Wednesday, September 14, 2011
My sweet Presley Hope had her first birthday on August 30th. I'm not a good enough writer to adequately express the variety of emotions that this milestone generated. There was immense gratitude and elation that she is healthy, happy, and seemingly "on target" so far in her development. There was a touch of despondency that she is growing up, and no longer my "infant." And though I hate to admit it, there was also nostalgia and fear. Memories of my neuro typical 12 month old Avery who was also waving, talking, social and adorable flooded my mind as I planned and prepared for this one year celebration, which also uprooted grief as to who she had been, before her brain took a left turn off of the normal trajectory, and she spiraled into the very disabled, (yet still adorable and endearing) 5 year old she is today. I remember these feelings with Kaylin. I remember wanting to capture every word, every new skill for fear that she would lose them, and I would again be mourning a child who "used to be different." Thankfully, I was able to let go of that particular fear once Kaylin was about 18 months old and speaking in 7 word sentences... so now the waiting game with Presley begins... and I must admit that I am holding my breath a little bit... though so far she is doing marvelous.
Another looming fear over the summer was Avery's upcoming transition in to elementary school. It was a rocky start, but thankfully, we are three weeks in and I am feeling an enormous sense of relief as she is beginning to settle in and her teachers are learning how to work with her. We are very fortunate to have a team of dedicated therapists, teachers, and case workers all committed to helping Avery.
All too often I let fear control me more than I should. Letting go of that fear and having faith and confidence that we can survive and can be better because of unfathomable circumstances is often easier said than done. It all goes back to the absolute certainty that this life, that these moments we share... they are all a gift, and in order to discover true happiness and fulfillment, it is critical to have an attitude of gratitude. To remind yourself constantly of the countless moments in your life that make it all worthwhile. Without that appreciation, that humbling awareness... fear takes over, and nothing good can come of it. So today, or any day for that matter when fear grips you and takes a hold of your mind... remember that this too is an opportunity to choose love and gratitude over fear. Life is so much more fun and enjoyable when we decide to take control of our anxiety and sadness, and just be content, grateful, happy and at peace.