Getting by with a little help from your friends

The date is picked, and the (e-mail) invites are sent.  I can’t wait for your 1st birthday party.

As we finish your first year, I’m in a place of gratitude.  It was most important to me that the individuals who really supported us this year be recognized in some way.  So, I’ve tried to invite everyone to your party who made a significant impact on either your day to day life or the lives of your Dad and I.  Your daycare teachers, who took care of you and your unique needs without making you (or us) feel different in any way.  They see beyond your challenges and see the lovable little baby that you are, while still showing a huge interest in your medical conditions.  Your physical therapist, who has come weekly, and shares in our joy as we see you reach each milestone.  Our friends and co-workers who brought food after your birth, who visited us at the hospital, who listened when we needed to talk.  A local mom whose daughter is 11 months older than you with a similar cleft, who shared information and friendship as we traversed your first cleft surgeries.  The nurse coordinator for the cleft team who helped us learn how to feed you in the NICU, and has guided and been there with us through every step in this process.

It ended up being a larger guest list than planned, but there were so many people to thank.  But this is YOUR party, baby girl, for YOUR friends.  We didn’t invite friends and acquaintances we know through your brother, or who are very likable friends of our own but somehow never connected to you and your challenges.  This is YOUR party.  We are having a pretty cake, but ice cream is the main event – I think you’d choke on cake and it wouldn’t be fun for you.  Ice cream – you can still get your 1st birthday sugar fix.  I’m so excited for you, Miss M!


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