Avery’s light

This is maybe the longest I’ve gone without sharing post-GNO photos from a HeartStories Girls Night.  It was maybe one of the prettiest we’ve had with all of the Gathering Boards, bottles, glassware, flowers, greenery and lovely ladies everywhere.  Life has been moving fast, but as I looked back at all the gorgeous images, this one is my very favorite.

Meet Avery. 

Her mom Rachelle, has been attending GNO with friends, but last month, she brought Avery along for the first time.  I didn’t get to meet her until the end of the night, but I’m so glad they stayed to say hello.  I couldn’t help but notice Avery during the event as she was clearly having a wonderful time.  She lit up the entire room, especially when she realized she was the winner of a little contest we played, by a long shot, earning her a giant round of applause.  Her radiant smile and glimmering eyes welcomed all the love.

Avery brought a new level of joy to that room, that I’ve yet to see before her. 

When they came up to say hello afterward, Rachelle explained that Avery has autism.  They’ve only recently decided to begin sharing more adult outings together and this is one Avery really enjoyed, especially the flowers!  We shared a quick conversation and they went on their way. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it yet.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

As the mother of two boys in “the very special” years of adolescence, who have a few learning differences, there is a constant ache inside.  It’s constant mental gymnastics, wanting to make sure I’m doing enough, but not doing too much.  Every email that comes home, every call from the school, requires a long, deep breath before addressing.  Staying patient through all the heightened emotions, often proves more than I can handle with grace.  And my burdens are so subdued compared to the countless mamas I know, out there loving with all their hearts, and giving all their lives to raise our beautiful humans, each with their own nuance and struggles. Momming is so hard.

Life is just hard.

Especially when you really, really care about doing it right.

Whether you’re a parent or not, I have no doubt that you are fighting a hard battle today.  Keep going.  Inhale, exhale.  Count to 10 again if you need to .  Take the breaks you need to take.  Hush the guilt that is breathing down your neck, it’s just a lie.  These days are hard.

Sometimes the years are hard. 

Keep going.  Keep showing up.  Keep doing the next right thing.  Keep loving your people with all you’ve got.  Don’t give up hope.

Keep expecting the joy to come. 

It will come, and it will be such a beautiful, bright light for others fighting their own battles in this sometimes dark world.

Just like Avery’s light was for me.  

to more love,


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