A couple weeks ago my neighbor came over to borrow a recipe.
Amidst our short visit she asked how Lucy was doing. I joked with her that I probably owe her some ear plugs and some treats for putting up with all Lucy's antics she can probably hear with precision from her house ten feet away. And I explained all her progress in school.
That sweet neighbor looked me right in the eye and said, "That girl is a miracle."
And I'm so thankful for that reminder because you know what? Lucy is a miracle.
But man oh man, she makes us worry like the dickens.
You see, Dave and I are worriers.
Worry is a "quality" that comes to us quite naturally.
So Lucy always makes us worry. If it's not her eyesight then it's her moodiness. And if the moodiness is on hold we worry about her mental progress. And lately those big worries have been pushed to the side as the more obviously present worry about her weight becomes more real and ominous.
We search for nutritionists who can help us with more than just telling us not to feed her sugar and soda (duh). For years we've been able to sneakily substitute in some dried apples or "delicious" grapes when the rest of the family is eating cookies or candy. We mix a tablespoon or so of whatever drink (juice or milk) she wants with water and it doesn't phase her. Not until recently has she started to give us the look, "hey wait, I saw that move..." I don't know whether to rejoice or cry that at four-years-old she "gets it" that we've been pulling the wool over her eyes for so long on the delights of sugar.
It's crazy how in our culture people look at you like you are completely nuts because you don't want them to give your chunky four-year-old a bowl of ice cream. She doesn't even crave that stuff and is pleased as punch with a carrot and non-fat dip, so why give it to her?
We don't have junk food around...even crackers or fruit snacks...we try to stay away from anything processed. Someone once commented on this blog with a question about how in the world we keep our weight down with all the junk food we have and I had to laugh. Little did that reader know that I was just showing the birthday treats, and an occasional holiday indulgences that we have to keep some sort of semblance of normalcy in our culture that is so chock full of treats and preservatives. Little did she know the blood and sweat that goes along with distracting a very-difficult-to-distract four-year-old on the sidelines to make our spinach smoothies mouth-watering and rice cakes delightful.
Lucy does have sugar here and there. We don't want her to feel "deprived" and we definitely don't want her sneaking treats or hoarding things. But we are trying our darnedest to teach her (and the rest of our kids) healthy eating habits because NOW is the time to learn that stuff. And because we care so darn much about her.
...and because I've seen enough more mature kids grown-ups with her same syndrome to know that if we can help with this it's going to make a big difference in her life.
But despite our very best efforts and the fact that Lu is pretty active jumping in the trampoline all day and running after her siblings, she gains weight. And it makes me ache for her future.
We want her to have so much joy in this life and being healthy is such a key in the joy factor.
BUT, you know what? My neighbor was right.
Lucy is a miracle.
Sure, she has her issues. And those issues are enough to make the hot tears prick at the back of my eyelids over and over and over again.
But she can walk. She can talk. She can run. She can play. She can reason. She's actually smart as a whip on getting just what she wants.
She has a great sense of humor. She has the best belly laugh I've ever heard.
She's potty trained.
And she can almost make a "four" with her fingers to tell people how old she is:Sometimes it just helps ease the worries when you know you are working with a little miracle.
We love this girl so much.