Every night at dinner, we talk about two things: our favorite part of the day and our greatest challenge of the day. Sometimes we laugh together, sometimes we problem solve, and sometimes we talk about a better way that we could have handled the situation. This is a part of every night that I treasure.
At the dinner table last night, Kelsey shared that she had a “special announcement” to make.
“Family,” she formally addressed us first, “there is something that has been on my mind lately. I wanted to tell you about it.”
“Here we go,” I think.
“I have learned that the world can be beautiful and full of happiness or it can be mean and cold.” Her father and I looked at each other without really knowing how to respond.
“How at five years old has this been on her mind lately?” you may wonder at first. Then you think back over the past few months that she has endured: a hospital stay, four emergency room visits, weeks missed of dancing school, days missed of Kindergarten, an emergency visit to the NIH, steroids, a more potent medicine, a daily injection to better manage her pain, and the giant red patches that itch her and hide under her sleeves and her pants as a reminder of that daily torture. You think about the wonderful moments of the past month alone, including: singing Christmas carols, Santa Claus coming to town, a holiday show, family time, snuggling with her puppy, baking cookies, making ornaments, and watching holiday movies.
Thinking through all of the sorrow and triumphs, all of life’s challenges and favorite parts that we relive every night, I inquire, “What makes you say that Kels?”
“It’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. Most importantly, I really wanted to say, thank you for making the world beautiful for me Mom and Dad.”
Profound. Insightful. Beautiful.
Painful and joyous simultaneously. Her announcement gave me all of the perspective I needed to end the day (and 2016 for that matter) with a smile.
Here’s to hoping that 2017 is filled with far more beauty and much less pain for my beautiful daughter.
To many more favorites than challenges for you and yours in the year ahead, and to many more special announcements…