Cute Kids Photo Alert!

 I have a new- to- me scanner, cute kid photos and something to say!  Enjoy!


Brenna (5) and Logan (2) at our home in Austin 

My cousin, Nick, tells a story that I love about how he met his future wife at a party where he knew most everyone except for her.  She was sitting by the pool looking into the water and seemed to be lost in her thoughts.  He went over to her and leaned down and said..."Are you somebody?"  She slowly stood up  and turned around and with her hands on her hips looked right into his eyes and in her strong Australian accent said..."Why, Yes I Am!"   

I think that both of my kids would answer that question in much the same way.

As a young child, I felt that I was different than most other kids. Always called shy, it felt so much more than that.  An invisibility cloak would have made it much easier to breathe. So much of my energy was needed to just get through the day in school and social situations that I never found a lot of reserve to just be a kid. Reading was an acceptable refuge as was going out riding my horse for hours on end during summer vacation from school. Unschooling would have been heaven to me. I learned early on how to fade into the background by very quietly doing everything expected of me. I also grew up believing that my true worth was inextricably linked to my accomplishments.

Me at Age 5 or 6

As I got older, I  learned to compensate for being so introverted. For many years, I did a great impersonation of being someone confident and sure of herself.  The reality was that I still was floundering with both personal and relationship issues. I didn't believe that I was somebody special at all.

All that changed, however, on a day in September almost 22 years ago when Brenna was born.

 In the few weeks following her birth, I had a full blown "I AM SOMEBODY" revelation.  I had spent so many hours thinking about the basics of childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep and how to care for an infant that I really never even considered how it would change me.

I have journals beside my bed where I wrote about some of things Brenna did or said when she was very young.  When Logan was born three years later, I continued to write.  I can open to any page in those journals and be back in a magical moment.  

Brenna was Four when this journal entry was written....
Sunday, October 3, 1993 
Logan, Brenna and I went to the park while Mark was bicycle riding.  I was swinging in one swing holding Logan and Brenna was swinging in the other when she said, "It's really nice being a child."

And a few weeks later another entry,
After our playgroup Halloween party this week at our house, I said to Brenna, "Blair sure likes babies."  Brenna said, "Well, she'll have to get one of her own because Logan is mine!"

And Logan at three ,
Logan came up to me with his arms inside his shirt and said, "I have something for you, Mom."  And then taking his hands out open wide, "It's a hug for you!"  

I have so many snippets of their young years that I treasure now that they are grown. There were plenty of bumps in our journey, however, the theme that comes through most strongly  is one of determination to protect and nurture the big lives of those very little people who trusted me.


It was scary at times. My positive childhood memories were clouded by issues I had not yet begun to understand. I didn't have a family model in even my extended family that seemed healthy enough to guide me.  

I did know, without a doubt, that I wanted my kids to know they were loved just by being in this world.  I didn't want them to ever think they had to wait until they learned to ski down a hill, or made all A's, or finished school, or went to college, or got a job, or had a child to feel their value in the world.  My job was to figure out how to make that happen.

Looking back, it seems that just my awareness that I wanted their childhood to be different than mine was the first big step. Later on, finding a way for them to be home rather than in school was another.  By far, though, the defining step that made the biggest difference was  discovering peaceful parenting and unschooling.  As we learned from and became friends with other unschoolers, our lives really did become all about celebrating and honoring our children simply because they are exactly who they are.

  Logan is an inventor, son, builder, musician, comedian, animal lover, brother, and computer whiz but I just love him as Logan.

  Brenna is a daughter, debater, writer, potter, singer, sister and swimmer but I just love her as Brenna.  Both light up my life and those around them just by simply being in this world.


 They are fabulous at being who they are. 

                                                            "Are you Somebody?"  
Logan being Logan
                                                                 "Why Yes, I Am."
Brenna being Brenna


kelli said…
How awesome, :) smile making magic!
Sandra Dodd said…
I love every little bit of every little photo and every word. Glad you got a scanner and thank you for sharing the pre-digital images you have!

Yesterday morning I was reading through my "Kirby Diary" from when he was little hoping to find something good to use for Just Add Light and Stir on his birthday tomorrow, but what I found was half a dozen thing I would like to be able to re-do, and I stopped reading. He was a wonderful kid, and I wish I had been a more patient, more experienced mom.

I wish I could go back and be more Gail-like with Kirby. :-) I'm glad we know your family, Gail! Maybe I'll quote you tomorrow.
Jeff said…
Oh Gail, how beautiful that was. You hit so many nails right on the head - how our childhoods impact our thoughts about what parenting will be, and how much we learn from our children that guides us thereafter. This should be required reading . . . and, of course, your kids are just so amazing!
Melissa said…
Oh my goodness! What a beautiful post, Gail (wiping tears).
Sue said…
Gail, this is so wonderful! I've been scanning pre-digital pictures lately as well.
I just wanted to tell you that I loved reading this and looking back with you!
~Kimberly said…
What a wonderful blog and I love the honesty and your kind words.
messyfish said…
what a great post! so lovely to read you have beautiful kids, what a lucky mum you are!

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