Ten. Our daughter Ren turned 10 years old this week. TEN! Ten years ago, we brought into this world a beautiful little girl with spina bifida. We had no idea what our reality would be. I still remember the night of her birth. As I was lying down preparing for the C-section, I put all trust into God’s hands. I was nervous, but at peace. I remember saying, “Thy will be done, Lord.” Well, His will is pretty awesome. It has been ten years of some challenges, some extra work, some scares, some hospital stays, some disappointments, some sadness, but mostly….JOY. She brings so much JOY into our lives.
Ren enjoyed three celebrations of her birthday. One at her grandparents with cousins, aunts, and uncles; one at our house with just our family; and one with her friends from school. She was happy with every single one of her gifts, as usual. She had just a pink birthday cake, because she could not think of any theme to have. Apparently she is too old for that. I asked about a Frozen theme, and she cocks her head to the side, chin down, gives me a look and says, “Mo00mmmmmmm!” as in – are you kidding me? TEN!
She received a little extra surprise gift for her birthday too. We had gotten this toy ATV about a year ago. Since it is difficult for her to roll around in her wheelchair outside in our yard, we thought this would provide a way for her to be able to ride around the land in a faster, more efficient way. However, it was foot-powered. She had to press on a pedal with her foot to make it run. She is unable to do that. She needed it to be hand-powered. T attempted to start the task, but….it didn’t happen. So, I contacted an organization that does these things, and through them made some connections with the engineering department at a state university, but they were 3 hours away and it just never worked out to meet up with them. Since it’s now (finally) spring, I started thinking about it again, and on a whim the other night, I put an ad in a Facebook “for sale” area group, asking for help in modifying her ATV. I received 3-4 responses within a half hour. One of them said, “My husband can do it. He will do it for free.” Wow! I bring the ATV to him Friday evening, they tell us late that night it’s ready and we can get it the next day. Wow! We went last night to pick it up, and it works perfectly, and Ren LOVES it! She was SO happy and giddy trying that thing out. In watching her, the man said, “Oh, that just made my day!” He did it out of pure generosity and kindness. Just a nice guy wanting to help someone out. We gave him some pure maple syrup as a token of appreciation, and in their conversation, T also offered to set up his business website for him. On the way home, Ren says, “Can I practice riding that ATV every day??”
Since it has been 8 months since my last update (!), here’s a quick recap: In September she started school. She is in 3rd grade and still loves school. For Halloween, we made her Vanna from Wheel of Fortune and she won first place in her age group costume contest. In December, she stood up with her walker and sang with her class during the Christmas program (sadly, no good picture of it). In January (well, all Dec-Feb), she was at a lot of her brothers’ wrestling meets, making friends with strangers. In February she played in a piano recital, which she was so excited for and did a nice job. I played a duet with her…..we messed up….and laughed about it. And in April, she turned 10!
This girl is our little miracle. Our bundle of joy – literally. Happy 10th birthday, Ren!