I really enjoy reading everyone’s daily Thanksgiving posts-it’s really touching to have a glimpse into people’s hearts and lives and to share in their gratitude. I’m not putting the pressure on myself to post every day, but I do have several posts floating in my brain that hopefully I will be able to actually write and share.
Today, I’m thankful for my sweet, spunky Charlotte. I’ve said to several people that if someone ever wants proof that there is a God who knows better what we need than we know ourselves, just look at how our family went from three to four.
The practical, responsible side of me would never have chosen to get pregnant a year and a half ago. No way. I was struggling with managing life as it was, and on top of that, there was (is) the risk of conceiving another sick child.
And there was also the infertility component of our story. I don’t write about it much, because my focus is on our current struggles with Grayson rather than the struggle to get him here, but there was some struggle. And in total opposite fashion, Charlotte seemed to just appear. No planning, no struggle, no preparation. The surprise of a lifetime.
She is truly a gift from God. An adorable, squishy, squirmy, hilarious gift wrapped in a big pink bow (that she now will tear off her head, much to her mother’s chagrin). And God knew that I needed her, and that I need her now. Especially now.
In my heart, I know that if Charlotte wasn’t here, making me laugh, amazing me with what comes so effortlessly to her, and wearing me out with her antics, I would really be struggling. So much of my life right now is uncertain and has been for a very long time. Grayson, while relatively stable medically, is so far from the baby that he was. So much of his ability to connect with anyone has simply vanished. I love him fiercely and completely, but our relationship is frustrating. It’s very difficult to care for a child day after day and get very little feedback from him, sometimes not even a smile. It’s maddening to try and discern what thoughts and feelings are inside him that his body won’t allow him to express, and what is just simply gone.
Charlotte is my joy. I stand back and just watch in amazement. She is definitely hand-made by God because there is no part of her personality that came from her introverted parents! She is wild, loves being in the middle of the action, being the center of attention, and there’s not a shy bone in her little body. Yesterday at the music class family concert, it was pretty chaotic: tons of people, wild preschoolers dancing and shrieking, and lots and lots of noise. Charlotte bounced out of my lap, crawled to the middle of the room, and stayed right in the thick of the mayhem the entire time without looking back. I’m pretty sure my 9 month old self would have been buried in my mom’s lap or crying in the corner. Not this girl. She’s never once cried when I’ve left her anywhere; she’s just happy she gets a new environment to explore and new people to meet!
I don’t know what the future holds for my sweet girl. I rarely cry about Grayson any more, but my eyes tear up when I think about the pain Charlotte will inevitably face in her life surrounding her brother. I know God gave Charlotte the personality and strong will that he did for a specific reason, and I suspect part of that reason will be to fight for and speak for Grayson, as well as to manage the day when he leaves us. She already loves him so much, calling “Bubba, Bubba” when she sees him, and my heart hurts when I think about her having to say goodbye to him one day.
Thank you God for this most precious gift. Before she was given to us, I couldn’t imagine life with her, and now I can’t imagine life without her.