Thursday, April 3, 2014
BLM/Rainbow Baby Reunion 2014
The 2014 group included:
Otis' mom Sarah and little brother Owen
Elizabeth's mom Sonja and little sister Ginny
Camille's mom Renel and little sister Harlow
Bear's mom Julie and little brother Bode
Liam and Evelynn's mom Becky and little brother Max
Hayes' mom Molly and little brother Kellan
Anna's mom Julie and little sister Catherine
Eliza's mom Brooke and little sister Caroline (Zuzu)
and of course Addison's little brother and I.
I knew this would be a different trip than the one to Chicago last year. For one, we were not going to someone's hometown and two, several of the original attendees were not able to make it. I keep getting asked which trip was better, but that is an impossible question. Both trips were so very special and complicated in their own ways.
The positives for Chicago:
A bigger crew made it to Chicago.
Several of us got to stay at Andrew's house.
Andrew's mom Brandy arranged the food and shuttling (thank you again, Brandy)!
No one got sick while we were there.
We all got to share pictures of our babies, light candles and really include them.
It was the very first time so many of us were together under one roof and that in itself is crazy special.
The positives for Vegas:
A smaller group went, which meant we got to stay in one house.
Less people and more days (5) meant more one on one time.
Shorter flights with a happier kid (for me).
Relationships were even more developed after a year of waiting.
I got to meet Sarah and Owen for the first time.
They were both such amazing trips and I couldn't trade one for the other. They both were full of long talks, crying, hugging, sharing our babies (each of our babies), hearing each other say "me too"! Both very special in their own ways.
Our recent trip had one thing we weren't planning for and the was the stomach bug. It raged through the house on Saturday night and threatened to ruin the trip, but it didn't. I wish no one had gotten the bug, but the trip was still so worth it. I don't know many trips that a stomach bug wouldn't ruin, but it wasn't ruining this one. That's the last I want to talk about it because it doesn't deserve any more than that!
Mason and I flew out Thursday afternoon and he couldn't have been better. He was so excited to see the planes and to be at the airport. I carefully packed snacks, books, paper and crayons, stickers, cars and toys, but the only thing he was interested in was the iPad. He happily played games and watched Fro.zen for the whole flight. I'm not big on letting him do this at home, but the airplane ride was totally worth it.
We were quite the site in the airport. I had a giant bag, a car seat, a stroller, a small roller bag, a backpack and my purse. I brought a little bit of everything including by big camera, Mason's sound machine, video baby monitor, scout.thedog and all of his favorite blankets. You laugh, but Mason slept through the night every night and took a nap every day we were in the house. I don't mess with what works. Plus I carried it all by myself.
Mason and I met up with Renel and Harlow in the airport, which was extra special because we were the first to meet in Chicago as well. Seeing those two was the start of what I had been waiting for. Renel picked up the rental car and we drove to the crazy awesome mansion we were staying in. The house was amazing and huge and Mason couldn't wait to explore.
There was a park not far from the house that we took the kids to. Watching them all play together was really something. I heard Mason say several of the kid's names and call them his friends. That really meant everything.
A few friends had warned me to watch out for the other moms in regards to parenting, but it just made me laugh. Yes, we parent differently, but a lot of it is the same. The biggest difference is that we all love each others children, we are all invested in each other. If some random kid were to hit Mason, there would be a problem, but with this group we all parent and love every one. It really makes all the difference. So we handled little spats here and there, but mostly there were hugs and sharing and laughs. The good more than outweighed the bad. I've never been in a group where you hear the mothers tell their kids they love them as often as this one.
I'm grateful for these rainbow babies and getting to watch them interact, I'm grateful for my BLM's, for our time together and the way they love Mason and I. I'm grateful for the late night talks and the hugs and the tears. Most of all I am grateful for Addison and those babies who brought us all together. This is part of the group that keeps me going. The only thing I would trade for them would be to have Addison back. We would all give up these relationships for our babies, but since that is not a choice, I am grateful for this gift.
I look forward to strengthening these relationships, to watching our living kids grow up together, continuing to share our babies who we love and miss so much and to many, many more reunions in whatever shape or size they come in.