and it reminds me of Matthew 18:3, where Jesus said "Unless you become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven..."

I think Claire's faith in what God has given her and Grace's example of encouragement are perfect examples of what we are supposed to be, yet what we often stray so far from...

Thank you for writing something so touching and thought provoking! I look forward to more!


Mrs. Duncan said...

What a beautiful child! Thank you so much for sharing this story, I'm crying on the papers I should be grading now. Hope to see her soon, I really hope she and Hannah can become friends as they get older.

eastandwest said...

Chelsea- you DID make me cry! It has been such a joy to see Claire accomplish her dreams. I can't WAIT to see her in the Upward uniform. We love her sweet, determined spirit- we should all be a little more like Claire!

Stephanie and Gary said...

Hi -- Found your blog through your friend Regina. Your words were powerful but my eyes were tearing from the photos alone. What an oustanding lesson for all of us on so many levels. The power of perseverence! The power of offering one's hand. This is just beautiful. Glad to have read your story.
Stephanie in New York

Marti Pieper said...

Must be allergy time here in Florida, too.

I love that story, Chelsea and just may find a way to retell it one day. Thank you, Jesus, for Grace, grace, and little Claire--who knows both.


Anonymous said...

The pictures do no justice to the actual event. I know she is your baby, but my heart broke to see her fall behind. The trip back was amazing! All the girls grabbing hands to walk together. I was thinking of you the whole way and how your heart had to be overflowing!! I am so thankful we have Claire as one of our American Girls! Charlene

Mike and Kathy Perry said...

You are an amazing mom! I too had tears streaming down my face. You have no idea what an encouragement you have been to me as we prepare to travel to China to bring home our little one with spina bifida. Just another wonderful example proving God knows exactly which families He wants to bless with these precious little ones. I am so thankful we are one of them.