Sobbing in the Kitchen on a Birthday Afternoon

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.

Day 5 Advent

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.



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8 thoughts on “Sobbing in the Kitchen on a Birthday Afternoon

  1. Keri says:

    How Beautiful! My prayers are with you!! I don’t have a of these days but I do have fb..Keri Hurley Have a Wonderful Party!!


  2. Meta says:

    Virtual hug to you my dear. May our good God give you strength.


  3. Kathy Dunn says:

    We truly have an amazing Father God who sends us just what we need and when we need it. Thank you Father for the timing of Ann’s email and the encouragement of your words spoken thru Ann to our dear sister Adelaide’s mom. Prayers and Hugs to you. happy Birthday Adelaide!!


  4. Oh Lyndse, I’m so sorry a day that should be filled with celebration is also filled with heartache. My daughter didn’t walk until 22 months, and that was hard and scary and frustrating. I can’t imagine how much more so it is with you and your Adelaide. Praying peace and hope for you today…


  5. […] helped by a screaming newborn {who ended up being intolerant to dairy} and a toddler’s birthday {full of expectations unmet} and a preschooler with the will of steel. But I know that real clothes […]


  6. […] butterflies. It was Adelaide’s birthday tree and I think I need it up year-round. Maybe the butterfly tree and the nativities and the polar bear on a sled ornament will distract you from the laundry and […]


  7. […] on tv and decided that Thursday was a good day for a brand new word. So fitting that she would say ‘butterfly’ this […]


  8. […] most of my childhood things. But Adelaide’s ornaments help fill it out. Polar bears. Butterflies. Buttons. And now Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And every ornament carries a story of our […]


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