Ellie turned 9 today. 9. I can't believe it.
She had a GREAT day too. She had a joint birthday party at school with her astrological twin Xavier who was born to the minute at the same time. How amazing is that, that these two babies both born out West ended up at the same - one-in-a-million pre-schools?
Ellie's favorite gift was a headset I gave her so she can listen to her iPad or iPod touch or her Voice output device with them. She liked them so much she wore them for the entirety of her birthday dinner even when we were not using any of the devices mentioned. When she was trying out the new headset with her toys she LOVED it!! Many, many giggles.
She also got this great little purple robot that talks back. It's called Willa by Fijit. It's hilarious and I was VERY impressed by the fact that Ellie accepted this new presence into her world readily. Those of you who have been with me for awhile have read stories from the YEARS when any new thing, especially toys, were considered baddies, not to be trusted or tolerated even in the same room. My little girl has come a looooooonnnnnggg way since those sensory integration filled days.
Ellie was smiling all day. She ended the day by snuggling up on me but into Daddy's shoulder - her preferred fall asleep mechanism. I am glad she had a such a great day and thankful to her teachers at her school who threw her such a great party and made her feel very special.
For me the day was a bit melancholy. I am haunted by the day she was born so many years ago. Though I had a very busy work day that included meetings and even a presentation, in even the smallest spare moments I could see certain scenes from that day in my minds eye. The pain and Dave making me go to the ER. Seeing her for the first time in the isolet hooked up to 20 tubes. Dave calling his Dad and pacing outside my recovery room door- freaking out.... And most of all the intense gratitude that she is still here with me, giving me this opportunity to be her mom. That she has done so well and is such a loving, smart, and sweet little kid. I feel grateful but sad too. It's been hard. And lately with building her an accessible room, working full time, and trying to finish my dissertation - we are at maximum capacity.
However, I think my visions of the past are the ghosts of all women of the day they became a mother. Ghost of emotions that run from total joy to complete horror in our case considering how wrong it all went. In the wake of it all, it's never far from my awareness and my gratitude that Ellie is a miracle and a wonder in that she can do all she does and that she is here to do it.