Her Next Steps

In a few weeks I’ll be passing a torch. The one that I’ve been carrying for three years now, the one that represents a large portion of my time, effort, and heart. In a few weeks, I’ll hand Emmy’s educational and therapeutic needs to her new teachers and therapists, outside the security of our home. Outside my ability to watch over all that is taking place, beyond my boundaries of protection and safe keeping. Replacing it will be a kind of blind faith that she will thrive in her new environment and that others will be blessed by caring for her. ┬áReplacing it will also be a heartache I haven’t known yet-the beginning of a new chapter that is letting my vulnerable child go while still trying to keep a watchful eye. It seems a little impossible right now, at the beginning before I’ve tried, before I’ve experienced it in real time. It is the beginning of a trust I’ll need to know well in the years to come. ┬áI don’t think “difficult” quite captures my feelings around letting my bright eyed girl with the wide smile go into the world that will continue her education.

As her hand leaves mine for the first time, I want to convey that I wish for them to love her. As she wraps her fingers around theirs, I want them to think of her as a newborn that did the same to her Mama and Daddy. And how we marveled at her soft, dark skin. I wish I could recount for them her first painful months and the life changing moments we had following a diagnosis. If I could transport them back to the days when I searched her eyes for potential and promise, I would. I would have them with us in the room when she took her first steps and said her first words and they would see joy in its purest form as we watched her do things I secretly wondered if she’d ever do. I’d want them to see how her siblings have become different kinds of kids, ones who now notice needs beyond their own. I would want them to see how she turn heads and makes everyone feel special. I’d want them to realize a thousand things at once all adding up to the amazing little person of Emmy.

Maybe I could write it all down for them and hand them a novel-the story of how she’s changed us. Or a picture book, documenting the memories we wouldn’t have without her. But I won’t. Because they’ll see it for themselves and all we need is time and patience to watch it all unfold again.

I’m passing them the torch, but I’m still running and I’ll still be rooting for her for all the steps, turns, troubles and triumphs of her journey.