They say time heals all wounds. I'm not sure about that, but it does certainly soften those sharp edges quite a bit.
It's easy to forget the pain of labor. It's easy to forget the long months of sitting in uncomfortable hospital chairs. It's easy to forget the fear when the doctor says she won't want or talk or play or learn. It's easy to forget those first important decisions you make as a parent - signing consent forms for blood transfusions, vaccinations and surgeries. It's easy to forget the pain in your heart when you see your tiny, helpless little baby with IV's sticking out of her feet, hands, and head. It's easy to forget just how fragile she was, how scary it was to hold her. It's easy to forget the misery of waiting through surgery for an update from the doctor. It's even easy to forget a long, sleepless night spent watching a nurse resuscitate your baby 8 times every hour. It doesn't take long to soften all of those emotions - the pain, the fear, the tears and the heartache - and make them seem just like a little piece of the distant past. What once consumed your entire being, now you look up on and talk about with ease, with a non-chalant air.
That will never cease to fascinate me.
Six years after that experience - one of the most formative experiences of my young life - I'm watching my little girl learn to read at a pace I can't keep up with, run circles around me (even on four legs!), laugh and giggle and play and talk more than I really even care to listen. She's sleeping peacefully on the couch right now with her dog at her feet, and it brings tears to my eyes to think of all she's been through, how strong of a little fighter she was, and just how amazing she is now. She brought me more pain and fear and heartache than I could ever have imagined I'd be able to survive, and each day she brings me joy and laughter and happiness, more than I ever thought I'd have.
I'm a lucky mama. She's an amazing kid.
And she turned SIX yesterday!