Merrium Webster defines bravery as:
The quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty
I define bravery in much the same way, because I see it every day in my daughter. Tonight, on her 6th birthday, as I reflect on every detail of her birth, I see how truly brave she is.
Sophia has taught me strength by being strong. After numerous blood draws, pokes, and prods, she now bravely points to the arm she prefers, whimpers a bit, and declares when she is done that “Me ok!” Each time seems to get easier for her, but my mama heart always breaks a bit to see this done to her.
Attending school now, she has encountered so many new things that have been scary and overwhelming to her. She has faced those fears head on, found out how to deal with them, and bravely declares every day over her shoulder, walking in to school that “I brave!” Yes, baby girl, you are the bravest!
Numerous trips to the doctor being held down for ear examinations, would definitely deter me from returning. Nope! Not Sophia. She waltzes in each time, waving at the office staff as if she is a local celebrity. Actually, she kind of is, due to the fact hang out there a lot! After an exam that brings tears to my eyes, Sophia wipes her tears, says thank you, and initiates a hug to the doctor. That is pure bravery sprinkled with a golden heart.
I think it is so normal for special needs parents to fear. Fear the future, the obstacles, the unknowns. Oftentimes, we need to breathe, sit back, and let our children lead us. They are the brave ones. We need to take lessons from them! Fear is going to come for us, but we (I’m talking to myself here!) need to know their capabilities and move out of the way.
So my Dear Sophia, on your birthday, I am going to get out of your way. Now that doesn’t mean I am going to stop worrying or staying awake at night with anxiety. Let’s not get crazy here! However, it means I am going to try my hardest to remember YOUR bravery and strength, when I lose mine. Remember what YOU have fought through and overcome when I get nervous of what is to come. You my little birthday girl will move mountains. I just need to remember to get out of the way.