Like so many bloggers/photographers/scrapbook experts and addicts out there, I am actively participating in Project 365, a photo each day in my life. I already take a number of pictures everyday but the challenge is to select just one that depicts life around me this year. Today’s picture certainly isn’t worthy of great artistic or creative acclaim but there clearly was no other choice.
Today was Daniel’s 7 year well child exam. He weighed in at 35 pounds, yes THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS! He stands 3 feet 5 inches tall as well. THREE-FEET-FIVE-INCHES!! He gained 5 pounds and grew 2 inches in just 4 months and has outgrown the boys size 4 jeans I bought him at the beginning of the school year. My little man is growing and forgive my over the top reaction, but I am so freaking excited and thrilled. Now don’t come back here and rain on my parade sharing how this 7 year old is 60 pounds or 4 feet 11 inches tall or that 5 year old is twice Daniel’s size. I don’t really care. Seriously, I am so thrilled with his growth spurt…yes, for a kid like Daniel, this is a growth spurt.
But that’s not all. We’re not through.
The pediatrician did the thorough head to toe and reviewed Daniel’s health history this past year. With the exception of evaluating a mole on his back this past Fall, she hasn’t seen him all year and why is that, she asked? I shrug and tell her hasn’t been sick. He hasn’t. His nebulizer sits unused in the pantry next to the breathing meds he has had no need for in over 6 months. There have been no colds, flus, nothing. Dr. B shakes Daniel’s hand and tells him he is an amazing, miracle man. Daniel replies with his usual affirmative “Yup”.
Doc and I talk a little more about his growth and development and any concerns I might have. I still have some but all in all I am more than pleased. My boy is happy and healthy and that is a good thing. We end the visit talking a little NICU-related shop that ends with Dr. B smiling broadly, giving Daniel’s hair a playful rough and declaring, “Don’t you just love a happy ending?”
I grin back at the two of them and agree, “I do!”
Of course Dr. B and I both know Daniel has miles and miles to go before his happy ending is fully realized. His challenges in learning and growing still remain. Still to take a child who started life out with only around a 50% chance of survival, a 38% chance of profound neurodevelopmental impairment and around a 22% chance of moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairment, he is pretty darn amazing…really! Given the fact that there was no way to determine his eventual outcome 7 years ago I will glady accept the challenges he does live with today and I will continue to face them head on with him.
Dear Daniel, you are truly a fortunate son. I celebrate you. I celebrate all the talented, fearless caregivers you have had throughout the years. I celebrate the multitude of people who have prayed for you, cheered you on and celebrated you. Today is a happy ending kind of day and I celebrate that too. Tomorrow, we will be working on your homework and likely struggling with it too. Or perhaps we will be fighting with food again. But as you have proven thus far, slow and steady does win the race.