Some memories feel like they were lifetimes ago, then there are the memories that feel like they just happened seconds ago. It’s always been this way with Ezrah. I fought postpartum fog like a champion, making sure to lock in everything my exhausted brain could hold to ensure that her life would be remembered. I think it’s been a blessing for me. Even though the circumstances have not been what I would have ever desired for her story. When I remember all that has happened in her 9 years of life, I can’t help but testify to the goodness, faithfulness and the never changing presence of God in her life. He has always been there.
I have watched over this last year a little girl who is vastly approaching tween years. Is it just me or are girls growing up faster than ever?!? Even in all our attempts to shelter her from a world that craves and demands girls to grow up and become things that can be used and abused, tossed and moved on to the next thing, I still see the influence the world has. In my frustrating moments of motherhood, when her tears are flowing because of mean girls at school, awful boys commenting about her body or better yet dealing with whatever life sized emotion she is experiencing, in it all, I am thankful I have the chance to work through those things with her.
Ezrah experiences everything with all that she has. She doesn’t go into a new situation with caution, she doesn’t gently dip her toes in, she doesn’t wait to see other’s hesitations. Nope, if she wants to do something, she runs straight towards it with abandon.
Ezrah May, in all of her limitations, all of her detours she has to take daily to just live a normal life like her peers, has decided to take it all in, the good and the bad.
This realization is actually incredibly healthy for me to take in right now. Because when you have a child that sees the world as an open book, with empty pages, ready to be filled in…you have to make sure to not taint those pages with your own fears and worries.
Her strength is the very thing I prayed for, it’s the very thing that doesn’t allow fear to hold her back. To not dwell on the hurts that happen when CF holds her back from doing what she wants to do.
I watched her recently light up when we shared a meal with 2 friends during our medical travel. It was unexpected and just what her old soul in a tiny little body needed to have. She got to sit and talk with a highschooler, who by the way is as sweet as they come. She sat there and answered all the burning questions a brave little 9 yr old could fathom while she sat across from the person she saw as the wealth of information on the world. It was precious. It allowed Ezzy to dwell on other things then the looming day ahead of appointments in a tiny little room.
Traveling for medical appointments is hard. It causing stress on all parties involved, the ones that go and the ones that stay behind. If I am the one chosen to take her, then I try my best to make it fun. To set some extra spending money aside so that a little spoiling can happen. I try to fill the day and hours leading up to her appointment busy and light, because I have learned that those 6 hours of seeing specialists, getting poked, having a massive Q-tip shoved down her throat, her body examined and being asked a list of questions can be too much for her. I watch the anxiety rise, but instead of her acting it out, she stuffs it. She holds it in. Not willing to show her cards. Her big eyes watch the door and she braces when she hears it open, I see her process “oh it’s that person, so this is what is going to happen…”. She doesn’t talk about her feelings. She draws, she lets herself get lost. It’s how she has managed to walk this journey. It’s how she is growing up, seeing the world differently.
In all that, I guess what I am trying to say is that in all the things we have had to adapt to, due to CF, I am so thankful that she has is having normal growing pains. There will always be mean girls and I will talk to her about them until I am blue in the face, because let’s face it, they never go away, even in adulthood, am I right? I will listen to her break down in tears over the stupid boy who can’t help but pick on her because he doesn’t have the skills or awareness to address his own feelings, because in a few years those tears will be different tears, over a stupid boy. I will concede to her daddy, the little girl whisperer, when her emotions are bigger than my adult body and thank the Lord he gave him to us, because in it all, Ezzy is having a chance to experience life like any other 9 year old girl.
I am thankful that she hasn’t let the hard parts of her story overshadow the parts that are shining right now. She may be growing up in a broken world that wants her to fit into a box because of her gender, that wants to put unreasonable expectations on her, that wants to exploit her innocence, that wants her to be a slave to comparison and question her self worth. But let me tell you about my girl. She won’t be anyone’s pawn. She won’t bend just because she is told to. She won’t compromise because you want her too.
And for that, for all that is part of her story, I am thankful. Because the world needs strong women in it. Women who aren’t dictated by their fears, worries, or concerns. Women who aren’t held back because of another’s opinion about them. The world needs more courageous women who look at their story and don’t wallow in self pity, but instead smile and say “that won’t break me, just watch”.
Today Ezrah May is 9 years old. She has one of the best senses of humor in our family. She is so witty. She sees the world differently and in return can read you faster than anything, so don’t try and hide your story from her, be honest with her, tell her where you are at, you will be surprised how much she already knew. She loves fiercely, but needs you to show vulnerability in feelings, because she has spent 9 years stuffing vulnerability… If you tell her she can’t, she will prove to you she CAN. Her memory is one for the books, so don’t think you can get away with anything. She dreams of being an illustrator and author one day. She can’t wait to be a teenager so she can have her own phone. She talks about college and looks me straight in the eyes every single time, because she NEEDS me to know she is going. I watched her be the smallest one on the court and she never once let that define her ability to play ball!
Happy birthday to my miracle baby!!!