The REAL Meaning of Christmas #RealMomBigGIVE

Yesterday was the 3rd #RealMomBigGIVE event with Kisses for Kyle Foundation at Holly Days Nursery in Horsham.  My phone died while setting up so I personally never got any pictures…and you KNOW I’m a picture nut.  I was pretty bummed about it since I didn’t get to share much online before, during, and after the event…nor did I have any to ‘”tell the story” of my experience.  But, Boston and I really had a great heart-to-heart about it last night and it really felt amazing that I was FINALLY able to show him why he has grown up with a garage full of toys that he can’t touch.  And the “these are for boys & girls who need it more than us” comments all finally made total sense to him.

This morning when Sharon Snyder, the mom to Kyle from Kisses for Kyle Foundation sent me a link and a million amazing pics—it was just the icing on the cake.  And it was the visual reminder that I needed to confirm that what I am doing is in the right direction.  It is ok to give more.  It is ok to believe in the good intentions of others.  It is ok to GIVE more than you RECEIVE during the holidays and the whole year for that matter.

You see, personally, I had this internal struggle this year with so many things. So to end it with seeing some of these amazing kids smiling again? The best therapy in the world.

Seeing my seven-year-old help this little girl pick out a gift that he *thinks* she would love (and she DID love?)  Priceless.  Absolutely priceless.  I particularly love to talk to the moms of all the kids.  So yesterday when I met so many amazing families who have been supported by Kisses for Kyle, I gravitated to the moms’ eyes.  I’m the type of person that lives for the “in-person” part of life.  My job is 100% online—but there is nothing in this world that can take away two people making eye contact with each other.  I saw all kinds of eyes in front of me.  Women who sparkled with joy. Some had pure sadness though.  Stress.  Exhaustion.  One mom I saw had a daughter going through chemotherapy at that moment. My husband told Hudson (my two-year-old) to go give the little girl a hug and the mom stopped Hudson short of doing it.  I saw concern in her eyes. And as another mother who has never and PRAY TO GOD never EVER has to deal with a child going through chemo, I personally wanted to hug her too. She was super kind in saying that although she loved the thought of Hudson giving her little girl a hug, he couldn’t in fear that it would compromise her immune system.

I’d never thought about that. But it totally made sense. And then I found myself thinking about it. A child going through chemo—and she can’t give or receive hugs. As a person who lives in this life with the constant need of being touched, hugged, LOVED…I wanted to cry for that sweet girl. She was so full of spunk and Hudson really wanted to hug her. She was full of funny quips and the whole cancer thing didn’t seem to phase her.  ‘d go on a limb to say that not every day was as happy as yesterday was.

Today I had lunch with a friend of mine that I’ve known since moving to Philly.  We ended up chatting till almost 3 PM!!  The best and the worst part about working for yourself. You don’t have someone working the clock with the ‘proper lunch break’ timing & honestly, it was a conversation I needed for a really long time.  I miss relationships with REAL women.  I feel like sometimes as women we get caught up in the gossip or the story that we forget that there are real human beings behind that story. My conversation with my girlfriend is etched in that table we were sitting at for 2 hours and never to be repeated. But it was a really great reminder to me that no matter what someone looks like on the outside—whether it be on facebook or any other social media—until you walk a mile in their shoes—you have no idea the blisters on their toes that they’re dealing with. Or the skeletons in the closet….

One of the things we talked about was the blessings you receive when you become a mom. But just like in anything, life is filled with ups and downs.  And remembering the blessings even when your house is full and you’ve got people digging in the fridge for food when you’re TRYING to get supper on the table?  Yeah.  That house is MY HO– USE.  Not every day—but almost every day of the week. Insanity when the clock strikes 5! And for many years I let that insane moment take me down cause I didn’t think I could handle it.  So when I finally conquered the survival part of that crazy—it did not control me any more than I allowed it to.

I often wonder with these moms raising babies who get cancer. That insane moment when you want to lose your mind over your kids turns into that moment when you want to hug them so tight that you never want to let them go.

I’m grateful for every second that my kids are healthy and living a vibrant and colorful life. And moments like yesterday, I’m grateful to have the means to give to the 200 plus families who came. And in fact, I’d go on a limb that 99% of the people there had no clue that I worked all year to be able to bring all those products. But I’m totally ok with that. Some kids actually asked me if I was Santa’s Elf because I was dressed funny. Of course I am Santa’s Elf.  Who else would I be?!?!

That was yesterday. Today? I’m back to Boston and Hudson’s mom. And I’m grateful to all the toy companies who worked with me this year to make the #RealMomBigGIVE happen once again. And thankful to the families who pushed through whatever it was happening in their lives that day to be sure to be at this event. It was the absolute biggest one yet.

Cheers to curing cancer and many more holiday events!  Hug your babies tonite!

This post originally appeared on Real Mom Media on December 7, 2015.

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