Adelaide turned two today.
We are having a butterfly party.
I chose butterflies, because I needed to be reminded that she is taking flight. Even on the days when we feel stuck in a chrysalis that will never open. On the days when she is still unable to sit. Or stand. Or crawl. Or walk. Or drink from a cup. Or eat most foods. Or talk to me and tell me what she is wanting. On those days, I need to be reminded of wings and soaring and all the metaphors we moms of babies-turning-into-toddlers-with-special-needs hope for day in and day out. And I awoke this morning without hope. And ready to cancel a party that will probably be canceled anyway with so much snow on the way. And I couldn’t even move this morning. Thinking about a girl who we thought would be sitting 10 months ago. About a girl who we thought would be crawling all over the place before this special day. About a girl who just.can’t.manage. to drink from a straw. No matter how often we practice. And progress is great, but what do you do on the days when those small inchstones are so far removed from even the ‘delayed’ milestones that you can’t even catch your breath?
I was about to cancel the party. Surrounded by halfway put-up Christmas decorations and toys and a heaping loveseat of clean laundry to fold and a screaming newborn and a shouting preschooler and a whiny birthday girl. And I sat down at the computer to tell all our family that there would be no party. I was going to make up an excuse about the weather. While secretly thinking there can be no party because I refuse to have another year of Adelaide unable to eat her cake by herself. Another year of Adelaide strapped into a baby’s highchair. Another year of missed everything.
As I was about to write, “Due to weather, there will be no party.” I saw Ann Voskamp’s Advent post for today.
Read it. Please.
On my daughter’s birthday, of all days, she writes about butterflies. She has been writing about hope all week. But butterflies?
I sat in our kitchen and sobbed.
Change. Hope. Butterflies. Advent.