Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Braverman's

When Nolan was born two years ago, I remember watching a show called Parenthood and thinking that won't be our life, that we dreamt of.  You know the one.  Where you have tons of kids and they all grow up to be fantastically interesting, humane people and you watch them share and stretch and learn from one another and all the while they end right where they began in your living room; sharing their lives with you and your man; their parents.  It's a beautiful scene in your head; maybe there will be an attorney, a musician, a wild child, a loving dad, you have all those hopes for your babes and what is better thinking that they will all love each other and share their babies with you too!  But, as with most dreams in life, they are dreams for a reason, because often they look a little different in real life.  Your dream of being a sexy, cool mom one day is replaced with the stark reality that showering really is a privilege and love handles a requirement of motherhood.  So, you adjust and are happy to just swipe some blush on your cheeks and you succumb to the reality of motherhood as is and make it your dream anyway.  Ok ok, I will get to the point.  So, I remember having that thought, watching that show that my dream was dead, I wouldn't be the Braverman's from Parenthood, surely you couldn't do that with a child with special needs, how would they all grow to love each other and share all of their dreams if one was intellectually challenged?  Silly right.  Yep, so soon enough, I was on the path again, realizing that in fact we could be there one day, and shortly after that I found myself unexpectedly pregnant.  Bam, Braverman land here we come.

So, when the shock of EJ's diagnosis was extremely raw and it was just 36 hours after finding out his genetic makeup we were headed up north.  The other kids had gone already so it was a rare car ride alone with Jeremy and EJ.  It was quite and introspective.  But, also Jeremy and I spoke of days past, where we took that trip in my Celica and squeezed our stuff into the hatchback and our whippet sat on my lap for the entire 3 hours, because we were "those" people with their "dog".   At any rate, it was a wonderful time escaping to dream land for awhile and going back to simpler days in our marriage.  Then we were listening to this amazing "voice" on the radio station outside of Brainerd and his voice was everything cool and gruff and exactly what small town Americana is made of and we were driving simultaneously through quaint storefronts and I burst into tears.  Hysteric tears; because it hit me.  It hit me hard.  OH MY GOD we aren't the BRAVERMAN's.  We are NEVER going to be the BRAVERMAN's.  I could hardly breath.  I could hardly explain to Jeremy the rush of emotions that overcame me.  But, I just kept saying that.  And I still struggle to picture our life 20 years from now and what it will all look like.  That Graham may not want one of his brother's to be his best man.  That TWO of our children will likely NEVER live alone without our help, either financially or physically.  How could that be ideal in any way? How could that look pretty or picturesque?  I still can't really wrap my brain around it and moments my heart sinks with the realization.  But days like yesterday, Nolan's 2nd Birthday Party, well, they are the defibrillator for this broken heart.  The pictures speak for themselves and no words could do them justice.  I think you will agree.  Enjoy...OH and FYI...we aren't the Bravermans, and unless we plan to ditch any heritage any of our families possess, (hahaha) we will remain the ROBBINS and we think that is pretty dang cool.

Our most amazing cake lady ever, if you live in the Twin Cities, you MUST use her! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cookies-and-Cakes-by-Mary-Bolger/206705579366892

brotherly love

Eric the juggling magician, was AMAZING

Merlin picked Isaacs card out of the deck, AMAZING!

Cotton candy making was the hit of the night, so fun to do; who knew!

brain freeze...ruh row

how he does this- I have no idea, but copious amounts of sugar help, I am sure!

You are welcome Brent, had to do it ;)


  1. It looks like a wonderful time! Feel free to plan my next birthday party, and give the birthday boy a hug for me.
    P.S. Your cake lady is amazing!

  2. Looks like a heck of a fun party. Where, oh where, did you get that cake? And if Nolan was any cuter, well, I don't know if I could handle it! I do think EJ needs to grow his mustache longer so that he can twirl it into a handlebar; it truly becomes him. I want to come to next year's soiree. Posts like this are attractive to party crashers....

    1. Seriously "attractive to party crashers..." HAHAHA!!!! I can't stop laughing about that! :) And you totally have to make the trek to the party and you wouldn't be crashing at all, we'd love to have you and your brood :) Let's get together soon, even if it's for some cocktails, I was pregnant last time, so watch out, drinks bring out the best in me :)

  3. I bet the Braverman's would be envious of the Robbins' if they saw these amazing photos! Looks like the Robbins' now how to throw one heck of a birthday bash.

  4. Amazing party for the entire family!

  5. Grace, I read every one of your blogs. Unbeknown to you, I am constantly thinking about you and your family, contemplating about your concerns and struggles, wishing you strength, cheering you on, celebrating your victories, and praying for you all. I love your raw honesty and the way you open your heart. Your question about Graham wanting his brother to be his best man brought tears to my eyes. But, I can't help think that your special family will afford them other gifts. Having just checked out the photos of your four kids together, I can clearly see that they will grow up with compassion, acceptance, and unconditional love for each other.
    You may not be the Bravermans, but you are one BRAVEWOMAN.

    1. Cindy-

      After some deductive reasoning I've figured out who you are...through the tears after reading your comment. Thank you, truly. For your thoughts and prayers and dreams of our little family. It means the world. Our journey isn't always pretty pictures, so it's fun to share when it is, but also so necessary to get dirty and real sometimes, so I am honored you can hang with me! I remember you as the awesome mom that painted my face and brought me to a Twins parade, that threw amazing parties for her daughter, that always did Marie's hair to perfection, for having an infectious laugh and genuine smile. I didn't have the easiest of childhood's; but I had many great memories spending afternoons at your home, which was filled with laughter and love and for that I am grateful. I only keep in touch with Marie on Facebook, but I am sure your heart bursts with her accomplishments as a mother to three beautiful children, you are blessed and deservedly so. :) thanks again.

    2. Ok, I'm seriously crying right now. Seriously. I hope you know how fabulous and inspirational you both are to me.

  6. Great party pictures!! Happy Birthday to Nolan :)

  7. What a wonderful Blog! I was in tears, the pain so raw so real! But smiles and warmth replaced the emotions when I saw the pictures of such a fun day and a family I would never, ever want to trade in or do over! I love you with all my heart dear niece and you are right, you are not the "Brave"rmans you are far greater than make believe, and braver than 99% of the population and I am so proud to be a part of your amazing life and family!!!

    Auntie Ruth


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