Monday, March 8, 2010

Lizard Catching Shoes

Today is my oldest child's eleventh birthday, and so it is the perfect day to introduce her. 

Happy Birthday, Miss Proper!  

I am so thankful for the daily gift that she is in my life.  Each day when I look at her, I remember that she is a miracle.  

Eleven years ago at precisely 8:00 pm (because this child is nothing if not precise and punctual), Miss Proper made her way into this world, yellow and grimacing.  She did not scream.  She did not cry.  She did not pink up.  The nurses and doctor rubbed her back and legs while clearing her nostrils and mouth.  Still, a small grunt was all she could muster.  The neonatal nurses rushed in and whisked her off to NICU.  She couldn't breathe, and we didn't know why.  The doctor came in explaining and updating.  "We don't know yet... the next 24 hours are critical."  He used profuse doctor-speak and told us she had suffered a spontaneous double pneumothorax.  In Reckless speak, both of her lungs exploded and became riddled with holes when she tried to breathe.  I looked over at my husband and my parents.  All our eyes were widening and brimming with tears.  My dad quickly said, "That is God's little girl, and He is going to take care of her."  So, we all did the only thing you can do when faced with the unexpected and unexplained; we prayed.  And, our prayers were heard, and they were answered with unequaled speed and skill.   A miracle.  A blessing.  There is a bigger purpose for Miss Proper.  I love watching it unfold, even if I do get mommy-worry from time to time.
Fast forward eleven years.  I could say, "Where did all the time go?"  However, I know that most of it has gone to the ordinary, mundane activities of daily living.  The stuff we must do... eat, sleep, clean, bathe, school, carpool, homework.  I can't remember every moment of her life.  There are those days and moments that I hope I will never forget.

Miss Proper, at the age of three, pranced into the kitchen with baby wipes wrapped and taped around her feet.  I, of course, asked her what she was doing.  She replied, "I am going to catch lizards, so I have made myself some shoes."  Nevermind that the child had no less than 20 perfectly good pairs of size 6 shoes hanging in shoe bags in her closet, she was on a mission.  Sadly, no lizards were caught that day, but I did catch the first concrete glimpse of the unique mind of my daughter.  She doesn't just march to the beat of her own drum; she grows the tree, makes the drum, and writes the song.  Lizard catching shoes would never occur to me, but I love them.  I hope she never changes.   

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