Friday, June 28, 2013

She's Big Enough for Me

This past week has left me reeling a little... in a good sort of way, I suppose.  The last post on the m-word got lots of attention.  And for that I am grateful.  I want as many people as possible to read about our story.  I want to take the mystery out of dwarfism.  I want to answer the curious and educate the general public.  It can be a daunting task... and my late grandmother's cousin (who serves as a mentor to me) said it best when she said, that by writing and really putting myself out there, it leaves me with my head poking out of the crowd.  In other words... I am an easy target.  A target for praise.  A target for criticism.  A target for advice-givers and seekers.  These are new shoes for me and I am still trying them on.  But, I have made sure they are several sizes too big because I have plenty more walking to do.

With each passing day I feel the fire inside of me growing larger and larger.  It's my passion that is growing-- and such a paradox it is.  I am loving and I am fighting.  I am fighting because I am loving.  It may be difficult to understand how these two things can co-exist inside one person and yet work simultaneously and seamlessly together.  Yet, that is what is happening...

Last weekend I was fighting.  I was standing up against a hate-word that is so unnecessary and has no place in our society. And, I am beyond overjoyed at the number of people that have learned from that post.  "I promise" became my two favorite words and I got to hear them fall on my ears and I got to see them pass by in front of my eyes over and over again.  It was very rewarding to know that our village swelled in size last weekend.  And if you are new to our village.  Welcome.  I'll grab you a chair and some ice-cold lemonade.  Stay awhile.

My work has only just began.  God has chosen this family for Lilah... and I have a purpose to fulfill in His name.  I have lots of big ideas in the works and I am thanking you in advance for your support... more to come.

Back to the paradox... yes I was fighting for the end of the m-word.  But what I didn't get to talk about in that post was the other part of the fire inside of me.  The love.  The love for my family.  For my children.  For their future.  Many comments were directed at the idea that I should teach Lilah to ignore that word.  That I should teach her that "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  That I should teach her to rise above.  And yes, I did not get to go into all of what I will teach her in her lifetime last week... but please don't lose sight of the purpose of that post and please understand that just because I was a fighter, doesn't mean I am not a lover.  I think I can be the best of both which I am convinced, is why God gave her to me.  I do have a lot to teach both of my children.  And in time, I will.  And also in time, I will share with you what I am teaching them.

This is how I look at it (I love analogies... so here you go):

{My daughter, she will be learning to walk soon.  And as her mama, I will go to the path where she will take her first steps and I will scan ahead.  I see a branch, some rocks and a snake.  So, in anticipation, I clear the path for her.  (This is me trying to spread the word to end the word.  I look at her future and I try to educate society on dwarfism.)  I have also been working with Lilah by taking her hands in mine and helping her walk here and there.  She has been pulling up to a stand and we have been practicing those first few steps.  (This is me, teaching her, preparing her, building up her confidence.)  She is ready for the path.  She starts out great as I follow right behind her but, she steps into a little hole.  (Yes, there will be pitfalls along the way that I won't be able to prevent.  Opportunities to learn to watch out for the "holes" in life.)  But I can guarantee I will be there when she falls and help her to get back on her feet til she's off and running.}

It is what any mama would do.  You anticipate, you prepare and teach, you let go, and you offer love and support.  I am doing no different.

But the sphere... many talked about my sphere of influence.  I was told it will never be big enough.  I could never reach enough people to make a difference.  (And I am taking this a step further...) why even try?  Why should I even attempt when I can personally only reach hundreds of people in a country where there are over 300 million and in a world where there are over seven billion people?

Because this is why...  she is why.  How could I teach Lilah that she is big enough if I don't even feel that I am?  If I go through life, "How many people can I reach, why should I even try?"  What kind of message is that sending her?  You don't have to be big to do big things.  I will teach her that you can be big if you believe in yourself and you never give up on your dreams.   I will teach her this by showing her this.  I will be big enough.

She's Big Enough For Me

I hold you in my arms cooing and goo-gooing as others pass us by
"How old is she? She's so little," they say in the blink of an eye.

"Yes, she is my little one."  But I wish that they could see
The love and joy behind those eyes... "She's big enough for me."

Fast forward a few years and she's running round and round
with all the other kiddos playing at the school playground.

"She can't play... she's too small," the children all agree.
Her brother stands up to the crowd, "She's big enough for me."

