Yesterday was my sweet baby’s 3rd birthday. It hasn’t been long enough for me to forget any of the details but time has rounded out the edges of the memory for me. In all honesty while his birthday was very important, it was one of the happiest days of my life, 4 days after he was born when they told us he had a rare genetic disorder is what haunts me the most. I try to forget that anniversary but….it’s coming right up. It reminds me of the darkness that started to overtake me the moment we were admitted and hasn’t completely lifted even now. I still sit in my therapists office sometimes and grieve the loss of normalcy and the cloud of an uncertain future that hangs over us. I still sometimes sit in the dark and have a good cry over all of the things that didn’t go well from the beginning for us.
And then I move on. For a time. I can’t seem to completely get over the sadness I feel that my son and our family have to struggle so hard sometimes to do things that most families don’t even think about.
Let’s get back to the birthday fun part shall we…?
He had a blast. He had French fries (his favorite food) and got to go jump on trampolines for kids just his size, and got to play outside, and run around like a little boy on his 3rd birthday should. None of the previous day’s pain when he had tubes placed in his ears effected him. He was carefree and giggling and happy. I loved everything about yesterday.
And then Facebook showed me a picture from 3 years ago, and I did what I always do…I retreated and hoped the storm inside me would pass.
I was just telling a new friend at my new job about my son and his condition and something remarkable happened. I forgave myself for my own reaction to Avery’s diagnosis. I realized that for me to experience the level of anxiety that I have and that I still do is understandable because….it was traumatic and unfair (although I hate that word). To repeat out loud to someone I barely know that when my son was 4 days old the pediatric oncology floor became our home for 4 days sounds….shocking even to me.
Lately I try to look forward and not backward. Behind me are things I’ve already conquered and feelings I’ve already felt. I need to deal with today and the feelings I have now. I need to look towards tomorrow and the challenges we have to get through.
I love my son more than I could ever possibly explain, and for that reason alone I don’t give into the darkness of depression that used to be a second nature to me. He deserves a happy momma. He needs to see me being strong and taking things in stride and smiling. He needs me to be his words and understand his needs until we can unlock the door that will let our little boy out.
3 years went by so fast but I have loved every single second of being his mommy.