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Monday, November 17, 2008

Beating, Hopping Heart

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking (crawling, hopping, wheeling...) around outside your body."
Elizabeth Stone

My heart hops outside my body. Without a doubt. I am truly head-over-heels in love with my sweet Ellie. I breathe in her giggles and melt at the delicious smell of her voice. My love for her is all-consuming and enveloping.

I realized that this week.

Of course, I've known for a long time that I've been madly in love with my Ellie. But, sometimes, the reality of it all, the depth of it all, the goodness of it all, becomes more poignant and alive. Last week was one of those "sometimes".

Perhaps Bama just brings out the best in us! We spent the week there and Ellie was such a delight. She is just so fun to be around. And I am so very proud of her. Although the distance between us and our Southern family and friends is heart wrenching, the great thing about twice-a-year visits is how impressed they are by Ellie's progress. It's such a good reminder for me, so often entrenched in the day-to-day mire, to see Ellie's progress through the lens of a wider timeline. Because Ellie IS amazing and her progress IS spectacular!

And you know what else? I want the world to know that she's spectacular. I know that sounds like a "well, duh" statement, but it's actually a really deep concept for me. I struggle a LOT with people's perceptions of Ellie. I am always hyper-sensitive when in public with Ellie. "That person looked at Ellie for more than 2 seconds, so SURELY she notices that Ellie's different and is wondering what's 'wrong'..." or "I gotta make sure that Ellie's wearing shoes, because I want her to look as NORMAL as possible so that people won't stare..." or, well, you get the picture.

But, last week, in the Atlanta airport, when Ellie wanted to "play on the floor, Mommy!" I thought, "My sweet baby, who's been sitting on airplanes for the past 8 hours wants to play on the freakin' floor, so I'm gonna let her." And I did. And I didn't care. I didn't care that typical three-year-olds don't hop around like bunnies. I didn't care that typical three-year-olds don't stiffen their legs and "swim" on the floor. All I cared about was that Ellie was gloriously happy, stretching out her legs and building up her immune system by touching every imaginable airport-floor germ known to man. And then, when I asked her if she wanted to "walk" a little bit (while I held both her hands, of course) and she immediately answered with an enthusiastic, "Yes, Mommy!", I didn't care that people noticed her little legs crossing. I didn't care that her face showed obvious concentration upon each step. All I cared about was the little giggle that escaped her pretty lips each time she took a step and I exclaimed, "Good job, Ell!"

Some people stared. I noticed the looks. I also noticed that the expressions on those faces were of admiration. I bet several of the onlookers wanted to say, "She's beautiful", but felt it inappropriate to do so. Because Ellie IS beautiful, inside and out.

I simply delight in her.

My fairy-princess heart:




5 comments:

Amber said...

she is absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing her with us..

Jane said...

I just love that sweet girl. And her rockin' parents!

Bill and Melodie said...

She IS beautiful and we are so happy we got to see her and her amazing accomplishments! and we're glad we got to see you guys too : )

Peitricia Mae said...

Of course theirs were looks of admiration.

But not just for Ellie, although she is Little Miss Accomplishment!

For her mama, too. Who is just as beautiful and accomplished and awe-inspiring as her sweet, sweet little girl.

Patyrish said...

This entry brought tears to my eyes. She is amazing I can see it through the computer screen.