One of my earliest childhood memories is my fourth birthday party. It was my very first sleepover and the theme was “flowers.” We didn’t have a lot of money at the time for decorations, so my mom drew all different kinds of flowers (daisies, roses, tulips etc.) on white poster boards and decorated our entire apartment with them hanging from the doorways and on the walls. She also baked me a cake. It was confetti flavored and had sprinkles with pink icing. I remember feeling so special and excited. Looking back, the entire day was simple, yet perfect. Twenty-six years later it still stands out to me not because of the amount of money that was spent or the level of theatrics that went down, but because of the way that my mom made me feel.
Those are the types of memories; or better yet feelings that I want to recreate for my son. He turned two on July 4th. We celebrated by taking a family trip to Sesame Place. It was just the three of us and Bub loved every moment. The entire car ride down his dad and I talked about the space that we were in two years ago when Bub was born and how far we’ve come since then. As many of you may know, when our son was born he was unexpectedly diagnosed with a life-long blood disorder called hemophilia. It was a very trying and scary time for us because we had absolutely no idea of how to deal with it or what the diagnosis meant. I remember staying up late at night worrying over whether or not my son would ever live a “normal” life. I would read countless forums and articles on the internet that were written by other parents whose children had the same exact diagnosis. I’d then create the “worse case scenarios” in my head and convince myself that something terrible was bound to happen. It got so bad that some days I would physically become ill because the anxiety of not knowing what my son’s future held just became too much for me to bear.
If you would’ve told me two years ago that we would be where we are now, I’d have a hard time believing you. In his short life, Bub has been hospitalized more times than I’ve been in 30 years. His trials don’t outweigh his triumphs though. My baby is thriving. He is smart as a whip, a ball of energy, and the bravest, most adorable little boy that I have ever laid eyes on. I pray for a living and speak life and good will over my son daily. Someday all we’ll have left is memories. The reality is that my son has a challenging life ahead of him. I don’t want the tough memories to be the only ones that stand out. So, I’m determined to make the good ones count.