My baby girl. A long time ago, I struggled to keep you inside me long enough to keep you alive. You always want to be first…to get something done before everyone else. You weren’t supposed to exit until mid-October. You chose your own birthdate instead.
9.9.99. Unique…just like you. Then: teeny tiny. Now: 5’6″.
So, today you’re 12. TWELVE. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I tried to kill you with a jalapeno (it was an accident, OK?) and you tried to eat the cat. What about the day I had to go to school because you drew a hippo on your desk with a Sharpie (because your teacher wouldn’t let you bring Boo Boo to school)? We’ve had Abba karaoke dance parties with your cousins, and held each other to cry when we lost Non.
Other things haven’t changed—you still eat bananas like we have a tree in the yard. Even as a baby, you had me read to you for hours on end…and now, you sit and read and read and read to yourself. You’re so empathetic and extremely helpful (seriously, I don’t know any other twelve year olds who can help change a feeding tube without batting an eye). You’re funny—so funny (you have the sense of humor of your Popeye….very punny!). This life we were given to share has been such a blessing!
Now you’re entering this whole new phase of life called puberty.
I know, I know–we’ve talked about it ad nauseum. You know the very graphic details of what is going to happen, but you don’t know the secrets to it. There will be days when life won’t be fun. There will be moments of anger and moments of heartbreak….but you have to go through these moments on your own (we all have to). Life is not perfect. Make the best of what the day brings you.
Puberty: It’s not fun. It’s not pretty.
YOU are amazing. WE will get through this together.
Some kids, they don’t get along with their Mom when they go through this puberty bit. I’m thankful (oh so thankful!) that you talk to me about everything….that you may not always be happy about what I ask of you, but you do it…that you remember that family is best. I could do with a few less eye rolls and a lot less trying to get the last word in on anything I say (in case you want to work on that).
And speaking of family….thank YOU for showing me what it means to be a True Mother. There are Mom’s out there who don’t care, who use their children as pawns in a twisted game, who manipulate. You taught me to stand up, fight, and prove to everyone that a Mother is the person who would do anything (really…anything) to protect her child(ren). I will never regret making sure that you and Jack are protected from as much ugly as I can (unfortunately, you never know when Ugly is going to call you up and ruin your day!).
Welcome to the next phase of your life, my sweet girl young lady.
I am so proud of you…YOU….the J-bird.
Just grab my hand…we will do this together. Always.
Author: au·thor (ôthr)n.a. The writer of a book, article, or other text.b. One who practices writing as a profession.c. One who writes or constructs an electronic document or system, such as a website.d. An originator or creator, as of a theory or plan.(American Heritage Dictionary)
Within the walls of my home, lives an author. She is shy and quiet until you get to know her, and then she is funny, quick witted, and animated! She also possesses a very sweet spirit—one full of empathy; always ready to help.
Her name is Janson.
My daughter… I am so proud of her.
A few months ago, while at the GI doctor with Jack, I noticed a new magazine on the counter. Actually, it was a pile of magazines. It was entitled “Something Special.” I read on to find out that it’s a magazine for Savannah’s special needs families. They have all sorts of interesting articles and ideas. As I read on, there was an article about Cerebral Palsy, only in the title Palsy was spelled “Palsey.”
Being the person that I am, I could not allow this to be! So, I took the magazine, and came home to email the editor.
After some back and forth on the email, she asked if Janson would write an article about her brother for their section called “Our Special Siblings.”
Begrudgingly, and after much, shall we say “encouragement,” she wrote.
She handed me her writing. I read it silently. And then I cried.
I am so proud of her…and her heart.
(To read her article, click here and go to page 10.)
The text of what she wrote is here:
“My name is Janson and I am 10. Jack is my brother, whowe adopted. He’s 3, has cerebral palsy, and a feeding tube. Hiscerebral palsy means that he can’t walk very well so he rides in awheelchair. He doesn’t eat much so he has PediaSure through afeeding tube at night. His lungs are not very healthy because hewas born too early and because he aspirates whatever he eats. So,we have to be really careful about germs. To keep him healthy, I dohome school, which I really like. He also can’t talk very well. Wespend a lot of time at the doctor and at therapies. It’s nice to havehim for a brother because he likes to play with me. He really likesplastic animals and people. He isn’t as nice when he hits me. Heonly hits because he is frustrated when we don’t understand him, sowe all learned sign language. Even though he is not perfect, he isthe best brother ever!”
Where to begin…Well, yesterday I had my first “official” discussion with the Department of Families and Children. If that wasn’t a joke! I have 30 days to turn in all the paperwork—I have to have 62 pages filled out by Jack’s primary physician, a new updates IFSP done, all his surgery notes, a listing of all his other doctors, therapy notes… (I am telling you, IF I was president I would make sure all these places were staffed with parents/grandparents/cousins,etc of special needs people—a little EMPATHY would be nice, if not a little grace!) I delivered the packet to Dr M this morning when I took the kids to get their flu shots. Which brings me to today….Our county has off school today. Just today. Yep, they went yesterday, and they go tomorrow. And next week, it’s the same thing. Go Monday, Off Tuesday, Go Wednesday…who decided this? Clearly not a mom. So, we go to the doctor and deliver papers and get flu shots. NO problem. On the way out, I was listening to the radio and they said “No lines for voting if you go now!” I dashed to the precinct. When I got there, the poll worker said, “Ma’am, the line’s great! It’s down to under 2 hours!” I waited in line—with the rest of Savannah—for 75 minutes. In that time, I had lots to think about:* The School Board should have to vote at the same time as all the other Stay at Home Mom’s who were voting with me. 300 screaming babies can’t be wrong!*Jack’s head bounced off the floor 4 times in that span of time. I’m fairly sure the lady in line in front of me called DCFS on me. She kept making smart comments about how “clumsy” Jack was. When I had had enough, I looked her in the eyes, and very calmly (without crying for once) told her that he is CLUMSY because he has cerebral palsy. She never missed a beat and told me she thought only “crack babies” got cerebral palsy…I told her he WAS a baby addicted at birth–and I followed it with ” we adopted him, and we love him just the way he is.” She gave him a banana out of her purse. *When it came time for me to do my civic duty, I was so exhausted—and carrying a screaming baby (yes, Janson body slammed him as we FINALLY got to the front of the line. So I was threatening her with being grounded until she’s 35 through clenched teeth, while holding screaming Jack who had been in line for 75 minutes and was JUST DONE!)! I put my card in the machine, and went through my ballot as quickly as possible. It was horrible! I knew who I was picking for certain things, but then I forgot who I had researched and just started picking names that sounded good. Which leads me to my final thought as I walked out the door…* NEXT YEAR—ABSENTEE BALLOT!!!!!!!!
August 22, 2006J went back to school yesterday. I was lonely! The toothless wonder told her teacher that she’s going to be a big sister for her birthday! Now, if that happens, it truly WILL be a miracle! Thought I would share a picture of the baby’s room. At least, the part that’s completed. Because as of now, that’s all we’ve got. But that’s all the baby needs, right? Just a place to sleep. Still working on the rest, stay tuned!