Some real worries were her open heart surgery, her duodenal atresia repair, and the NICU. Those are "has been" worries; we've made it through those worries.
I worried about Ellie speaking, but she's starting to talk, so that worry is less now. I worried about her walking. I wanted Ellie, more than anything, to walk at 16 months. She didn't. And she still is a crawler. But that's not as much of a worry as I thought, although it's frustrating at times. She can get into trouble with the best of 'em, so I suppose I shouldn't stress too much. Her physical therapist pointed out that although she isn't walking yet, she is getting into just as much trouble as any other kid her age, which is good for Ellie's exploration of her world.
I worried about Ellie having friends. I'm less worried about elementary school, but I am worried about middle school and high school. I don't worry about Ellie's social life as an adult, but those seven years of secondary school still concern me. I think those will be the critical years for Ellie to have friends with disabilities as well as friends without disabilities. I want her to be included, but I also want her to have a best friend who gets it.
Recently, I went running with a group of mamas in the neighborhood. To my knowledge, I'm the only parent of a child with special needs in the group. As we chatted, I realized that we all worry about middle school and high school. My worries are real, but not unique. And Ellie isn't yet two. I can relax.
|Rockin' the dorky shoes.|
When I got Ellie's diagnosis, I worried most about foolish things.
I worried about Ellie being pretty. I worried about what people would think or say. I worried that she wouldn't be fun. I worried that she wouldn't be able to communicate.
I worried that Ellie wouldn't share our interests. I worried that she'd be weird, or different, or that we wouldn't connect.
I worried that she'd wear dorky clothes. (Sometimes she does. I dress her. My fault.)
But never once did I worry about whether or not Ellie would be loved. Never once did I ponder how her extra chromosome would impact her faith.
I worried so much about foolish things.
I heard a sermon recently about how we are created in the image of God, not so much in our reason, but in our ability to love and to worship. As I sat listening, I realized that description is much more apt than our reason.
We are called to be people of love. I can hold into that hope for Ellie.
And lucky me, she happens to be fun. And pretty, even if she wears dorky clothes sometimes. I'm going to continue to try not to worry about the next eighteen years. I'll be holding onto my sweet girl and knowing that she is created in the image of love.