David: (following Mary Louise down the stairs) "hahaha!! Das so funny!! so funny!! I push Meese down da tairs!! hahahaha!"
ML: "No Da-bid! Not funny!! Mooooommmmyyyyy! Da-bid's pushing me down da tairs!!"
Me: (stopping David and taking his hand so he looks at me) "David pushing on the stairs can really hurt people. Please don't."
Oy. This is how my mornings often start.
But inside, I'm smiling and thinking about just how far that strong willed, defiant at times, wiry, green bean kid has come...
From 14 ounces (try looking at a coke can or shampoo bottle the same after hearing that) and 10 and 3/4 inches in length:
From using a regular sized cotton ball as an arm rest:
From having a 30% chance at survival and an 80% morbidity rate...
An absolutely gorgeous boy who can walk, talk, remember, thread a train on a track and figure out how the thing works all by himself!!
I just fussed at that boy for climbing on the widow seat and stacking the pillows there to attempt to climb further and look out the widow...that is at least 8 feet up the wall. He got reprimanded at about 18 months for using the drawer pulls in the kitchen to climb onto the counter. There is no such thing as fool proof baby proofing for this child - he figures out the latches, opens the doors and lids anyhow or finds another way to defy the odds.
He has absolutely been independent from the very beginning - always doing his own thing in his own corner on the ultrasounds. He has never listened to "don't do that", "you can't", "odds are you might not ever". He doesn't care about odds and statistics - but to use them as goals to exceed.
As we prepare for yet another surgery, I am wondering if I have the strength to hand him over once more, I wonder if I can bare the emotional trauma of waiting to hear something, anything, about how he did during the procedure. I wonder if I can overcome the guilt of having some part in the pain of his recovery...as I still feel completely responsible for his all too early birth...I wonder if I'll ever stop blaming my body for failing all of my babies...
But never (NEVER) do I wonder if David can handle all that has been and will be thrown at him. I never question his ability to overcome, his determination, his strength, his spirit. I know, without doubt, without a hint of ambivalence, he is and will continue to be amazing.
Do I have something on my face?
I wasn't able to touch David - not even hold his hand - for almost a week after he was born. We didn't hold him until he was 2 months old. That child, who wasn't medically stable enough to experience his mother's touch during such a critical time just turned to me after I asked him to get down and said, "I bub you too Mommy." He gets me. He has incredible insight - not for all he's been through - but just for who he is.
My precious boy still knows where his first comfort came from:
and still carries those Froggies around, without fail, every single day.
David - who still has a pretty severe tongue tie - was the best nurser - even after being tube fed for 3 months - and the fastest learner with eating!
David - who pretty much did this during every nap time and barely slept at all at night:
learned to walk by 16 months and met ALL milestones but expressive speech ON TIME for his actual age!
Umm - he's learning to swim now...you may have heard:
His piercing blue eyes can (I swear) see through my soul:
and his love for his baby brother is one of the most genuine expressions of emotion I've ever witnessed:
He was home for 3 years on July 27th. I was traveling to Oregon that day and though Brent had planned a wonderful time for them, the snotties invaded and it just wasn't meant to be. Movies on the couch and lots of extra fluids were the orders of the weekend. But dearest David, your special day was not forgotten.
We gave thanks for you and for your many many attributes and amazing personality over and over...just as we do every day.
You absolutely can do whatever you want...and please please keep defying those odds and statistics - show all who encounter you just how beautiful and unpredictable life can be. You stand as a reminder to so many that the only limits here are the ones people set for themselves. May your stubborn, zest and zeal for life, and gentle grumpiness and determination never waiver and take you all ends. You, my boy, are surely one of my greatest teachers.