The bus lets off, the kids file in, she enters the sixth grade...
The looks, the stares... she leaves everyone a little bit dismayed.

A girl sits next to her in class, a friend could she be?
She pays no attention to the others, "She's big enough for me."

Cheer tryouts have begun; she attempts to make the team.
The nay-sayers have come out-- ready to crush her dream.

The coach watches her perform and cheer so effortlessly.
He tells her she's made the squad, "She's big enough for me."

Scholarships and SAT's and applications to send in.
She writes essays about her life-- but which college to attend?

The admissions receives her application with her biography.
They love it, they love her, "She's big enough for me."

She finds her mission and stands behind it one-hundred and ten percent
She speaks to many and then to thousands at each and every event.

She's a teacher, a fighter, and a lover all to the -nth degree 
And then they all stand up and say, "She's big enough for me."

He caught her eye and sheepishly asked for her on a date
Who would have thought that silly glance would find her a soulmate?

He asked her father for her hand and got on bended knee
"I want to spend my life with you... you're big enough for me."

And now a lifetime has gone by and she's sitting on her porch.
She looks up to heaven and thanks God for giving her the torch.

The lives she's touched, the love she's spread, the way she's lived so free...
Her heart is full, she's done His work... "I'm big enough for me."

And when it's time for heaven to open up the pearly gate,
She stands before and smiles already knowing of her fate.

He winks at her and hands over the shiny and golden key.
So proud of her is He, "She's big enough for me."

Learning to wave and say "dada"
Mounting all by himself is a big deal.

Enough hair to finally wear a clip.

One of our favorite places: the barn.


  1. You're so hell bent on making sure no one sees her as different but all you talk about is how different she is. Hypocritical!?

    1. Well, first of all thank you for reading the blog... I am not sure who you are or how you found us or how much you know about our story, but please keep reading. I appreciate it.

      That's a great question and I am glad you asked... to the outside eyes, I can see why you would think that. And as a mama, I think it is important to teach her both. I think at times she will want to fit in with the crowd and be sad that she is not the same. It is my job to teach her that we are all "little" creatures here on Earth compared to the monstrosity of a universe God has created for us. And then there will be times when she will be proud of her differences and we will rejoice in this because it means we have succeeded. We have taught her that her differences are worth celebrating.

      I am certainly not trying to make her seem "no different." Lilah is physically different. Trust me, I get reminded by that every single day by strangers. I would just like to do what I can as a mama to make her world and ours just a little brighter by educating those that are unfamiliar with dwarfism and teaching about words that hurt. I don't want her to be judged for her physical differences, I want people to realize she is different and special for her character, her personality, her talents... the same I want for my son.

      Like I said, I understand that but writing about our story, I put myself out there to receive criticism... I am hoping that everyone can see my intentions and walk in my shoes for a day... would you try to help educate? Would you want to do what you could to raise awareness to dwarfism? Would you want to teach Lilah that she is wonderful and awesome and capable?

      I am trying to do good. I write her poetry that comes from my heart that I will someday read to her when she is having a rough day. I want her to know I believe in her and that so do others and so does God. That's what I am trying to do.

      Hypocritical? We are each entitled to our own opinion. I don;t see it that way, but I can only write so much in a post... and I have only begun sharing... so maybe someday you will see it differently too.


    2. Leslie, You are a wonderful teacher! I believe the only thing that will be small in Lilah's life will be her physical size!

    3. Thank you Victoria. I really appreciate that... I believe you are right. We can all be measured in life a million ways and I hope we start as a society to start with people's hearts, because that is all that matters. XOXO

  2. Love this! I hope to collaborate with you<3 our baby girls!

    1. Would LOVE to! Thank you for doing the same thing mama- loving in the names of our baby girls!

  3. Beautiful... I also get told to teach my son "sticks and stones" and I wanted the words to tell them what you have so eloquently said! Thank you

    1. Thanks... there is a lot of merit in that saying and yes, it will be passed down to my children... in addition, there is a lot of peace in mastering the skill of letting words roll off your back... I am still learning this. If I just had a lifetime to write down everything running through my mind... everything I want to teach her and him... hmmmmm.... there is an idea. I guess I will just keep writing... lol

  4. Such a beautiful post! Please drown out those "anonymous" negative people with those who build you up & appreciate all of the good you are doing! You are a blessing & an inspiration to many! xo

    1. To one of my biggest cheerleaders... I am glad you know my heart. It feels good to have people out there that do. I need that. Thank you sista!


