I still have a little ceramic animal that Hailey painted that day. I remember how she sat and painted for seriously almost a half an hour. Her precious face so intent and determined that you could see her little tongue sticking out from between her teeth as she bit down on it and concentrated on each and every brush stroke. In fact, she made sure to use every single color and every single one of the different paint brushes they had. She was so proud of her masterpiece and had a fit when I told her she had to wait for it to dry before we could take it home. When we walked by that station tonight, my eyes welled up with tears and I had to hold back my emotions as I relived that moment over and over in my head.
Picasso...Eat your heart out!
Lexi decided she wanted to get her face painted like a cat because last year her and Hailey both got their faces painted together and that's what Hailey picked. I have the cutest picture I took of the two of them when we got home.
Nope...they aren't professional painters!
But Hailey LOVED it...and meowed at many passerbys!
Lexi decided to stay a little later with one of her friends. When she got home she came running upstairs crying her eyes out. She proceeded to explain to me that they both played a game and won an eraser. Her friend got a rainbow crab one and Lexi got an orange letter 'B'. Apparently, the color orange is her most un-favorite color and the letter 'B' is her most un-favorite letter of the entire alphabet! Who knew? As she sobbed and sobbed I began to think there was a little more going on than just an orange 'B' eraser. So I questioned her for a few minutes and she ended up bursting out that she was so sad because Hailey was there with her last year and she missed her so much tonight. Now, although that just about ripped me to shreds, I was glad to know that my daughter wasn't that spoiled to melt down like that over an eraser. Anyways, I just sat on the floor and held her as tight as I could while she buried her little face into my shirt and sobbed. My precious little girl...I am so very sorry.
All in all, I did pretty well and managed to remain upbeat for Lexi (and Ava). Ava put on her own little dance show tonight for all to watch. She was hilarious. For only being 18 months old, that girl can shake it! Some lady even came up and gave me a brochure for her children's performing arts team!
I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I had no idea that night last year that my little girl would only be around for another two and a half months. It is so shocking and scary how life can change so drastically in such an instant. A friend of mine who is the mother of one of Lexi's friend's at school gave me a charm the other day for a bracelet I wear that says, "Relax, God's in charge." As much as I would like to be the one in charge, I am at peace knowing how much He loves me (and Hailey). Just as Hailey is my daughter, we are both His daughters. And as much as I love her, He loves us both even more. He knows what He's doing so I try to remember that and rely on my faith in tough times like these. It's literally all I can do.
That same friend of mine gave me a keychain today that is silver with footprints etched on the front and the last couple lines of the poem, Footprints In The Sand, etched on the back. Little did I know how much that would mean to me tonight as I rubbed it between my fingers and thought of Him carrying me through these rough moments.
I know more of those rough moments will come, however I am strengthened and find comfort in knowing that, "God's in charge," and "It is then that He'll carry me."