Isn’t it interesting how easy it is to take things for granted until we have a cause to realize they could be taken away?  
A couple of my older kids went the extra mile to do handbells at school.  They got themselves to school early two days a week and I never even thought twice about how they were getting there or whether they were going to forget or be late…they just did it.  Of course all their practicing and work was appreciated when we went to watch their concerts.  Shining smiles up on that stage adorned with their white gloves, sparkly green bowties and cummerbunds.  
It was all find and dandy.

But I didn’t really realize the grit that goes into handbells until I was eye-level with it this year.  I thought handbells were awesome before, but I am a true lover of those things because of Lucy’s experience this year.

I explained how hard-won this opportunity was back HERE and also a little HERE.
I was here with her most weeks, (I “helped” on Monday mornings, she usually just got dropped off on Tuesdays).  

Most days she was delighted to have me help her keep her spot, and make sure she was counting, but towards the end, she got a little stompy and mad if I tried to help.

She did, in her defense, really know that stuff incredibly well.  So because the teacher requested I be there I stood as far back from her as I could on those stompy days (yes, I know “stompy” isn’t a word, but it fits her perfectly so I’m sticking with it:), and marveled at the way she understands music.  How she can count.  How she can sway with the motion of it all and still keep incredibly focused.

Yes, handbells are not for non-counters!  And I loved that lots of the time she did it aloud.  Even sometimes, very quietly, in performances 😉

Claire got to come straight from track to one of her spring performances:

 It was on a HOT afternoon at the entrance to the art show.

These kids played so beautifully melting in that heat.  (And I thought that light was so pretty that evening!)

Just watch the concentration going on here!

Loved that Nana and Papa got to join us for this one…and so did Lu!

Last week they had a performance for the kids during the day at school:

And then two nights ago, they did their last performance for the parents:

Lucy is also multi-talented…since she can kind of dance as she plays 🙂

I promise they played more than just Beauty and the Beast…I don’t know why all these clips are from that one, maybe because it was 13 pages long…

Loved having Grace with us that night…she was so excited to watch.

Dave has had to be out of town for lots of these “last wrap-ups” so we’ve been documenting as well as we can for him!

And with that, it was over.  All that hard work and all that help she got from so many to make it happen, with that special music stand and enlarged music and assistant helper who was so awesome.

We just feel so lucky for every opportunity for this girl as things start so shift so much for her.  Sure, there will be lots of different opportunities for her as her vision dwindles, but we’re so grateful for this one that has worked for her eyes. 

She says she’s done and probably won’t do it next year, but deep down, I kind of hope she changes her mind.


  1. We were so impressed watching her at the concert the other night! Her rhythm was spot on! Love how hard she worked to be able to do this. This was my first time seeing the hand bells and I was blown away by their performance.

  2. I never comment on blogs, but this one just hit me in the heart. I think you are an amazing family. My take away from this is – what great people (teachers) that have surrounded this wonderful little girl. It gives me so much hope that there are so many caring people in this world.

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