This post comes a few days after your 10th birthday Sporty but I promise you it’s been on my mind for weeks before you hit your double digits. I’ve actually been dreading this milestone even more than I’m dreading my big 4-0 later this week.
Sporty, I’m not sure where the time has gone. I know it sounds cliche but somehow between doctor’s appointments and softball practices and everyday life, you grew up. No longer my 4lbs of fury but a strong, resilient, smart, caring young lady. And it hit me, as fast as these 10 years have gone, I know the next 10 years are going to go even faster and that will make you 20 and that just makes me want to cry! You and your brother want to grow up so fast and I get it but stay young as long as you can! Stay young and carefree and fearless as long as you can because before I can blink, you’ll be 20 (and I’ll be 50 and well, that’s not acceptable!).
Your milestone birthday has got me thinking about those days 10 years ago following your debut. You were so small and we were so eager to start your treatment. You had a birth defect and 10 years later I can admit I was ashamed. Not of you, I could never be ashamed of you but rather that people would think I did something wrong during my pregnancy to cause your birth defect (and I hate that word because there was nothing defective about you, you just needed a little construction). I ate organic, I didn’t eat sushi or deli meat, I didn’t drink, I never smoked, I never did drugs, I took my prenatal vitamins but yet I had a baby with a birth defect. And I was ashamed, despite countless doctors telling me it was nothing I did, that short of it being genetic they weren’t sure what caused Clubfoot, I was still ashamed because I grew you, I carried you for 8 months and I didn’t do it right. I failed you. I made your life harder than it needed to be because the gene that causes feet to develop properly mutated. Despite science and facts, these feelings of failing you didn’t go away.
This is my biggest regret today. I wish I had taken more time to look at your perfectly newborn feet pre-correction. We only have a few pictures and now I find myself searching for those, reminiscing at how far you’ve come. All of the casts, surgeries, AFOs, braces that you’ve endured to live your best life ever. And that’s what you do. You have no fear, you live every moment to the fullest, you jump from rock walls, you slide into bases, you ride your bike off of curbs (despite my helicopter parenting advice not to do so). Now the shame has been replaced with pride and purpose. You and me kid, we were given Clubfoot for a reason.
So on your 10th birthday, my advice to you is…continue to live your life to its fullest, climb every mountain, round every base as fast as you can, ride your bike around the neighborhood like you’re crossing the finish line at the Tour de France (or Little 500, I don’t judge), block wild pitches at home plate like the game winning run is at 3rd base because 10 years ago we were told that you would barely be able to walk and compete in PE and here you are, proving it all wrong. Showing the world what you’ve got, showing that the human spirit is stronger than medical statistics. You’ve had bumps along the road but you continue to amaze and inspire us along the way. So happy double digits, I can’t wait to see what this year brings for you!