“All they see is my leg.”
Callie shared that with me the other day. She was frustrated about the fact that everyone’s eyes automatically go to her prosthetic instead of her face.
I told her that was hard…..because that’s not what I see when I look at her.
I see….the line on the pregnancy stick. The look of joy, wonder, and amazement on James’s face when I told him. I see the yellow color “Pooh Bear’s Tummy” which is the name of the paint color we chose for her room with before she was born.
I see….our sweet little warrior in her incubator. The long zipper scar on her chest. The long eyelashes she got from her Daddy and the lavender crocheted hat the nurses made her. The medical alert bracelet that had my name listed on it because after so long, so many prayers, so many wishes……….I was finally a mama.
I see….tummy time and blowing raspberries. I see long nights rocking her to sleep. I see bath times and swaddling. I see her favorite little white bear, her rabbit rattle, and her pacifier. I see the way she used to pat my cheeks with her petite little hands. I see her bouncing up and down in her bouncer, grabbing fistfuls of puffs, and the tiny curls at the nape of her neck.
I see……..long awaited first steps. I see her little legs wobbling as the learn to trust themselves. I see five little fingers wrapped around her Daddy’s finger to hold on for balance. I see the look of pride on her face as she did it all by herself with her hot pink princess prosthetic leg.
I see………lunch dates and swimming in the pool. I see horseback riding lessons with Jazzy, Marston, and Elsa. I see trips to the zoo and afternoons at the library. I see a million grilled cheese sandwiches. I see finger painting and drawing with sidewalk chalk in our driveway. I see feeding the ducks and playing at the ranch.
I see……..first days of school. I see the huge backpack dwarfing her…..almost bigger than she was. I see gap toothed school pictures and artwork that adorns our fridge. I see stories she wrote and after school snacks. I see packed lunches and signed permission slips. I see school performances and report cards.
I see……meeting Winter the Dolphin. I see the huge grin on her face riding on the teacups at Disney and her messy face covered in ice cream after she devoured her treat. I see Mickey Mouse ear balloons and watching fireworks in front of the castle from atop her Daddy’s shoulders. I see marshmallows roasting on the campfire at Big Bend. I see a little explorer scaling the trails and running through the blue bonnets. I see a little swimmer in an inner tube in the Caribbean. I see Princess makeovers, meeting Mickey Mouse, and Frozen Broadway shows. I see a tutu dress with Chuck Taylors, dancing with her Daddy, and Mickey waffles.
I see………handmade Valentines, carved out pumpkins, and decorating Christmas cookies. I see hunting for Easter eggs, fireworks, and Halloween costumes. I see themed birthday parties, hand print ornaments, and flowers for Mother’s Day.
I see………a little equestrian. I see a tiny baby on top of a big horse. I see the first time she trotted with Jazzy. I see how at home she is on a horse’s back. I see the ear to ear grin on her face when she won her first horse show. I see her eyes eagerly searching for me in the crowd. I see how she always has treats for her horse and how she gives her a pat and hug after every lesson.
I see…..a tiny dancer. I see the first time she went to dance class and how excited she was. I see the swirl of a pink tutu and the shine of pink ballet slippers. I see inclusion into a world she hoped for and acceptance for her own unique talents. I see how fearlessly she took to the stage. I see how our tribe showed up for her. I see how proud she was of herself and the joy on her face after her first performance.
I see……..long days and short years. I see a warrior. I see the missing puzzle piece to our lives. I see a spitting image of her Daddy. I see the same stubborn streak of determination I have. I see countless bedtime stories. I see my best friend. I see the mountain of stuffed animals she insists on sleeping with each night. I see the courage of a lion. I see the kindest heart I’ve ever met. I see an individual with an eclectic set of interests. I see an inspiration. I see giggles and laughter. I see a little girl full of love and light. I see glitter and Starbucks cake pops. I see a miracle…….