After feeling progressively worse for the last six months or so, our beautiful daughter is back. The sweetness is back. Two weeks ago she could not climb this play structure. The anxiety had her shrieking by the first rung. Now she can.
Requests to get dressed, or get her shoes on, or brush her teeth, or do virtually any activity of daily living are no longer being met with blood curdling screams. She’s coping with her emotions. She’s aware of other people and their feelings. Who She Really Is, is being allowed to shine through.
The other morning, I wasn’t feeling well. Todd found her in the kitchen adamantly trying to squeeze a tea bag into a cold cup of water. She didn’t know to heat it first but she was trying to take care of me. She’d already made me a card. All this on her own.
We don’t do a sign of peace at church. This church hugs it out. The past two weeks, Riley circulated all over the congregation, (by herself) greeting people, offering hugs. Yesterday was birthday Sunday, where all the birthdays of the month go up to the front and she bopped right up there, took the mic, told everyone how old she is, and enjoyed being serenaded with the birthday song. Todd and I were just shaking our heads.
Yesterday morning, I asked her to fill out thank you notes from her birthday gifts, and she sat down and did it, with gusto. No talking her into it. No meltdown. No help needed. No “I don’t want to,” or “It’s too hard,” or “I’ll do it later.”
I am not kidding, the last 6-9 months, every little thing, EVERY THING was a huge production. Todd and I were hanging on by a thread. It wears on you over time and you start to lose your compassion. You start to lose your mind. Our house had gone to pot. No energy for deep cleaning, or yard work. It was hell for us, and even harder for Riley. Seth suffered too.
Three weeks ago I was dejected. I was giving up hope. I know that’s why my sister came. She just knew I needed help.
Todd called from work one day a few weeks ago and told me to look outside. There was a huge rainbow arching across the sky visible from our backyard. Todd was at the hospital, eight stories up, five miles away, right there in the sky with it.
Part of me gasped, I wanted to hope, so much. Part of me was like, eff the rainbow, I am so tired. This is no way to live. I admit to immediately flashing to a certain biblical review (hello M) and the absurdity of a God who would annihilate just about everyone and then offer “hope” in the form of a rainbow. Sorry Charlie, I don’t believe that.
I don’t know if it is the gluten free/dairy free diet. I don’t know if it is the new supplements. I don’t know if it is luck. Or prayer. It all coincides with the new doctor, so it seems we were right to make the leap.
I don’t know why it has been so hard, but I do feel there is a reason. I’m being called to do something, and I could not do it well without really knowing the darkness. I mean, we’d known darkness, but it had been a while. Riley is being called too. Her story is hers to unfold.
This on-line community buoys me. I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you for coming back time and again. Thank you for caring about this girl, this family.
My baby is ten and she’s back.
Thank you for celebrating with us as we emerge.