But when I look back, I don't just see the misery - I see what could have been. And how close to true disaster we were.
In the last year we've struggled with....
- Fear that his kidney's wouldn't work
- 3-months of ear infections
- bladder infections
- Chronic illness
- Being told that Eli might have Lukemia
- Blood infections
- Delays in gross and fine motor development
- And the general problems that come with dealing with a kid who has clubfoot. (such as not sleeping through the night, pulling his braces off, and being unsure what "the problem was" when Eli was acting strangely.)
|I may look innocent, but I'm just waiting until your least expect it...
But as I said, looking back, I don't really see those problems. That's not to say that I don't remember them. Trust me, when your kid projectile vomits on you 3 times in one week, you don't forget! Instead, I find myself grateful that even though we've flirted with disaster far too many times, it has given me a deeper appreciation for the wonderful things we have experienced.
For me six things stand out when I think of 2012:
The moment when Eli smiled at me for the first time. It was at about 3:00 in the morning, and he needed to be changed. As I laid him on the changing table, I remember him distinctly looking at me, smiling ever so slightly (one of his first smiles by the way) and sticking his tongue out at me. (Which was a game we used to play until he was about 3 months old.)
Playing "catch" for the first time. Okay, so he didn't really catch. But he knew enough to throw a toy back and forth to me.
Eli's love of games. I've never seen a kid who loves to play as many games or who loves his toys more than Eli. No matter how miserable he's feeling, he's always up for some kind of playing. (Even if Daddy has to carry him while he plays.)
|Why limit yourself to what you can carry, when you have a mouth.
Eli's work ethic. No one works harder than this kid. No one. He doesn't know what it means to give up, whether that's learning to crawl, or learning to live with casts on his legs.
|Isabel showing off the one-shoulder backpack look of "older kids"
Okay, she's actually growing up entirely too fast! But that is a post for another day...