Yesterday we had a WONDERFUL morning. We went hiking with a friend Judy and her children Regan and Aidan in Vienna, WV at McDonough Wildlife Refuge. I am so thankful for that morning! We had a great hike, then headed back to Judy's house for lunch. The kids played, we ate a spectacular meal, and it all went downhill from there :-). Bella headed out to the kiddie pool while I was getting Kane's trunks on. Judy and I gathered our cookies and tea, and then I heard Bella yell out "Mama!!! Help me! Mama, somethings wrong!" over and over. When I got to her I thought she was holding her foot, and assumed she had been stung. When she stood up, though, she said, to my prying questions of what had happened, that something was wrong with her arm. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, the minute I looked at it I knew it was broken. My baby, my sweet baby Bella with a broken arm. The most heartbreaking part of the following 4 hours was when we got home and she was talking on the phone to another friend realizing what her limitations would be... "Um, Mama, I won't be able to go swimming, will I? And I won't be able to play on the swing set? But I can still jump on the trampoline, right? No? Can I still play in the sandbox?" And by now the tears were welling up for both of us. And that night, with her safely tucked in bed, her casted arm propped up over her little tummy, I finally allowed myself to break down and cry sobbing cries. I tried to explain to Adam that I wasn't just crying for the pain that she's going through with her arm broken. Yes, it will heal and she will be just fine. I was crying for all the other pain that she will inevitably go through, and all the times that she will get her heart broken. And I was crying for all of the other mothers who have ever had to see their child endure more pain than a broken arm, or who have had to survive through their child's death.... But, of course, the brain of a man can't quite grasp such silliness. So now I look at the pictures of Bella's last fun, summer-hiking, running-with-friends kind of day for quite awhile. As I'm sure every parent knows, I wish for all the world that I could take it all from her and carry it myself. But she is doing a stellar job of dealing so far. She is getting bored and a little sad, but I am so proud of how she is handling it, especially of how she did at the hospital. She is such a strong, smart, courageous little girl. After my sob-fest, Adam said something quite profound and deep - it is in these kind of times that we get to see that we are doing something right, when our children show a strength of character that we have implanted in them. And it is in this that our greatest love for them shows through. And I love her and am very thankful that we could spend such a wonderful day together with each other and with friends before we had to tackle this new challenge.