I had the saddest dream last night. I dreamt that I was in the hospital because Alta had some sort of accident. It wasn't clear what had happened, but the result was that she was in a coma. She awoke and the doctors were trying to asses the damage to her fragile mind and body. They ran many tests to figure things out and for days all she could do was lay there paralyzed and cry. Finally they told us that there was good news and bad news. The good news was that she had stopped crying and the bad news was that she was permanently paralyzed. I was devastated. What kind of life was that to live, I thought. Her brain function was already compromised and now her body was useless to her. I wondered if she would still manage to eke joy out of her life being so disabled. I awoke from my dream shortly after and was really distraught. After thinking about it for awhile I began to have an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I felt gratitude for the fact that Alta does enjoy the freedom of movement and that she is able to use her mind--albeit differently than most of us--to navigate the world around her.
There was a time when I would focus on all the things Alta couldn't do. I'm not saying that I don't have days where I wish/pray/hope/obsess about her being potty-trained; her being able to brush her own teeth; or being able to dress herself (correctly), but through this experience I have really been able to appreciate every iota of progress and every talent/skill that she does have. Had she been a "typically" developing child, I would have never been excited about proper trunk control, or the use of alternate feet when climbing stairs, or the ability to pronounce hard consonants-- those amazing feats would have gone unnoticed. I know I have said it before, but we are so blessed to have Alta--she has made such a profound impact on our lives. My perspective on life--especially my eternal perspective--has been forever changed.
Now if I could only find a market for her home-made confetti (made of toilet paper, wet wipes and book fragments), then I'd be rich. Extremely rich. Want some?