Time is a funny thing.
That first year after Owen was born..that time was dog years and then some. I’m not sure time could have moved any slower. Each minute felt like a century.
People would often say, “this will get better” and it did nothing for my perspective. The next ten minutes ahead of me seemed so far away that I really couldn’t see a glimmer of light at the end of that tunnel of time. It’s not that I didn’t believe it would one day get better. It’s that time was moving so slow that those days to better were too far away to start thinking about.
The smaller and sicker your child is at birth, the higher the risks for long-term delays and disabilities. We knew Owen was very high risk in terms of long-term issues. In the early days of ANRC, I shared a post, Preemie Parent Curse: The Known Unknowns. I went over so many questions we had about Owen’s future; would he walk, would he talk, would he eat, and on and on. The answer to those questions seemed so far away.
I hated the wait. I wanted predictions. What was Owen’s future going to be?
And then something funny happened with time. It went from a snails pace to warp speed. Thirteen months have gone by since I wrote that post. I’m not really sure where the time went. I look at Owen’s pictures at that time last year…just learning to support his own head.
And now look how far he has come.
There is still a lot I don’t know about Owen’s future. I still fear that other kids might not accept him because he isn’t doing everything they are. It, of course, would be easier to prepare if we had a crystal ball. But do you know what? Whatever my worst fears were a year ago, Owen has already surpassed them.
I received an email from a mom who recently received a PVL diagnosis, she wanted to find some hope. I replied that nothing I said would probably be the right words for hope, but if she really wanted to find it, she should look at her daughters. The fighting that they have done in their short life to date…these babies never lose that fight and drive.
The unknowns are still there and they are concerning, but concern is different than worry.
I know that Owen is determined to be his best. It used to be his best was making it through the day with the help of a lot of medical intervention. Today his best is asking for his “nau-kie” (pacifier) and “nana” (blanket) after a busy day climbing on the toddler gym. Tomorrow his best will be something else.
Sometime in the last year, my focus has shifted to what Owen can do instead of what he maybe won’t do. I know that soon enough, maybe even too soon, I will have all the answers. He’s growing up on me so quickly (starting school on Monday EEEEKKKKK).
Most importantly, whatever his future holds, I know he’s equipped to handle it. Yes, Owen will probably have some differences from his peers…but you know what, I’ve finally realized…that’s okay.
In some ways, it has taken an eternity to get to today, in other ways I can’t believe he’s already almost 26 months old. Time may be the most subjective measurement of all. It feels different for each second, minute, day and year.
I am not “over it“, but I’m also not wishing time away anymore.
That’s worth something, right?