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Jan 14, 2013 0 Comments
Yesterday, Jane turned three years old. Three!

Everyone asks, "How is Jane?" It's a big question that causes us to stop and a think. The big answer is, "She is great!" It might not always be obvious, but she is. She still can't walk unassisted and has other "delays." But those limitations, where she is on someone's bell curve, are a poor measure of who she is. She's an exploring child that's quick to laugh and quicker to giggle. She wants you to dance like a muppet, recite the alphabet, push the grocery cart at irresponsible speeds, read books, practice animal sounds, and pretty much all the other things any toddler would want you to do. She's a little kid, if a bit more adorable and tougher than most.

A few days ago, Jane saw her cardiologist for the first time since shortly after her last surgery. He was ecstatic with her progress. Not many months ago, with sorrow he outlined her possible futures. Now, he, like us, is humming. Her oxygen saturations that had been down in the 60's, requiring her to be tethered to an oxygen tank day and night, are in the low 90's and possibly improving. The child we know today, with her energy and focus, is profoundly different from the one we've known for most of her life.

A month or so ago, Jane's therapists suggested it was time to consider preschools for her. The idea of little Jane, innocent and less physically capable, in a zoo of gibbering toddler monsters sent Erin and I into a panic. Surely she wasn't ready for that. But someone had already considered what might be best for children like Jane. WIthin the local public schools there's a remarkable program, a handful of preschools, where children of different abilities attend. Some of the children, like Jane, have special needs and some are 'normal'. It's an ideal opportunity for Jane and in a few weeks she gets to go to school.

"She is great!" Each time we revisit the question of how Jane is doing, we say she is thriving as never before. And each time we say it, she is more than the last time we said it. Will the answer always be the same? Maybe not, but we have good reason to be positive. We love her. She loves us. And she is, despite her issues, better than your kid. Didn't you know this was a competition?

And so as Jane turns three, while we begin to forget, thankfully, some of what we've been through, we want to remember everyone that helped this little family. We want to remember the friends who helped us finish this house, the strangers that put a few dollars into a hat to help us pay mounting bills, everyone that listened, offered a shoulder or a prayer. Thank you to those that kept us fed and those that made the power stay on, and that Jane had as many toys as any kid could want. Thank you. We will never forget.


Happy Birthday, Jane. Thank you for putting up with the doctors, nurses, cooing strangers, and scared parents. You've shown us a little of what's possible. We love you.

Now go clean your room.

p.s. She really is better than your kid.

I could fill this blog with photos.


Bradford Benn    Jan 14, 2013  at  5:45 pm

You have no idea how happy this makes me and Jennifer.

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She is adorable, and gorgeous! Thank you for sharing photos!

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