Remember that beautiful scene in Sound of Music when the Captain sings Edelweiss?
Every morning you greet me
Small and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me.
My heart melts each time I watch the father the sing to his growing daughter and my throat closes just a bit at the line "Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow, forever." It touches me so much because beyond the adversity that Micaela faces, she is forever blooming and growing. She has touched the world as God shows His mercy and power through her.
My little Edelweiss. My Micaela.
Right now that little girl is fast becoming a loud, active, and determined two-year old. She focuses a great deal of her time practicing her vocal skills and trying to do whatever she can on her feet. There is so much more going on in her brain than even I have realized.
A few days ago we were visiting family. It is definitely hard keeping tabs on Micaela when we are in other people's homes. In most ways, Micaela functions at about a 12 month-old level (crawling, babbling, and playing with basic toys.) That day I found her crawling around with a candy wrapper clenched in one hand.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I have been talking to Micaela like a baby. It is hard not to. I tell her basic things and repeat labels for people and objects. I'm desperate to hear those first words. But this day I "slipped" and told her exactly what I would have said to Adela. I said, "Micaela, that isn't a toy. That is a candy wrapper. That is trash. Could you please put it in the trash?"
Micaela's dimples popped out on her cheeks and she crawled over to the trash bin and threw the wrapper away.
All I could think was, "What? What just happened? Was that real?"
And those thoughts were quickly followed by, "What have I been doing?"
Like I said, it is so hard to know what is going on in that head of hers, but obviously, she knows so much more than what she is able to communicate to us.
It scares me. I hurt for her. How frustrating would it be for any of us to be prevented from communicating with those around us? It definitely contributes to the intense tantrums that we are experiencing these days. Plus, it hurts that I have been holding her back with my low expectations.
Parenting is such a trial for any parent. There are no books written for any specific child. There are no hard and fast rules that will prevent us from making mistakes or hindering our children's growth.
But guess what, children are amazing. Our little blossoms bloom and grow despite adversity and often because of it. I think of what we have went through as a family and the challenges we face everyday, but there are still smiles on my precious daughters' faces.
Soft and white, clean and bright, they look happy to me.
Thank you, God. Stay close to us, please, as we take our children through the journey of growing up. It is your love and mercy that keeps joy in our hearts, both now and forever.