  5. Hi Leslie,

    Love, love, love that picture of Lilah in the grass with her blue bow. Perfect!! And kudos to you for being brave and kind and following your heart. Did you read the Momastery post recently titled, "What's your thing?" It spoke to me and you might find some more encouragement there. :) hugs!

    Kristin S.

    1. Thank you dear Kristin. Thank you also for your continued support of Lilah and us as a family. You are such a gem and I really appreciate it. XOXO (P.S. I am going to comment on Momastery and her teaching in my next blog. Stay tuned... )

  6. As an LP, who is married to an LP, father of a 10 year old LP son, I absolutely love you post. But more importantly to me, I love you response to the reply calling you hypocritical. I don't think my response would have been so calm and respectful. You can't ignore or size as the world and everything around is not made for us. It is a face we face each and every day. What you are doing is not ignoring the difference in height, but simply saying, it doesn't matter. We try each and every day to try and show our son that there are countless ways people are measured each and every day, and only one of them is height. Thanks again.

    1. Thank you John. That was so refreshing for me to read. Obviously my goal is not to offend anyone but by putting your heart out a line, you become an easy target and I really do appreciate that each and every person is entitled to their our opinions. It really is nice for me to hear everyone's opinions on here. I am doing a lot of learning, which is so great for me. I love your last line and that has become so engrained in my mind now, it is just such a truth that I believe in so much. Thank you for putting that into words for me. Thank you for supporting the blog. XOXO

  7. Beautiful post! Thank you for writing!

  8. Very well said! Thank you for writing!

  9. Leslie, as I read this entry and the post made by 'anonymous', I smiled! You see, I am a little person too. I am a 43 year old mother of a daughter who is 22 and also little. Some may ask why I smiled... I smiled because I so appreciate the fact that you are raising your beautiful daughter much like my parents raised me. The poem in this post is an echo of my childhood and my life... before now, I had never seen my life in such sweet words. Always stay on this path and your baby girl will be more than fine in this world. She will learn from you that she can be as big as she wants to be and she will teach many that her only difference is her size!

    May God continue to bless all of you!
    Lori Simmons Moore

    1. Awwwww Lori... what you wrote made me smile! Thank you so much for telling me that. I really, really appreciate it. Your mother did a fantastic job in raising you I can already tell just by your sweet words of encouragement. And now you get to pass that own to your daughter. How special! Well, this blog is a work in progress and it is a very-open book of me in my journey that is really in the beginning stages. I may fall, stumble, backtrack... but I will always continue marching forward learning, leading and loving. Thanks again. XOXO

  10. Im a 19 year old and stumbled on your blog. I made a google account and everything simply bc you deserve to be told! Im embarrassed to say i didn't know the m word was offensive to those with dwarfism until now. Now i know and will never say it again! Just from reading one post i got an overwhelming sense of how tirelessly hopeful you are. I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes the whole way through! I literally can feel in my heart how much you love your little girl! I believe that most people are good at their core, and I know that this world will be good to Lilah! You will give her all of the tools and love she cold ever need to overcome her lifes challenges. I just know it! She is a lucky little girl to have a strong mama like you to teach her! Best wishes to you and your family <3

    1. Thank you so much for writing! It is OK that you didn't know... I didn't know either... and now we both do! Now we can make a difference and educate those that don't know.Yes, I am hopeful. I eat a lot of Dove chocolate and the inspiring messages on each one keep me going. Lol. Lilah will be good to go. She is surrounded by amazing people that love her so much! Thank you for reading! XOXO

  11. Once again your words are amazing ... that poem is spectacular and should be published ... just saying!!! Thank you again for sharing your point of view, your life, your Lilah. I have learned so much from reading your blog and have fallen head over heals for your sweet Lilah ... in my book she is a beautiful baby girl moving into toddlerhood ... good luck mama ... she might be "small" physically but I think she is going to continue to ROCK your world, the world of those around her and this world (the internet) because she has a mama that is going to make sure we are educated. You are AMAZING Leslie ... keep doing what you are doing! Thank you for educating!

    1. Thank you for loving her. It really does mean so much to know that people out there are pulling for her. We appreciate you following the blog and just this comment puts such a spring in my step today. Thank you so much for taking the time for us and for finding room for us in your heart. XOXO