With two arms planted firmly on the handles of her walker, she pushes herself up. Again and again. I look down at her feet.
She is jumping.
The smile on her face is as contagious as her giggle, and I find myself reaching for my phone to capture this moment. A moment that feels wonderful and victorious.
She is jumping.
I look at this little three-year-old -- full of life and personality and plenty of sass -- and part of me wishes that I could go back to that new Mom of three who was so full of fear and uncertainty. The one sitting in the waiting room, desperately searching for the nurse to tell her that her baby was awake and in recovery. The woman carefully bathing her child so that she wouldn't get water in her leg casts. The Mom wishing she had x-ray vision to prove that a shunt was working properly. The one who grieved over the harsh reality of a wheelchair...
I want to tell her that it is going to be okay. That most days, it will seem like life is just as it should be. That sometimes jumping looks different, but that different is okay. Different is good. Different can be beautiful.
I want to tell her that life isn't black and white, but it isn't gray either. It is colorful. It is walking with braces. It is rolling in a wheelchair. It is scooching across the floor. It is jumping with a walker.
And although what is happening today might not be happening tomorrow, there is still joy and a whole lot of love and a life that is more fulfilling than she ever dreamed.
I want to tell her that those three sisters she worried about...that they would be happy and in love. That they would still wrestle and fight but care deeply and help without hesitation. That their lights would shine a little brighter when they were together.
But another part me wonders if that Mom would have really appreciated the journey had she seen the outcome. I wonder if she would have felt the joy of the small victories had she not experienced the trials. If she would have seen the beauty, if not for the pain.
I look back, and I know that this path isn't one I would have chosen for that Mom or for that precious little baby. But I also see the many, many blessings that came out of all of it, and when I realize that, this Mom -- the one right here, now -- can only be grateful.
Thank you, God, for today. The pain of yesterday isn't gone and the uncertainty of the future still lingers, but today...today, she is jumping.