There’s something about being a girl that even long before you are expecting or have kids fills you with hopes and dreams of the life you’ll have when those dreamt about babies someday become reality. Then you become pregnant and all those dreams start to really come alive, you find out you’re having a girl and those dreams explode into thoughts of dance, American girl dolls, bows and braids, and everything pink. That sweet baby girl comes and you begin to live out your dreams, until one day your dreams comes to a complete hault. Things start to change, doctors and therapists start to use words like developmentally delayed, Autism, and Apraxia, and as quickly as those dreams formed they begin to fade away. Then comes the talk of Chiari, syrnixes, and brain surgery. It all becomes grey and fuzzy. You forget you had dreams. That there was a life before Chiari and Autism. It’s not that you give up on your child, your dreams just shift. The things you used to take for granted become your goals. Honestly just getting through the day became the goal most days.
Things start to settle, you become more aquainted with your new found Role in life. The dark and scary becomes a little less dark and scary. You begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The big picture starts to get bigger again. You set new hopes and dreams. And then you divide and conquer. Day by day, Dream by Dream.
Tonight I watched my sweet baby girl dance, just like I’ve always dreamed. I remember watching Mia dance while I was pregnant with Haven and holding my belly, dreaming of the day it would be Havens turn. Many times I’ve questioned if Haven would have the same oportunities as Mia when it came to life experiences. Adam and I push and allow Mia to explore different hobbies and sports in hopes she will find something she loves. It’s always stung a bit wondering if Haven would get those same chances in life. But there I was tonight, tears streaming down my face watching my sweet, Autistic, beautiful baby girl who’s 3 months post op of major brain surgery, dance, and laugh and twirl just like the other little girls, just like her sister has done. For the last two weeks I’ve watched in awe and amazement as Haven has gone to preschool and now daycare, against the recommendations of some, beating the odds. She has had zero meltdowns or issues while there and is SO excited every time I drop her off and pick her up. I am able to hear my sweet girl tell me every detail of her day, the same girl that couldn’t talk a year ago is now putting full sentences together. I remember being told she may never be fully verbal, would likely need to use PECS, and sign language to communicate her basic needs. Take that Autism.
These achievements don’t come at just the hands of Haven and I’s list of high hopes and dreams, though. These hopes and dreams are able to be met because of others who show love and compassion to Haven and her needs. The mainstream preschool director that didn’t hesistate to welcome Haven with an open heart and arms. The dance teacher that was so excited to have Haven in her class and promote the benefits of dance and how it has helped other kiddos like Haven. These people could have hesitated, they could have said no, they could have just taken what some days will enevitably without a doubt be the easier choice but they didn’t. They gave Haven a chance at normalcy and fitting in and meeting our hopes and dreams, there isn’t words to express my level of gratitude for these people.
I think there’s parts of me that will never fully heal from the trauma we’ve endured, somedays it’s still all consuming. But I also think that with every dream and goal we reach the pain will lessen, or at least I hope. Nothing fills a mommas heart more then watching her tiny humans grow into tiny young ladies.
Keep being the good y’all.