Yesterday we skipped out on Church, because my daughter coughed all night. She slept till 9:00 a.m. (unusual) and then laid around on the couch all morning ( also unusual). We also had a rescheduled Girl Scout meeting, due to some serious flooding the Thursday before.

I had some serious mumblings about Scouts being on Sunday.

Sunday is my refocus day and a day I have been trying to reclaim again since my whole ordeal with Max. As much as I hated to say yes, my Troop leader was dependent on me to help. So, with some moaning under my breath I said  “okay.” I made a commitment and she just had a cough. So saying no or skipping out wasn’t really an option just because it was going to disrupt my Sunday. I have found I mutter “okay” under my breath a lot and I did a lot of muttering this time. {clinch teeth}.

We ended up missing church and rescheduling our day date with my Dad. Both reasons why I didn’t want to do Scouts Sunday afternoon to begin with. I felt like my Sunday self care day was shot anyways.

{ Insert mumbles again } 

I had no idea the level of participation that had been given to the directions- “dress in pink.” Neither did the Troop leader, but I loved their enthusiasm. Well, everyone’s enthusiasm but mine { insert embarrassed face}. 

I was prepared to work with my group of girls and I brought Mallie’s items to stuff the Chemotherapy care bags. All was well, until I saw my sweet Mallie’s face. She saw all the other Scouts who showed up with their cute pink fairy wings, capes, pink shoes, pink painted hair. She looked at me, her face hung down and I immediately saw the disappointment. I sat my bag down and proceeded to get my table ready. She came over.

“Momma? Why don’t I have pink fairy wings?”

So I sat down. I looked right at her and I said “because Momma failed. I didn’t realize everyone was going to dress up so much. But you know what- you are beautiful. You are here learning and giving back. It doesn’t matter if you have fairy wings to do that. Plus, I love this new pink shirt Auntie C got you. I bet the other girls don’t have a special Auntie C shirt to wear today. But we don’t pout. Pouting because you don’t have what others have, — it is not allowed.” Maybe I was too firm? This was my fault. She could probably pout a little. My answer seemed to suffice. Maybe? But mom guilt laid heavy on my heart.

I watched her during the two hour time slot. She smiled and laughed with her friends. She listened closely when I spoke. Her face hung low when I commented on the other girls who had really gone all out for the pink dress off. Boy, insert that mom guilt again.

Pink fairy wings and pink tutus had me feeling less than good. We had been busy all weekend. I cleaned house. I ran things to consignment shops. Grocery shopped. Meal planned. Caught up on my Dad’s small business bookkeeping. Spent quality time together watching movies and keeping promises to go to Michael’s with Mallie. Why oh why didn’t I grab something cute there? We watched the Hokies play ( well show up on the field) on Saturday evening with my Dad. We played with Max. We decorated for an upcoming Halloween party with my Dad; but I felt so defeated each time I saw her sad little eyes over pink fairy wings and pink tutus. It was so silly, but I did.

When the girl in her Daisy group was voted Ms. Pinkalicious she cheered and clapped and gave big hugs to her friend. She looked my way and I was doing the same for all the girls in the troop per level that had been given the Ms. Pinkalicious title. My eyes were saying,  “I’m sorry baby girl. Thank you for being a good sport. I promise Momma will do better next time.” I knew she knew she didn’t have a shot at the award and I knew she was watching my reactions, just as I was watching hers. I was proud of her for her actions.

At the close of the meeting, our leader told the girls to take their pumpkins out to a public place to remind others to go to the doctor and be checked for this terrible illness. I saw Mallie squirming and she came over and grabbed my hand. She leaned over and hugged me. Maybe she saw that I was frustrated over my lack of planning for pink too. Her little hand slipped in mine and her head leaned against my waist, and I lightly ran my fingers through her hair. In that moment I was saying “I’m sorry sweet baby girl. I love you.” 💕

The Troop Leader talked about cancer. She talked about the hard stuff. The founder, Juilette Gordon Low had lost her battle to breast cancer, but she described all the good she did while she alive. The girls were listening intently. It was quiet. I heard the little league football game cheers out the window and I smelled fall. I was chilled, but not from the cool day.

What I saw and felt sent goosebumps up my arms.  I watched. No girl said a word. They heard the message that had been given. I could tell in their eyes. Even the little ones. These girls are rarely quiet, but they listened to what cancer does. They learned cancer is not to be messed with, but together they can fight it. Together, they can wear pink ( in support) and lock arms and fight it.

I thought for a few seconds out of this room, how many of their peers would develop this later? Which one of these girls would have it? Would it even be my own daughter? And how many of these friendships will see them through? I don’t know because I can’t count one friend I still have from grade school, but these girls they are special. I can see how they will hold these friendships for a long time. I saw how their hearts were hurting for those that have it and I saw a glimmer of hope in their eyes, that  maybe their efforts today might help someone. Did they fully understand? No, of course not but you could tell their hearts felt deep.

