Today a man I've never met helped create the fun way for us to celebrate her, 6 years later. My dad's college buddy, Jim Morgan, and I are on an email list that is connected to my dad and his college buddies from Vanderbilt. Once when I wrote a blog about Daddy, I shared it with his friends; Mr. Morgan wrote me back a kind email. Somehow I found out he was CEO of Krispy Kreme and I almost became embarassed to share my little musings and family so comfortably with such a high-power group.
Recently I shared with the group a picture of my girls in their Vanderbilt outfits after a basketball victory and received another kind email from him. I can tell he truly enjoys making a connection, that he loved my Dad by reaching out to me even though we've never met. He also asked me to let him know if he could do anything in terms of donuts for the girls. So in reflecting on the ways he had reached out to me with such kindness, I could tell that he is the type guy who enjoys making someone happy. So I took him up on his offer by telling him about Anna Cate's upcoming birthday. I knew a couple dozen donuts would make my little girl's classroom party special.
Well, my hunch about his genereosity was miniscule compared to the lavish way Anna Cate was celebrated today.
When BJ went to the local Krispy Kreme, he was given 11 dozen donuts, a bunch of balloons on pretty ribbons, party hats, pencils and a t shrit for every kid in the class. Anna Cate was given a special package, too.
The lady at the store said she enjoyed making these special donuts with "Happy Birthday" on them so much she made us an extra dozen.
Anna Cate loved it ... the donuts and sharing in life's celebration with the other children.
There were so many donuts that she got to share them with other kindergarten classes.
She loved that!
When Mr. Morgan's assistant, Jane, emailed me, she asked what Anna Cate's favorite colors were; when I asked her, she said, "do the colors of the rainbow."
Tonight as I think about how my soul is still filled with such love and awe for her beauty, I'm finding meaning in her wisdom of the colors of the rainbow. When BJ and I ate lunch with her, we noticed how she speaks to everyone and makes them feel special. A few weeks ago as we were walking out of school, I was so proud of her that she spoke to a little girl in a wheel chair and knew her by her name even though the child was not in her class. At dinner, she waved to a little boy and called him by name and was so excited to see him. He also is not in her class; he is older than she is and has Down Syndrome. She told me she heard a boy tell a girl she was fat but Anna Cate told the little girl you shouldn't worry what people think. I received an email from her teacher in the beginning of the year telling me that Anna Cate sought a child out who many don't talk to and made her feel special. She knows everyone's name on her bus from kindergarten to 5th grade; when I see her walk through the halls she speaks to so many people. For her birthday party, she wanted to invite all of her class AND their siblings, knowing their names. She prays often for children who don't have mommies and daddies because she heard me talk about orphans in Russia over a year ago.
I could go on and on about the ways her kindness and consideration of others allows her to make connections that warm my heart and make me want to be a better person. (I could also talk about the whining and not listening and stubborness, but I'm focusing on the rainbow tonight, not the storms).
A few nights ago, I didn't have time to go to the gym and we went to the track so that I could work out. There was another child there and she was playing with sidewalk chalk and Anna Cate wanted to draw with her. The girl didn't seem intent on sharing, so I made Anna Cate leave her alone, and she sulked. I tried to explain that not everyone is good at sharing, and I just wanted her to play with Molly and BE HAPPY!! I then found myself doing a guilt trip on her, "seriously, Anna Cate you are going to not be happy!? (after all I'm doing for you this week) All I need is 30 minutes to work out...can't you just be happy?" I later reflected on how that was not fair. I felt guilty to take her time to go work out and wanted to assuage my own frustrations by forcing her to be happy. The next day, I told her that I was sorry and that it is not fair of me to expect her to be happy all the time. It is ok to be sad when people don't want to play with you.
When she says she wants all the colors of the rainbow, she is wise...there are blues in the rainbow. In the big picture, we don't really remember the blues but the colors, the connections.
I celebrate this little soul and all the ways she connects me to so much about the world and the colors. Being her mother brings so much color to my life.
Thank you so much, Jim Mogan, in helping us celebrate Anna Cate's birthday. The "light was on." The colors, the connections, the celebrations.
Thank you, Anna Cate, my sweet spirited girl for helping me celebrate life.
She was so happy with the classroom Krispy Kreme experience that she insisted on wearing her tshirt to dinner, where we celebrated with Patti and her parents, Aunt Sarah and our family.
They sang and she smiled. She was happy; I was glad.
It was a good day; it is a good life. Thank you, God.
I can't stop time, I can't touch the rainbow but I can enjoy the present. I refuse to chase the gold when I have the beautiful hues of the present.
"The true harvest of my life is intangible -- a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched." -- Henry David Thoreau