take that milestones!

Last weekend Isaac went for a ride on his bike, my little boy who spent his first year in the ICU and who can honestly list a variety of therapists as some of his closest friends did something totally normal for a 4 year old…. he rode his bike! Of course, his stamina is not that of a typical 4 year old, but he totally loved every minute of it.
Watching Isaac do “normal” things will never cease to amaze any of us. We have been blessed with a child who teaches us something new about ourselves regularly, he has lived through some pretty awful stuff – but in the end he is a pretty normal 4 year old. There have been times when we couldn’t imagine normal, and certainly didn’t take time to picture what normal would be like for Isaac – this is why these times amaze us.
Lately, I find myself more and more aggravated with some pretty normal stuff – I get very frustrated when I see someone working towards a goal involving a larger house, a more expensive car, the most high tech television, etc….. I cannot explain to them how NOT important these things really are. Fortunately, most people don’t know how bad things can get, and I am conflicted about that. Maybe sometimes we need to see the bad to appreciate the good. I hate seeing my Isaac hurt, with a passion. I have cried and felt unimaginable guilt while sitting next to him, when ALL I can do is hold his hand and tell him he is the most amazing boy I know. My husband and I have gone without paychecks for months on end, relying on our savings and the kindness of friends and family to pay our bills – because we couldn’t leave Isaac’s side. It sucks.
I decided a long time ago that it doesn’t matter how big my house is, we may very well stay in our 3 bedroom (defintely too small) townhome forever – what matters is that we have a roof over our heads and our baby’s are healthy. My husband and I will never drive a new car – because we know the value of socking away any money we can, just in case…. we have lived just in case. We buy a lot of stuff used, and I love a little thing called “freecycle” because it is FREE 🙂
I have to remind myself often that my friends haven’t lived our lives. While I am glad they haven’t, in a way I feel sad for them – we have been given a reason to find joy in the very smallest moments, and to find value in things that don’t typically scream “valuable”. Once you have seen a family mourn a child that you loved deeply yourself, or watched your own child lay in a bed with countless tubes and IVs hanging from them, or heard the cries in the hallway of a family that is living through their own version of hell with their child you can’t forget that. In fact, you live to honor it.
In this way, I am lucky – I hate some of the things I have seen and the moments we have lived – but without them I wouldn’t know that my 4 year old riding a bike could bring me to tears because of the sheer normalness of the moment.

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