The other night I watched my nearly 13yo son slice through the water, swimming fast, swimming hard. He lifted his head out of the water for a breath and submerged his face again in one quick move. As he reached the end of the lane, he flipped upside down underwater and resumed his freestyle stroke back towards the other end of the pool. He looked strong and confident... nothing like how he began life.
This is the same child who couldn't get near water because of the trach in his throat the first two years of his life. I remember taking him to the beach for the first time in his life at 2.5 years old. What a moment that was-- one I thought I would never see. I feel like God was saying then, "You think this is amazing.... just wait another ten years and see what I do with him then!" That same boy is now competitively swimming, and holding his own, winning ribbons and placing amongst the other boys his age. That was something I couldn't see from the NICU windows when he was born-- a future so far off it felt impossible.
Sometimes it's easy for me to forget how he started, what a miracle his life is. It's easy for me to see him just like I see the rest of my kids. To take for granted his health and his abilities. But in that moment, God reminded me. He stopped me and gave me the vision of him as he was superimposed over him as he is now. It was a moment of clarity and appreciation for what I have been given in this boy. I can hardly wait to see what he will be doing in ten more years. I am thankful God made me his mother so I could witness the scope of his life-- always holding what was up against what is, never forgetting how far we've come.
Note: This post is in honor of Ryan Kenneth Wlodyka, who was born at 28 weeks gestation and weighed in at 2 lbs. 12 oz. He came home last week at 4 lbs., 7 oz. and was welcomed by his two brothers and sister, who were most excited to have their baby brother home after a long ordeal. When they walked in from school that day, Amy was sitting on the couch holding him-- what a great surprise! I have known Amy since 7th grade and she has great taste in music, I must say. I confess sometimes I just pull up her blog and let the music play while I am online. :)
When Ryan was born Curt emailed her to let her know that God had given him a vision that was much the same as the one I experienced the other night. It was a vision of Neil (her husband) coaching Ryan from the sidelines in a soccer game. (They are a huge soccer family.) I am sure at that moment the idea of that tiny baby being strong enough to run and kick felt as far away as my trach baby competitively swimming. Ryan's homecoming was one step closer to that moment. May God be with Ryan and his family as they take more steps each day.
Congrats to Amy and Neil! Go tell her congrats at http://www.momcani.blogspot.com/!