Sunday, April 10, 2016

On Sibling Day

Something that feels like magic has been happening around here.

These two little girls, who have always adored one another, have recently started playing together all the time.  We can usually expect bursts of 15-20 minutes of giggles and running around before Cora gets her feelings hurt and someone needs to intervene.

But in the past week, they have amped up their play time exponentially.  We're talking hours of racing around, chasing one another, making up sweet little games of "Follow me!"  "Now you do it!"  "My turn," all set to the tune of the most infectious giggles.

Sweet, unsolicited choruses of "I luh you, Wuuby!" and "I yuh you, Co-wa!" punctuate the giggles. Funny conversations and negotiations keep me smiling as I watch them skip through the house.

For Cora, who has almost always wanted near-constant interaction, most of which had to come from me, this is a big deal.  And for Ruby, it is priceless too.

It's making me start to think about how things will go next fall, when Cora goes off to full-day kindergarten. I've been so wrapped up in preparing for her upcoming IEP meeting and working to secure the ideal supports, services and placement that I often forget how very strange it will be to send her sweet little self off five days a week for several hours. I forget how much we will miss her. For me, it will be a big transition, one that I am sure will be accompanied by a lot of tears, but for Ruby it will come as a big shock.  Her companion, her sweet silly sister.... her best friend will be gone a lot.

I guess the silver lining is that I will finally get some of the one-on-one time that I so appreciated with Cora and haven't gotten much chance to have with Ruby.  But oh, we will miss this big sister girl.

We have a few more months of this precious time.  Time to watch these two grow and change, and get ever closer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Happy Heart Day- Five Years

Today is a day to celebrate just how far this little girl has come.

5 years ago today she went through something unbelievable just to get the chance at this life.  5 years ago today I trusted the nurses, doctors and surgeon enough to hand off my tiny baby for her heart to be stopped and made whole.

It may have been the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but my daughter seemed to take it in a stride. She was no longer sickly and gray, struggling to breathe, and unable to eat.  She could grow, she could nurse, she could thrive.

And look at her now.

Today I celebrate this amazing little person.  This girl who has grown so much, and who has been the reason I've grown so much too.

We pulled out the book that shows the story of her first year.  We flip through the pictures and tell her how when she was a baby she was very sick and needed an operation to fix her heart.  She pores over the pictures, saying "Poor baby Cora.  So sick.'  She touches the photos that show the wound on her chest and feels sorry for her baby self.  "So hurt,"  she croons. Then she tells me "All better," and turns a few more pages to see her baby self smiling and laughing, getting cuter by the minute.  "Baby Cora's so cute..." she says.  We look at the scar on her chest, a white line that stretches the length of her sternum.  We talk about how strong and brave she is, and how wonderful that her doctors helped fix her heart.

It makes me happy to hear her tell the story of her heart repair with her short little sentences.  I get tingly with pride when she shows me her scar and tells me how her body can heal.  It makes me smile through a few tears seeing just how far she has come.

Happy Heart Day, my love.