Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Special Parts of You

Dear Gracie,

It is so easy to get wrapped up in daily life, and not realize how much you are growing and changing. You are no longer a little girl. You are a big girl, plain and simple. But you are also a girl who has Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and sensory processing issues likely caused from your premature birth. Those, like any part of an identity, are just parts of you. Today, I’m focusing on your other parts. It is easy to get lost in the liver and lung issues, not to fail to mention the intrusive sensory issues plaguing you lately. So here goes…this, I hope, will help remind me that you are a person before any other medical diagnosis.

All things “kitty” are very important to you. The collage adorning your wall next to the bed pays homage to your love, love, love of kitties. Daily, you ask if you can get your very own kitten, and daily, I respond with an answer reminding you that our 11-year old cat would be none too pleased. A late addition to your Christmas wish list is surprise, surprise…shock of all shocks…a FurReal Teacup Kitten battery operated stuffed animal. Too bad this is one of the hottest toys, and your mom is currently scouring the world for that particular kitten in hopes of securing it as a Christmas gift. You know in your heart that if Mom doesn’t find it, then Santa and his elves will surely secure your most prized wish gift. Gulp. Better get crackin'!

Suddenly, your love of pink has left your soul. It has been replaced with blue or any other cool color that doesn’t represent being a “baby girl.” You are suddenly interested in my make-up, and you got over your first crush on your male teacher, no less. And now, you’ve moved on to Trevor, who is at the very least your age. Phew! Forgive me if I shudder at the thought of you having feelings for boys. You are, after all, my precious baby and always will be…no matter what happens.

School homework is the bane of your existence. Forgive me if I giggle a little about that. Your intelligence astounds me, and you don’t seem to know how smart you are. I know this fact is lost on you right now, but your mommy grew up with several learning disabilities that were poorly managed. Reading and writing and math did not come easily to me; yet here I am writing today. I love that irony. Your school is a language immersion school. You’ve already mastered that language in reading and writing, and without assistance, taught yourself to read, write, and spell in English. Wow.

You are still learning violin, and complaining about how much practice time it takes. I wonder how many times that violin will go back into the “violin shop” from various parts being damaged. You have no reverence for your expensive music instrument. It is just a violin to you, which goes along side the strewn about Junie B. Jones books you recently discovered and adore. Today, you used your bow like a crutch, and made me just a little bit crazy as you hobbled along your route. Of course, that was after you fell out of your chair at the dinner table…those darn sensory issues. Oops! I’m not focusing on those right now.

Most of all what has recently surprised me is your ability to reason. You see basic cause and effect now, which is, of course, through your eyes as a child, but your 7-year old brain has matured enough to recognize it. I’m going to enjoy watching you catch on to life’s subtleties, though. Your thinking is still mostly “black and white” but you surprise me when you notice a shade of gray here and there. It was particularly sweet when you remembered that not everyone has food on Thanksgiving.

I really could go on and on. I think this letter helped me today. You are not Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency or Sensory Processing Disorder. You are Gracie, and your momma couldn’t be more proud of you and your accomplishments. I can’t wait to witness the next parts of you to emerge.

Momma loves you Gracie girl.


Mama said...

I've been shopping online all day and remembered seeing this one while looking for something else on ebay - It's marked up, but not outrageous....

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