July means many things. Sizzling hot days, ocean waves and friendly water temps, fireworks and fourth of July bbq's and all the fixings.
But for the second year in a row, July also brings me a fantastical day filled with Grace. Through a series of emails, texts and phone calls from Penny and Grace - from ASweetGrace fame, Penny, Grace and I decided on the where and whens of our second annual Ocean City DMeet Up.
Now normally, I always have something for any of the kids I meet during a DMeet.
But since we were meeting at a Street Fair and Grace is a lover of accessories (and I have her school picture to prove it - And I'll just say girlfriend rocks the accessories!) I figured I’d pick up something matching for Grace and I in in O.C.
After scouring for parking (did I mention that Ocean City, New Jersey is one of the best family resorts in the country and the Summer is like, their busiest time ever? ) and finally found a spot right under a shady tree off Asbury and 8th avenues. I paid my meter and I walked towards the Ocean City City Hall, or traditional meeting place.
And much like Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, there was silver flash of sparkle & energy busting through the street fair vendors, vacationers and the likes there of. And this beautiful flash of silver lightening was indeed Miss Grace of My Heart running through the crowds and towards me.
And then I started running, (and I have no doubt I looked comical) and we met in the middle and hugged one another tight and both of us screamed: I MISSED YOU!!
Miss Grace in her silver sparkle shirt had grown a good three inches since I last saw her, but was still her firecracker self!
Penny handed grace a tiny brown bag folded up careful and flat and said: Give it to Kel!
Grace: This is for you, because we know you’re missing the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life Conference!
Inside the bag was a green puka shell bracelet and before I could say a word Gracie said: See, I have one too!
Penny: And they’re green, just like the ones at Friends For Life!
Me: Oh my goodness, THANK YOU! it’s beautiful & I’ll treasure it always! I'm putting mine on right now! But guys, I was going to buy Gracie and I something matching at the Street Fair!
Then I put on my Gracelet and the three of us walked around the Fair.
We passed a street musician singing Margaritaville and we made our why to an American Girl inspired Doll shop where Pen & I were schooled on the American Girl Doll accessories wants and needs of Miss Grace!
Grace led me around the store and pointed out the an American Girl Quad Stroller that she really needed because she had several dolls who really benefit from the experience!
And snuck as many hugs to Grace as possible because I needed to squeeze as many as I could get in our short time together.
On a personal note, I really liked the chartreuse glittered doll shoes and pointed them out to Grace.
Grace: Hey, maybe if you get them in the largest size, they might actually fit your feet!
Me: I WISH.
The store also had cupcake rings and I wanted to buy Grace and I some, but Grace wanted to “think about it,” and I respected that she needed to marinate on her fashion choices.
As I left the store, I asked Grace what the rest of her summer plans were.
Grace: Finish my week at the beach, swim in the pool, play with friends, and go to Diabetes Camp, of course!
Me: But of course!
And Penny and I looked at one another and laughed out loud!
Back out on the street, we looked for the pony rides but didn’t find them. Finally were told that they were a few blocks down, but by then Grace wanted to head in the direction of LUNCH.
On our way to eat, Grace stopped at a nail painting booth and has her nails painted in Neon Pink Passion, while Penny I chatted about pretty much everything under the sun!
Then we stood and watched a magician juggle and do rope tricks and finally worked our way to a little place were we could dine inside (with AC) and a menu that was varied. We sat at our table and Grace said: Mom time to test, and we all did.
Me: I’m running sort of high today Grace.
Grace; Oh boy, that was me last week!
Then Grace told me about how she didn’t like having to stop at the nurses office on her way to lunch because it always made her late for lunch, “and I hate being late for lunch, it’s SO ANNOYING!”
ME: I hear ya! But at least meters only takes 5 seconds now. Back when I was in middle school , meters took 3 minutes!
Grace: Kel, THAT'S CRAZY!
Grace mentioned how sometimes she hates diabetes and I told her I had those moments too and that everyone does. And that it’s O, to fall down, as long as she didn’t stay down.
And Grace uttered the phrase: Just Do It! Because that’s what her mama tells her whenever diabetes gets her down.
Then the three of us talked about design positives and negatives regarding our diabetes accouterments while we tried looking at our menus.
Grace: Hey mom - If I get eggs, it’s like a free food!
And I have to admit, at that point I darn near spit my water out from laughing!
Me: Gotta love the free food, Gracie!
During all the above mentioned chatter,the waiter had to come back three times before we stopped chatting long enough to order.
I spent a lot of time watching Grace and Penny and I just love their interaction, diabetes related and otherwise.
Penny is calm and go with the flow and funny, and you can just tell that the dynamics of their relationship all lead back to a place of fantasticalness!
And I appreciate so very much that she shares her gift of Grace of me.
Sometimes I feel sad that I don’t have kids and I’m not sure if that ship has sailed and I’ve missed the boat - Which makes me love my nieces, nephews, and friends children all the more. And it makes me love the diabetes kids I develop friendships with something fierce! It makes me realize that wether I’m ever called “mommy” or not, I know what it’s like to love and be loved by those who use that term on a daily basis.
I know that our children with diabetes are individual pieces of art who are going to make this world a more incredible place - And I have no doubt Miss Grace will be and do anything and everything she wants to do in this life!
Our day ended where it started, on the corners of 8th & Asbury Aves, in the hamlet they call Ocean City, NJ.
Grace and I had a photo shoot (thanks to the photographic stylings of D Mama Penny) and then we hugged for a good two minutes.
And we kept hugging, and then Penny and I hugged, and then Grace and I hugged again.
Grace: I don’t want you to leave, I love you.
Me: I love you too and I don’t want to leave either! Don’t worry, we’ll see each other soon rather than later - We are friends for life... And we have our green Gracelets to prove it ~
To read more about our day, but with a different P.O.V, you can read penny's blogpost by clicking: http://asweetgrace.blogspot.com/2011/07/d-meet-up-and-ffl.html