There is on average about one awareness campaign a month that Jack could take part in, having certifiable membership.
Tube Feeding awareness
Cerebral Palsy awareness
Sensory Processing Disorder awareness
Vision Impairment awareness
...and on and on.
You see where this is going?
Sometimes it starts to feel a bit old. As in, these labels that are assigned to my kid are on a constant pedestal, demanding attention and awareness building and blogging and tweeting and instagramming. Sometimes I really don't feel like it.
Sometimes I just want to blog about how cute Jack is and what he means to me. I normally stick to that. I don't have any grandiose plans to use this space as a platform other than "yeah, my kid is a micro preemie... but look at how flippin' amazing he is."
I used to blog a whole lot more about prematurity. Maybe some of you found this blog through a search on preemies. I had a whole lot to work through and I wrote a lot because the premature birth of my son changed the whole trajectory of our lives.
But guys, truthfully, I didn't remember it was World Prematurity Awareness day until I logged into FB and saw some friends posting pictures of themselves dressed in purple. I had a moment where I was like "already another one of these?"
I debated saying anything about it. I ended up posting a photo of Jack's little hand, reaching up to me. The first time we touched, really.
Friends, I hadn't looked at this photo in years. Maybe the last time I updated my blog layout. Yesterday after posting this photo (maybe just another instance of Preemie Mama Guilt), I remembered how much of a significance this photo meant to me in the past. The power in it. The truth in it. The beauty of it. The remembrance that 1 in 8 babies are still born too soon. Of the amazing work of Embrace. Of how far medical advances have come, but how much further we have to go (especially in the developing world).
But I only offered up Jack's hand. I know some day I will do more.
Then late last evening the March of Dimes posted a photo of our very own Capitol building lit up bright purple. The lawn on which our picnic spot resides. This place, you guys.
You got my attention, World Prematurity Day.