Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Never Knew I Needed...

A decade. 10 years. About 3,652 days. No matter how you say it, it's a pretty long time. In five days, Bella will turn 10. I have kind of dreaded this double digits birthday. She is quickly moving from a little girl to a pre-teen, and we all know what comes after that...

To say she has changed my life in those 10 years is an understatement. All of my kids have changed my life, but Bella has definitely altered it the most. During her 5,249,487.6 minutes on earth there have been times of true despair and heartache, moments of powerful clarity, instances of joyous celebration, and points when I was wrapped in straitjacket of fear. When I look back on her life so far, I am struck by how much she has amazed me and surpassed my expectations. I have pushed her past her comfort zones many times, sometimes with success, sometimes with severe resistance. Yet each time, she has come back stronger, realizing that pushing limits and breaking barriers is how you reach the next level.

Speaking of pushing limits, Bella had her 2nd official swim meet this past weekend. She did a great job. It was a challenging day considering the pool was completely unfamiliar, she hadn't been to a meet since October, and her mind was really focused on what she was going to do after the meet; spend the night at Grandma's with her cousin for a pre-birthday celebration. With all of those factors, Bella managed to shave 8 seconds off of 50 Freestyle putting her at 1:22.38. In her 50 backstroke, the good news is that she perfected her backstroke flipturn, the downside is that she DQ'd herself because she turned over at the end of the race to touch the pads. It's a shame because had she not DQ'd, she would have improved her time by 10 seconds. Oh well. She has another meet in just a few short weeks, so she can try again. The next meet is hosted by her team, so the pool will be familiar and there will be far fewer distractions. Besides, as it has been said before,"It's amazing how much more you can learn by making mistakes, than you can by making perfect decisions"-unknown
Life rarely gives you what you expect. It has been said that hardships and challenges define an individual's character much more than everyday experiences. I do think the curve balls are what keep things interesting. Did I ever think I would have a child with cochlear implants? Or that I would become a part time homeschool teacher to provide extra educational support for my child? I certainly did not, but now that I am here, I can't imagine life any other way.

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