I came across the cutest picture of Jack the other day that I had forgotten about.
How cute was he here!? His little blue striped sweater. His piercing blue eyes. His curly hair. Love everything about it.
I can tell I am happy in this picture because we are out and about, not under RSV isolation. This was Jack's first summer out in public. We are at church. Just the simple things. The things you take for granted unless they are taken away from you. But I know under this happy smile is an anxious spirit. Worry that only a mother of a medically fragile baby could understand.
When I think back on the first year or two of Jack's life, I have a hard time not remembering the struggle, the anxiety, the depression. Sure, we were filled with indescribable relief about the very fact that Jack was alive. But it was not easy. We were grieving our old dreams that were sure to not come true and replacing them with new ones. The new dreams for our son. But do we even dare to dream?
The if only's...
The what will it look like?...
The please, God, please...
Now (with a couple years under my belt and in a much healthier place emotionally) when I see this picture, I wish I could tell myself this - Don't wish away the precious, beautiful days, where oftentimes it's hard to see past the struggle.
I remember spending so much time when Jack was little wishing, hoping, praying, worrying, and willing him to be healthy, to meet milestones, to skip certain diagnosis's. I was so afraid. My baby wouldn't eat. He could have a shunt malfunction. He could die from RSV. He may never walk or talk.
Here's the kicker - I wish I could have just relaxed. Cherished the moments, the struggle, all of it. The days go so quickly (even when is seems each second is dragging by). The seconds are perfect for cuddling.
I remember thinking things like "just wait until Jack can sit up on his own". Yes, life was easier once certain things were accomplished, but my worry, my stress, my anxiety did nothing but just add those negative emotions to my already volatile state.
Don't wish the seconds away, mama. Yes, you can wish the pain away, but that won't make time go any faster.
Even today, when I plead with God - please, just let me hear Jack's precious little voice say "mama". When I plead with God that Jack would just take a drink. When I worry about how he will learn in school. All those things and more. Don't wish these days away, even if they are filled with struggle. Jack will get to where he needs to be. I can still dream things for my boy. But I can't get back a single second.