I took the kids to an indoor water park while we were visiting our family in Tennessee. They love swimming and playing in the water. While they played in the kid area I sat at a table right outside of the splashing zone just far enough to keep dry and take photos with my camera. I watched them run around playing with all the other kids there. This was the kind of moment any mother or parent would cherish. Watching your kids laugh and enjoy life is a special kind of memory that makes any of the parenting struggles all worth while. However this moment was extra surreal for me.
Watching Gabby run around, climb up the steps of the play area, slide down the water slide and even make new friends whom she chatted with to make plans of their next actions in the water area together meant a lot more to me than a regular mom experience. All of these things seem simple enough for an average ten year old, but these things are giant steps for Gabby. Milestones that I was once told would never happen for her.
When Gabby was first diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy the doctors all told me she would never walk and if she did she would never run. She would never have any use of her right hand and there was a high possibility she would never talk or communicate very well. Of course the past ten years haven’t been easy, to say the least, but years of therapy has helped and paid off. Plus several surgeries to provide some more possibilities for her have worked wonders.
Then in 2007 I was told again she may lose her speech and communication when she had her Hemispherectomy. Again, there was the fear of her not walking or possibly even death.
To now watch Gabby pull the strings on the water buckets to splash her newly found friends, run up the steps (not just walk) and slide down the water slide with other little girls she met and held conversations with all on her own, is a miracle to me.
So as I sat and watched my children play, I took a moment to thank God for giving my family so many blessings. In that moment nothing else in the world mattered and thinking back on the countless number of sleepless nights in the hospital at Gabby’s bedside seemed so minimal compared to what she has accomplished and where we are today.
I guess traveling to spend a family vacation at a water park really can wash your worries away.
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