it just doesn’t seem real: this season of life.
On Tuesday we were at Children’s Hospital for a large portion of the day.
It wasn’t as scary as the first visit. It still doesn’t feel real. That’s partially due to shock, but also because we are determined to keep pressing forward.
But, I have to admit, a part of me feels comfortable there. Not because I spent some time there when I was 15 and 16, with scoliosis monitoring and surgery. Not because I left that hospital with rods screwed onto my spine, and my old bendable self left behind on some operating table.
No, it was something deeper. Something spiritual.
Waiting in line at Starbucks (it’s located conveniently right outside the clinic, but inside the hospital), watching the baristas yell orders and write up cups, I felt this odd sensation wash over me. Here I was staring at pumpkin scones (that taste like cardboard–but I got one anyway), waiting for hot cups of coffee while my husband sat with our baby girl in her room, watching other children in wheelchairs, with epilepsy, and other neuromuscular conditions sit with their parents. It just doesn’t seem real. But it’s happening right before our eyes and it’s a season we have to walk through.
But summer turns to autumn. Winter turns to spring. It’s a season of life that can be uplifting, if we let it. It can make our hearts beautiful, if we allow God inside those dank, sorrowful places.
The clinic is set up so that the children and teens are seen in a rotation. Physiotherapist, Nurse, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, Dietician (but we don’t need that yet). It was quite seamless. But there is something odd and comforting and terrifying about having a “team” of people working with our daughter, cheering her own, examining her, watching her.
The physiotherapist suggested getting a little pair of tight and stretchy shorts to hold her hips together, so that her muscles (IT bands, I suppose) don’t grow too long. They also showed us some “equipment” that made me somewhat uncomfortable, so I just made a face and thought to myself, “this is weird and I don’t want this.” It was just a bathing chair and another gummy looking seat, that acts basically like a bouncy chair, but a bit more upright.
We also got the go ahead to introduce solids, although I was already doing that. Just a tiny bit of avocado here and there. They fed her some grain cereal with water.
Everyone kept commenting on how well behaved she was, so calm and sweet natured. And beautiful. She charmed their socks off. They were encouraged by her head control and her ability to grasp objects, bring her hands together, reach for things. Parents, kiss your babies for me. They are miracles. Every little thing they accomplish is a gift.
I’ve been listening intently to song lyrics these days, since so many of them speak deeply to me, and make sense. This one is from Ben and Noelle: I Am Yours.
I will tell my soul the truth when I’m full of doubt
and when I thought I’d lost all hope, Lord, you sought me out.
I am yours and you are mine
we’re forever intertwined, like father and child
like husband and wife.
make me hear the sounds of joy and of happiness
let the bones you crushed be healed
and feel joy again.