This morning, I was leaving for work and as I watched my babies sitting at the table eating breakfast I wondered, "Where did my BABIES go?" How do I have a 3 year old, a 5 year old and a 6 year old already? When did the days fade into months and then fade into years? I blinked and the years had passed. Somewhere amidst the million loads of laundry, the short order cooking, school, work, life... it had flashed passed!
I was looking at our "baby" who is now three and thinking back to the first time my heart shattered... In early July 2013, Bella and I were watering the yard and our new plants. When my innocent little 3 year old girl asked "How come we can't plant seeds in my hand for fingers to grow?" My heart shattered into a million tiny pieces, I fought back the tears that welled in my eyes. How could my child ask me this? How did she even relate the two? Where did this come from?
Thinking back, we had planted flowers a few months earlier from seeds. They sprouted out of the soil and became the beautiful flowers that she was now watering. She was enjoying the bright colors and the smell that waifed across the yard from them. It made perfect sense to a child, plant seeds, out grows something. She knew that beautiful flowers grew from the tiny little seeds, why not fingers?
My heart still breaks thinking back. Finding out about her limb difference was not my lowest low. Having my innocent little hazel eyed girl with her messy dirty blond hair looking up at me with dirt covered hands holding a hose asking me that question, that was my lowest low. I had prepared myself (or so I thought) for the day that she asked why she was born different. I had not prepared myself for this, I had not prepared for her to be a three year old asking me this.
There is really no way to prepare yourself for being a parent. You think you are ready, you aren't. You think you have everything you need. You think you have covered all of your bases... you haven't. The days fade into weeks, months, years. The loads of laundry pile up, the outgrown clothes pile up. The muddy shoes sit by the door showing you that your babies are now toddlers or school aged. They are snapshots into your life as you know it. They are snapshots into happy moments turned memories.
This is a memory... although not my happiest. I remember fighting the tears and explaining in the only way I knew how, that she would never grow fingers. Explaning that to a three year old was harder than explaining a heart defect to a nursing student. My heart shattered in a way that only she could make it shatter. My soul felt a little bit broken. I remember feeling like I had somehow failed my child. I remember thinking that I didn't protect her enough while she was growing inside of my womb.
Now looking back, I did as I always do. I did the very best I could with the resources that I had. Three and a half years ago, the resources were fewer and farther between. Today, we are blessed with a community we can reach out to and more resources than we knew possible. Today, that sweet three year old with her hazel eyes and dirty blond hair has warped into a beautiful size year old girl. Her eyes still hazel but more green. Her dirty blond hair, still the same, just longer and worn in a way that SHE decides. Her clothes are bigger, her feet are bigger. Her legs are LONG and lean. Her style is her own. She is confident and strong willed. She is a leader not a follower. She tests me and challenges me in different ways then she did at that time. Heck she even rolled her eyes at me for the first time. My sweet toddler has grown into a school age girl with a personality all her own. I'm happy to be her mama and I'm happy that she challenges me to be the best me that I can be.
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