If You’re Happy and You Know it….

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”

Just thought I would give a little update on Eliza and the amazing strides she has taken lately.  I feel like it’s all happened in a short burst of time, but she is now clapping her hands, waving hello and goodbye (and sometimes just for the heck of it), and even army crawling across the floor towards one of Amelia’s coveted treasures.

I remember being thrilled with every milestone Amelia hit when she was doing the same things as a baby, but there is something really special about watching Eliza accomplish each new task.  I guess maybe because of all the worry I held in my heart when she was still in the NICU that she may not get here.  I don’t like to admit the dark fear I cried through in those first weeks and months…maybe it’s guilt, I don’t know.  But I remember vividly the moment a pediatric neurologist talked about her being slower on the monkey bars and feeling like I couldn’t care less if she was going to be slower, I was just so overwhelmingly grateful that it was even a possibility she could do it!  It was before I knew her diagnosis, but learning about her PWS didn’t quell all the doubts and worries I still held.

And now, I’m just blown away by this determined, engaging little person in front of me.   She’s so proud of herself in her moments of accomplishment that she often becomes distracted by the smiles she shoots to each person in the room, seeming to say, “Did you see that?  Did you see what I just did?  I am amazing!”  And she is.

Perhaps even more fun is the way Amelia cheers her on, constantly getting her new things to crawl towards and crouching beside her with prompts of “How big is Eliza?  So big!!” and “You can do it, Baby Sister.”  Be still, my heart!  That’s not to say Amelia isn’t sometimes a little too excited about her sister…Eliza often sees her coming and responds with equal parts squealing giggles and then sudden terror when a “hug” becomes more like a “squeeze.”

Parenting is like that too…it can be terrifying and so exciting all at once.  Sometimes it feels like fighting a hard battle, but so often it feels like walking through life with with inspired, childlike eyes all over again.  We see magic where we once saw only mundane, and we are transformed by that.  Suddenly, clapping your hands or reaching a beloved toy is a victory worth celebrating with cheers and hugs.  And when we add all that up, it makes a life worth celebrating!

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