The night Lindsey made her way into the world, I’d been determined not to deliver my baby that day.
During my pregnancy, whenever I was around my father, I promised to hold my legs together rather than have my baby on May 10th, my dad’s birthday. Every time I made this announcement, Dad wrapped his arms around his oldest daughter and hugged tight. “We’ll see,” he’d say. “We’ll see.” I’d resist his embrace, struggling to break free. I loved my dad, but at twenty-two, we didn’t see eye to eye. He often irritated me.
The newlyweds arrived at the school a bit nervous; Lindsey gripped her cane for support. Nick held Lindsey’s elbow when they walked down the hall. At precisely 2:45, the couple entered Ms. Ashley’s colorful classroom of posters, artwork, calendars, math and spelling tools. A row of red, blue, yellow, black, pink, and green freshly created super heroes were pinned to a clothesline that ran from one end of the room to the other.
Students fidgeted in sturdy blue chairs, waiting for the moment they would introduce themselves. After introductions, the couple thanked the kids for the Valentines, told them they’d received over 700 so far. “And they keep coming in,” Lindsey said, grinning. Nick nodded, smiling too.
When it was question time, student’s hands darted into the air.
“Do you have pets,” one doe-eyed girl asked.
“Yes,” Lindsey said. “Two cats named Sally and Cuddles.”
Thank you for being nice, kind, caring, and thoughtful. We loved the Valentine’s you all sent. We didn’t expect any of the extra stuff, but we appreciate it. We’re trying not to eat all the chocolate at once. We can’t believe how many Valentine’s came in the mail. It was fun to open them and read them and share them with family. It made our first Valentine’s Day really special. We felt loved by a lot of people we didn’t even know. Thank you.
Lindsey and Nick
Valentine’s Day 2013 started out like any other day for Nick and Lindsey. Wake. Eat. Shower. Work. These two special newlyweds rely on routine like airlines rely on accurate timetables. For the week leading up to this annual day of hearts and hugs and love, this couple’s routine had been knocked out of whack–like a snowstorm in Chicago knocks the airline system into a tizzy.
So how did their day get so off kilter? No, not because of a snowstorm. This lovely turmoil was due to the overwhelming response to the Valentine Project.
I couldn’t believe it when Finding Ninee selected Out One Ear for a Liebster Award. I didn’t know this award even existed until I did a little investigating, and it certainly does. Kristi wrote: the word “liebster” is German for “darling” although when I looked it up, it said it means “favorite.” All I can say is, I’m flattered. Thank you, Finding Ninee.
Liebster Award Rules
1. You must thank the person who gave you this award
2. You must display the Liebster heart on your blog
3. You should nominate 3 to 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 subscribers
4. Each person must post 11 random things about themselves
5. Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
6. Create 11 questions for those you nominate to answer
7. Notify your nominees and provide a link back to your post.
8. You’re not supposed to do “ping-backs”
If a simple project added giggles and smiles to someone else’s life, would you participate? Would your child add one more name to their list of Valentine recipients? Do you know of a classroom that would delight in supporting a couple with mental challenges who love to receive mail?
Despite all my thirty-two-year-old daughter’s mental and physical challenges, she has a heart as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon. Lindsey takes after my husband in that respect. I wish I could say she inherited her generosity from me, but every single day, I work at giving.
I’ve experienced spontaneous charitible moments when I purchased $5 Footlong’s for a hungry couple or a full-meal deal for a homeless woman. When I donate to an individual living on the street, I prefer to give food. I’m afraid cash might go for drugs or booze. Someone else might not care. He may hand the man on the street a few coins or dollars without attaching any strings. But for me, a food donation lets me be in control of how the money is spent.
My husband and I write quarterly checks to S.A.C.A., our local food bank. We open our wallets for anything education related–fundraisers for Silverton schools or sporting events. We’ve contributed to charities that support disabled individuals (one of our favorites because we live “disabled” firsthand). Over the years, monetary gifts to other non-profit organizations have been sporadic: United Way, American Red Cross, Katrina, Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami Fund, American Idol Gives Back. Yet the truth is, we’ve been blessed; we could give more generously.
But my daughter doesn’t have to work at giving. Like Nike, she just does it. Consistently.