I left the meeting feeling humbled. Cancer activities more often than not hurt my heart, but I didn’t expect to hurt after this one. It was Scouts. It was fun. It was PINK! It was service, but my heart was feeling guilty, sad, humbled and I thought about all those long days I spent as a teenager and college kid in cancer centers. It stirred up seeing my mom get pumped with chemicals that seemed to make her sicker than the cancer and her hair. The no hair. That was one day I’ll never forget. Gobs of hair falling out. I digress…

But the cards this Sunday – they got me the most. I saw what the girls wrote on their care package cards. Bible verses. Quotes on Sunshine. Little stick people holding hands smiling.

💕 Hearts.

They drew oodles of hearts.

I had never heard of cancer until I was 13, and it hurt my heart that my daughter had heard the big C word and was understanding it at the age of 6. Not just from today, but knowledge that the big C sometimes made Momma sad.

She’s 6. Not 13, when you can kinda sorta process things. She is 6 and her knowledge of what cancer is/does astounds me.

In the car ride home Mallie said nothing { this is rare}. I felt like she was upset with me.

I finally said “Mallie, I’m sorry. I’m sorry Momma didn’t have enough pink for you to wear.”

No words spoken from her. I looked in my rear view mirror. She was looking out her window.

I decided to let it go. I said what my heart was feeling towards her. What a let down I was. I still feel pretty sore about my lack of pink today. This was silly, but I did.

Then she said—“It’s not that Momma. It’s just that. Ummm. Do you think Mawmaw Sue was so proud of me today?”

Then there is me. I’m driving and I realize at this point I’m passing the exit I needed to take. Tears welling up again and holding them back.

No words.

Nothing.

Big tears still welling up. Trying like heck to hold them in. I look in the rear view mirror to see if she is looking. Yup, she’s looking at me. Suck the tears up Olivia. Suck them up now.

“Well. Umm. I think so Mallie. Why do you ask?”

“Because I heard her sing A Child’s Prayer to me while I was coloring my card for you know umm the people who are sick with the cancer. ”

“You mean, you sang that Primary song while you were coloring? It was loud. You couldn’t hear anyone sing if you tried. I will have a horrible voice tomorrow from all the loud talking I did.”

“No Momma. It was her. You know with those big brown eyes. I did a good thing today? Helping people who have that cancer…?”

“Yes, baby you did. Why do you ask if you did a good thing?”

“Because I just didn’t know. I was happy but then I was sad because I didn’t have fairy wings.”

I didn’t have to say anything right away to answer her question. She knew because the tears were flowing down my face.

Finally I said, “you did a very good thing today Baby and I’m SO very proud of you. I’m certain if Mawmaw Sue could tell you, she would say she was too.”

“But she was Momma. I think that’s why she was singing so loud.”

The meeting or Mallie or probably both- got me emotionally. Not in the way I expected, but in what it taught my daughter and the spirit of service that she felt. The way she knew she had done something good because her heart was full of love. The way she for some apparent reason believes Mawmaw Sue was singing to her.

See, I don’t find this idea ridiculous because I know my Mom. She probably WAS singing so loud, so loud that Mallie couldn’t help but hear her. My Mom’s favorite primary song was A Child’s Prayer. It was sang at her funeral. She served in our primary for many many many years. She loved the children. But I’ll let you decide on that one. My heart– all I know is it felt that what Mallie told me was honest and straight from her heart.

She was firm. So firm when she said it. I believe that the here after is closer than we realize. I believe a child’s innocence can sometimes in brief moments sense and hear things that I can not as an adult. I know that we missed church, but I believe what we both felt at this Girl Scout meeting was just as important.

I believe that I was led to go after all my murmuring. I believe that having to wait for this child is because my own Momma had a hard time letting her come to me, because Mallie is a sweet old caring soul. I suppose she is my mini me in lots of ways, but I know I truly know this little girl is sent here to heal my heart. She wouldn’t have known that primary song she sings weekly was her grandmother’s favorite. How could she? I don’t sing it, for fear after 12 years my emotions will be too much. I’ve never mentioned it to Mallie- ever.

I suppose you might say sacrificing my Sunday afternoon had turned out to be much more than I had imagined.

Did it matter that she won that award? Absolutely not. It was a fun thing- but you never ever want to let your kids down.

For me, Mallie won the Ms. Pinkalicious award yesterday, today, and for always with or without pink fairy wings…..

But next year, next year I’ll have those darn pink sparkly fairy wings and pink glitter galore! You can count on it!

Liv 

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