Thursday, April 26, 2012
Three years and one day ago, this little blog was born. Just over three years ago, we took Sammie B to her six-month well baby visit and were told that she seemed "a little behind." We were first-time parents, and we just hadn't known. We didn't realize that she "should" have been doing certain things. We didn't know.
Just over three years ago, we took her to her first PT evaluation and were immediately referred to a neurologist. After that PT appointment where a "neurologist" was mentioned, I stood in the parking lot, clutching my girl, and I sobbed some of the most gut-wrenching sobs of my life. I later sat on the phone with my dad, hiccuping through tears, and just said, "Dad, I'm so scared." I sat on the phone with my mom, hiccuping through tears, and just said, "Mom, I'm so scared." I was so, so scared.
I've been going back through some of my first blog posts, and frankly, it has been a little hard. Those early posts were all about our beginning PT journey, about my worries, my fears, my anxiety. But then, they were peppered with a whole lot of "but we saw 'x specialist' and he/she said Sammie B will most likely 'catch up' by the time she's three!". And there it was. Back then, each time a specialist uttered that phrase -- that they really thought she'd "catch up," it was like a huge weight had been lifted from me and I could breathe again. Each time they uttered that phrase, I felt like all was going to be okay. She was going to be just fine.
As I read those old posts, tears streamed down my cheeks. I wasn't ready to write here about it, because I didn't yet know how to articulate what I was feeling, but as I often do, I talked through it with a friend, and she helped me find the words. As I read those old posts, they took my breath away, because I worried that one day, a 20 or 30-year old Sammie B would read those words -- all that "see she's going to catch up" stuff, and she'd feel like if she never had "caught up," (whatever that means), that it was somehow not enough. That she'd feel like that was the goal and if she hadn't met that arbitrary "caught up" goal, that somehow she was a disappointment. I kind of wanted to yell at that old me. The scared one just starting this journey: "HEY! IT IS OKAY! EVEN IF SHE NEVER CATCHES UP, IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY!!! SHE WILL STILL BE 'JUST FINE!' MORE THAN FINE!"
Somewhere along the way on this journey, "catching up" just stopped being our goal, and enabling her to be her best self became the goal. But, I worry what those old posts convey. Because, I never, ever, ever, want Sammie B to feel or believe that if she never does "catch up" or do x, y, or z, that her journey or her worth is any less, for it most certainly is not.
Sammie B is exactly as she was made to be. She is, in a word, magic. B and I have grown so very much because of her. She's made me a better person, and truly, truly inspired so many. If I could say one thing to that mom of three years ago -- the "me" that sobbed in that PT office parking lot, I'd say this . . .
This journey is going to be filled with worry. Your heart will feel more anxiety than you ever knew possible, but the joy will be so intense you will think it is going to make your heart explode. There will be times when you are waiting on medical test results that you will sit in your office, nearly unable to breathe, paralyzed by the 'what ifs,' and you will get up and calmly shut your office door so that you can cry. When those results come back 'normal,' you will close your office door or walk into your bedroom, and you will cry. There will be times when watching how HARD your girl works for things will make you so mad you want to just punch a wall. Times that you stand and sob with your husband and just say, 'it's not fair.' But, there will also be times when you get a text from your girl's nanny that says 'she's totally figuring out the walker,' that you will get up and shut your office door so that you can cry tears of joy. There will be the times she moves her little body around the pool independently for the first time, kicking her legs like its her job, or sings her first song, or asks her first question, or tells her first knock knock joke that your heart will truly, truly feel like it is going to burst with pride. You will have crummy days at work and sit and play a video of her riding her little adaptive trike over and over and over, and somehow the 'bad' of the workday will melt away with that little girl's giggles and smile as she pedals (really, really pedals!!!) her trike for the first time. So, yes, there will be worry. But the moments of joy will be the defining ones, and they will be so, so amazing. Your heart will feel more joy and more love than you ever knew possible. Your little family will not only survive this journey, you will thrive, as will she.
She is perfectly her. She is mine. And, I truly, truly, truly couldn't have envisioned a more perfect child to be my first-born. To make me a mama. I am so, so glad this child chose me to be her mama. For she is perfectly her.
If 20 or 30-year old Sammie B does read this little blog one day, may she read it and see my undying love, commitment and devotion to her, my never-ending belief in her potential, and my pride in every ounce of her being. May she see what magic she brought to me. How happy and proud she made me. Every single day. Just by being perfectly her. I am so, so in love with her.