I’ll never forget the day I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter. It started just like every other day: I went to work, sat in my office, and started to prepare for my meetings and projects.
But then it happened.
All of a sudden, I felt sick…very, very sick. I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths, trying to make that awful feeling go away. It didn’t.
I headed home, hoping that a quick nap would be the cure…but in my car, a thought entered my brain. Wait…could I be? Was it possible? I stopped at a drug store and rushed home; before I knew it, I was staring at two little lines.
I started to cry…tears of absolute, pure joy.
Once my daughter was born, my husband and I turned into typical first-time parents–we were also in awe of everything she did. Every single milestone was epic–every giggle, wiggle, smile, and movement was a REALLY BIG deal. I would call my mom every day with things like, “She smiled in the bath!” or “She’s moving her lips while she sleeps–here, let me try and get it on video for you!” I couldn’t help it. Everything felt like a miracle.
Fast forward to nearly two years later.
Once again, I found myself standing in my bathroom looking down at two little lines. But this time it was different. In addition to feeling excited and blessed, I have to confess that deep down in the pit of my stomach, there was also another emotion: fear. I loved my daughter so much–it was hard for me to wrap my brain around loving another baby as much. Would I be just as excited with all of their firsts? Would it be as fun and miraculous the second time around?
I got my answer…nine months later, the very first second I saw my son. In an instant, all the magic, all the wonder, all the happiness…the overwhelming, unconditional, love so much it hurts, emotions came flooding right back.
And you know what? I was just as excited and just as proud with all of his moments.
One reason this was easy: everything still felt new with my son.
See, here’s the thing about my kids–they couldn’t be more different from each other.
Yes, they share the same DNA and live in the same house…but that’s pretty much sums up their similarities. Let me break it down:
- One is fearless; the other is cautious.
- One can’t sit still; the other wants to cuddle.
- One loves art; the other is obsessed with music.
- One hates naps and bedtime; the other–snoring z’s as soon as the head hits the pillow.
Honestly, there are a million other things that I could add to this list, but you get the point.
My kids are so different, that even though we had been through all the stages before with my daughter, going through them with my son seemed so new and different to us. It was every bit as magical.
It was a very similar experience granting my second wish for Make-A-Wish.
For my first wish, sending “Princess L” to Disney World was incredible; watching her little face light up the moment she found out that her wish was granted–it was absolute magic and had even grown men in tears. Read all about it here.
Afterwards, I was so excited to get to work on my second wish. When I met J and his family, I instantly liked them all. J, his brother, and sister were all adorable and so much fun; his mom and dad–both down to earth and easy to talk to.
But when I learned that J’s wish was also to go to Disney, I couldn’t help but wonder…would I have as much fun sending him off? Would it still feel special to me?
The night of J’s party was finally here–my wish partner, Regina, and I planned a pizza party at his house to celebrate.
The party definitely didn’t start off very magical for me–in fact, everything seemed to go wrong. It was pouring–the rain was coming down so hard I could barely see out my windshield. Two accidents on the highway had traffic stopped for miles. I was going to be late..really late. Deep breaths. The drive should have taken me 45 minutes…an hour and a half later, I was finally pulling into their driveway.
But in an instant, my mood changed.
I walked inside and couldn’t stop smiling. Kids were everywhere–J’s siblings, cousins, and friends had all come to help celebrate. Aunts, uncles, teachers–the house was filled with people.
It was also filled with pizza! When I called the local Donato’s and told them about J, they were honored to be able to help–they donated tons of pizza, bread sticks, and drinks. (Thank you, Donato’s!)
Once everyone had finished eating, Regina and I stood up and went over all the details of J’s wish.
“J–do you know what a limo is?” He shook his head. “Do you know those really long cars that the movie stars ride in?” A huge smile was now across his entire face–he turned to his mom, checking to see if this was for real. “You are going to have a limo come and pick you up and take you and your family to Disney World!”
I stood there and watched this little boy absolutely beam with joy. His brother and sister were cheering, the mom and dad were absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude. It was awesome.
Yes, it may have been the second time I helped to send a kid to Disney, but let me assure you…it was every bit as magical, every bit as special.
Turns out Disney, “the place where dreams come true”, was the perfect place for this family to go. J’s mom told us about his last doctor’s visit. She sat in a room, waiting for the doctor to arrive. Her heart was pounding, nervous about the news she would soon hear–and then she realized something…she was sitting in the exact room, in the exact place, she was when J was first diagnosed with cancer. Her mind took her back to that day–the worst day of her life.
But luckily, she received good news this time: J is officially in remission, cancer free!
Now that is the real dream come true!
P.S. J and his family had an amazing time together at Disney–and I am so honored that I was able to play a small role in making this wish come true!