Thursday, May 16, 2013

Skip To My Lou


I can hardly believe that Ella's weekly ballet classes are winding down. Her big recital actually falls on her 4th birthday. What an exciting day! It seems like just yesterday that I brought her to her first class. That day that I couldn't even watch the whole 45 minutes without a break to cry in the bathroom. We have come so, so far from that first day....both Ella and I. I really enjoy getting to see her development and meet the moms in the class. Ella has learned a lot and I have seen her get a lot stronger. It has turned into a very nice group and I am sad to see it come to an end for the summer.  Ella also seems to enjoy class every week. She always smiles and she has met some very sweet little girls. She is not the most coordinated or graceful. Many times she can't do as much as the other kids, but she always gives it her all. 

This week in class the girls were learning  to skip and sashay. Many of the moves take quite a bit of coordination...something Ella lacks. She couldn't really do it. You would never know by looking at her face. She smiled from ear to ear, giggled with the other girls and proudly waved to me as she walk/ran/slid/hopped across the floor. She poured her heart into it, gave it her all. She was blissfully unaware of any difference. In fact, not one other little girl seemed to think Ella was any different. My heart melted. Isn't that what it's all about? Giving your all and feeling good about yourself. At least when you are almost 4, that should be what it's all about. 

The whole night has me thinking a lot. First and foremost, I am grateful. When we were given Ella's genetic diagnosis in the NICU, it was devastating. The genetic councilor had horrible bedside manner and coldly and scientifically delivered the worst news Jason and I had ever heard. The words mentally retarded still haunt me. I guess any genetic disorder has quite a  wide range of severity in its features but I feel like chromosome 18p deletion must top them all.  This genetic condition that Ella has ranges from being normal to having brain structure abnormalities so bad that the baby would be born with one eye.  Ella has two beautiful eyes. :-) She might not be able to skip yet, but SHE WILL. She will do so much more and I promise to be there to cheer her on every step of the way. In a few weeks, Jason and I will be front and center at the recital. We will be the proudest parents in that crowd as we watch her perform. I don't care if she misses a beat or even stands there and only smiles for the three minute performance. Just being on that stage she has far proven that geneticists and scientist don't really have all the answers.

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