Wednesday, December 16, 2015
I love you every step of the way
A few nights ago, I dreamt that Lola could walk.
We were on a trip together, and I was holding her in my arms as I often do. Apparently just the two of us went to run an errand, and while there, I needed to use both hands at the same time. I couldn't do so while also holding Lola, so because there was a counter in front of me, I said, "Miss P, I'm gonna need you to stand up. Put weight on your feet, baby girl. Mama needs to use her other hand." And my girl did JUST THAT. She stood. Her little body unfurled, her back straightened, and she beared weight through her feet. I could not believe what I was seeing. I finished what I had to do, and then on a whim, I decided to try something else...
I gently set my 2 foot tall, 12 pound, 9.5 year old daughter down on the floor next to me, I grabbed her hands, and I watched in awe as she proceeded to take steps. I let go with one hand, and because of how small she was, I bent over at the waist to hold her other hand, and again, she took off walking awkwardly. It was as if she'd been waiting to do so all her life.
Eventually, she let go of my hand entirely. She toddled down the stark, white, relatively empty hallway in front of me, and I literally watched in disbelief as it looked impossible for someone that petite to be walking at all. People all around us were staring with wide eyes. Tears were flowing down my cheeks as I cheered & cried & laughed & couldn't take my eyes off my sweet Lolita.
At one point, she started making clicking/sucking sounds with her mouth, and I realized that she might be hungry or thirsty. A lady nearby offered me a glass of water in a plastic cup with a lid and straw. I told her that Lola was unable to use a straw, but maybe we could take the lid off & I could try to carefully pour the water into her mouth. I was holding the glass with the straw when Lola pulled my hands closer to her mouth & DRANK OUT OF THE STRAW. She then walked off again, this time holding the glass! A few minutes later, I saw her take the lid off & point into the now empty glass to indicate she wanted more. Mind. Officially. Blown.
I woke up shortly thereafter in complete shock, shook Scott's arm, & told him the whole damn story, giddy with excitement.
In the past when I've dreamt about the girls being more able than they actually are, a sadness has flooded me upon waking. I usually feel an emptiness -- a longing -- a desire to try to make that dream a reality by working even harder with them in hopes this helps them achieve this goal or somehow selfishly makes me feel like I helped them live a fuller life. I remember talking to their therapists about my ideas & how badass it was to "see" this occur in my dream. I would tell them how I know that all of this sounds farfetched -- even impossible -- but that I really don't want to ever rule things out. Let's let THE GIRLS show us what they're capable of, I would tell them. Oh, yes. In the past, I have always tried to forget how magical it felt in the dream to see what I saw because back then, the absence of this skill in "real life" so completely & totally devastated me. It felt like yet another huge disappointment grounding us once again.
However, this dream was different. I don't know why I was meant to dream it, but this time it felt like such a gift. It felt a little bit like a fast forward of our lives... and as hard as it is for me to say this (I almost don't even want to go there), it almost felt like Heaven -- how I imagine it will be when we reunite someday on the other side. I was able to see my little girl in such a different light. I know her heart inside & out already, but seeing her explore her world & delight in the little things felt like a lifetime worth of happiness condensed into one breathtaking moment.
After spilling my guts to my husband-who-already-thinks-my-dreams-are-f'ed-up-and-insane (for other screwed up dreams, click HERE and HERE. Oh, and you're welcome.), I could hardly wait to scoop up my non-mobile-in-real-life girl, take her back to bed with me, & hold her so tight. I'm not gonna lie, I shed a few tears. But mostly, my heart just felt FULL. Full of love for my girl, full of all the hopes & dreams I still have for her (which don't include walking unless SHE chooses to do so), & full of gratitude for the blessing I'd just been given with this dream -- a new set of eyes to see my girl & all she can STILL do in this life. It was as if I finally realized how unimportant it is that she cannot do more things physically. I am so grateful that her body's many limitations no longer shatter me as they once did. I love the curve of her back due to her kyphosis. I love how tucked up her little body remains. I love how tiny she is and how complete I feel when she is in my arms. I love that I have the PRIVILEGE of even holding my 9 year old in my arms still! I love how cute she looks when she puts her lip out & cries (even if it is seizure-related). I love her little mostly-non-functional hands which cradle her beloved Feta. I love her birthmarks and her chicken pox scars and her now luxurious hair that just a few years ago barely existed. We have come SO far. Lola is perfect to me -- then and now.
I'd be lying if I didn't say I loved seeing her mobile in the dream because I SO DID. But seeing her non-mobile moments later didn't cause me to love her any less -- in fact, it maybe made me love her more. I honestly don't think Lola would be Lola without her current limitations. I used to wish that one day we'd wake up, and Lola and Claire would be miraculously healed. I prayed for it so hard those first few months of Claire's life that it damn near consumed me. I pleaded with God to take years off my own life to give them the chance to sit up or walk or even to not deal with reflux. I used to be so angry when nothing would change. That longing for something different seems like eons ago now. My prayers & wishes for my girls have changed so much. I just want them to be happy, to know the depth of our love, to live full, meaningful lives, and to have many more years here with us to make lasting memories.