Sometimes we find ourselves pining for something lost, perhaps for something that never even was. It sneaks up on us, Jessica and I, and suddenly we realize that Namine is almost three years old. She is moving, she talking, she is more independent every day. Where is our little baby girl? She’s still small – she’ll always be small – but she’s not small anymore. She doesn’t have a baby face anymore; she has a grown up face, so it seems to us. Can’t we have our baby back?
It is only natural to feel nostalgic from time to time, to want what will never be again. But time has a way of erasing the worst pain, emotionally and physically. I remember my hernia, but I don’t remember the worst of its pain. I remember that it hurt, but I don’t distinctly recall the pain itself. And so it is with Namine’s growth: I think we forget how hard, how very hard it was. Taking care of a trached kid is hard. And the g-tube? Scheduled feeds, especially ones only three hours apart, suck. Super long hospital stays, trach infections, surgeries, frequent clinic visits (yes, even more frequent than now), the list goes on. Paul, come on. You want to repeat this? Absolutely not. Given the choice, I most definitely prefer now. Now that Namine is tube free (of which she reminds us daily), she is allowed more freedom than she’s ever had in her life.
Case in point: last night, I was cleaning up the living room. Namine’s high chair (the part that she sits in, that straps to a regular chair) was on the floor. Its booster extension was extended, and Namine has always had trouble getting into it when it’s at its highest, but last night, after some grunting and maneuvering, she got in, proud as could be. She strapped herself in and demanded that we eat.
And in the spirit of celebrating accomplishments – and leaving the past where it belongs – I’d ask you to join me in a round of virtual applause for Grateful Mama’s daughter, who is getting her trach stoma closed today. She certainly deserves it. After a year of being decannulated, she’s finally done. Namine’s own decannulation was only last September, with the stoma closure the following month (along with her clubfoot repair surgery), so we know exactly how she feels. From one post-trach family to another, congratulations, and welcome to the next step!