Over the weekend we attended the annual Special Needs picnic, put on by Children’s Hospital.

We always love coming to the picnic. It’s always good to see familiar faces. And even when we don’t recognize everybody — or anybody — we could never stop Namine from cruising around the room, saying hi to everyone.

As usual, there was a face painting station at the picnic. Namine can usually be depended on to get a butterfly or a flower on her face, but not this time. No, this time she had a pink domino mask in the shape of a bat. And a cuter Batgirl, there never was. (And ticklish, too.)

Crowded though it may have been (and fortunately Namine did not crash into anyone during her round-the-room cruising, only a couple chairs), we did have the chance to say hi to Dr. Gordon and Carrie, Namine’s special needs doctor and nurse. Some medical staff, Namine has never been happy to see. Some, she is cautiously optimistic.

But those two, she is always thrilled to see. She rarely has anything but smiles for them, and little wonder. They have always given her (and, by extension, us) the most excellent care anyone could ask for.

It blows my mind to think of just how far Namine has come. Of all the doctors’ predictions that she’s blown past (not the least of which are “trached for life” and “g-tubed until at least third grade”), she’s never had more medical support than from Dr. Gordon. He’s been on the front lines of her care as long as she’s been alive — pushing for her, fighting for her. We are fortunate to have him — and his entire Special Needs staff — on our side.

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