Today we celebrated Tehilla's 4th birthday. Pictures will be at the bottom.
I really can't promise no tears. I remember those early days too well. When I watched over this little baby, hooked up to machines. Noises and beeps resounded in the room. Alarms went off which sometimes brought nurses running and sometimes stabilized on their own.
She was naked with a bandage over her chest and a diaper on. Nice heating lamps kept her comfortable and a blanket that I had received from Sisters by Heart was by her side at my insistence.
She had blue intense eyes that seemed to be speaking to me and no hair to speak of.
She could destabilize at any moment and be gone forever. I told myself, "She is here for now, but there's no telling what will be in the next moment. Don't dream of the future. Don't hope for tomorrow. Just pray right now."
And everyday she succeeded. Everyday she overcame. Everyday she grew stronger.
She came home and was unstable and fragile for 14 months. She survived. She developed. She achieved. I still told myself, "Don't dream. Don't think about the future. Live in today. Today is good."
She grew, she surpassed, she lived. I started to dream. I started to tell my inner voice to shut up, to let me believe in the future.
She's 4 years old. She can jump and skip and sing and count and drive us all crazy.
Let me tell you about the future, I never allowed myself to dream of. She will go to ballet classes next fall. She will get her ears pierced at age 5 1/2 because she pestered us to give in and not wait until she is 6. She will go to the same elementary school as her siblings and need to be taught to sit still and do her homework. She will be fierce and not allow herself to be bullied, but be kind and befriend the girl sitting by herself. She will scare the crap out of us while she learns to ride her bike and falls repeatedly. The same will happen when she insists on rollerblading with her big sister. She will demand a pet of her own because everyone else in the family has one and we will give in. She will continue to grow and succeed. She will be healthy and strong and perfectly- miraculously- normal.
That is the future that I can dream about.