A belated birthday post about our Avery
We had a fun day with Ave celebrating the beginning of her 6th year. Since the girls were on Spring Break from school, Brian took the day off work so we could be all together. That night we headed up to Nashville to see Cirque du Soleil for the first time. It was amazing! Avery said she didn’t have a favorite part…it was ALL her favorite!
Although Avery’s birthday was 11 days ago already, today is a memorable one for us also. Six years ago today was Easter Sunday. I remember it because it was our first holiday with Avery. It began cuddling with our sweet six pound baby girl after she had slept all night and ended as the day we rushed her, only 11 days old, to the Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. It is the day our baby had emergency surgery to repair her bowels which had not formed correctly in utero.
We had only been home from the hospital a week or so. Friends were graciously bringing meals. We were all sleeping as much as we could, but Avery…too much. It seemed as though time stood still in our home, although we knew it was moving along as evidenced by just a glance at the flowers beginning to wilt.
That Easter Sunday night, the questions of my heart came to the surface. The Lord had laid it on my heart while pregnant with Avery that something was not right with her. Discovering this digestive defect was a moment affirming to me that I had recognized His voice. His whisper actually. And that I wasn’t just some crazy hormonal pregnant lady with fears and apprehension and crazy dreams at night. Something was wrong with our baby. And my heart had been prepared for that months in advance of ever meeting her.
I laid numb, this time from shock rather than an epidural, in the hospital bed next to her crib that night after her surgery. I turned toward the hallway windows where I saw nurses busy in the middle of the night. Her screams ripped at our hearts but we were completely helpless to do anything for her. She had more tubes and machines hooked up to her tiny body than I had ever seen. I laid there weeping as they took her away so we could rest. I hadn’t even bonded with this baby yet and could not imagine life without knowing her.
Tonight, as Ave gave me hugs and kisses good night, my chin rested just over her shoulder, huge tears falling down. I hoped she wouldn’t notice and she didn’t – but Brian did. How can you ignore a streaky wet face? Unless of course you are a newly 6 year old kid. As she wandered off into her bedroom to get settled in, he asked me what was going on. I grabbed more kleenex to clean up my face and as I started to speak, Avery began doing Indian tribal chanting noises in her room. “I can’t imagine life without her.” And the rain dance song or whatever continued at full blast in the other room. “I want to cry so bad and I can’t stop laughing!” I told Brian.
Avery is such a spirited and passionate child, and when used for good it makes our hearts swell. When used otherwise, I remind myself that she probably gets it from her daddy. Today she is a healthy little girl with no lingering health problems. I can not forget how the Lord provided for all our needs throughout this ordeal. Images of parents with their children walking the halls of the hospital are seared in my mind. The artwork on the wall of the nurses station made by their favorite returning patients. So much more than meets the eye…
Birthdays call for great celebration but my kids have taught me that every other day does as well. Look for it.