Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Happy Birthday Princess!

Our Princess is having a birthday today. She's 5 years old now!

I can't believe how the time since she was born has flown by. What a beautiful little grown-up girl we have now. And the ups and downs we've had in those five years. The many moments of Princess's life that I replay over and over again in my mind, whether I want to or not. The guilt I feel that because of unknown circumstances in my body before and during her very premature birth, she has permanent physical impairment and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. Life-changing for us, and for her, in a way she will never fully be able to appreciate the way we do.

To be honest, I sometimes feel I'm as much in shock now as I was five years ago. When we first learned that not only did we have an extremely premature baby, but that she would have 'special' needs. That 'special' is a pretty big word.

And special she is. Princess is a delightfully cheeky kid, a happy little girl who loves imagining big stories, yelling at or with her brothers, playing with her school friends... And all the friends she has, child and adult, who delight in her achievements and enjoy her wry observations.

I've often wondered what she thinks about having a disability. There have been hairy questions from her in the past, and no doubt there'll be many more in the future. But she surprised me recently...

We were driving out to go shopping when I remarked that I'd forgotten to put our blue 'disability parking' sticker back in the car, having removed it earlier. Quick as a flash, Princess asked "Mummy, if we don't have the sticker, does that mean I don't have a disability anymore?"

My mind raced into panic. This was another of those moments, like the time she wanted to dance like her baby brother all by herself without anyone helping or any equipment near her, all by herself and wouldn't take "let's do something else" for an answer. I had to have a well-worded response. Be gentle but honest. Think...Think!

Then I heard a giggly chortle from the back seat. Looking in the rear view mirror, I could see a broad grin on Princess's face. Oh good one, honey. You got me. Phew.

"What do you think?" I asked her. Smiling her broad smile, she said "No, of course not! That would be silly!" Giggle. Oh bless you, my wonderful, understanding and well-grounded daughter. Until the next hairy question anyway.

So, like our darling boys, Princess has her life and we help her live it. She is quite truly one of the most delightful little souls that ever came onto this earth, and for all the ups and downs, I cannot imagine my life without her. We truly are so very lucky.

Happy birthday my oh so SPECIAL little girl.


Jacqui said...

Happy birthday Princess!

Gina & Mac said...

Happy Birthday Princess. Five years old - that is quite something. We hope you had a wonderful, delightful, over indulged day.

Jacolyn said...

Just came across your blog through Terrible Palsy and LOVE it! Princess reminds me much of Grace, my 3 year old with spastic quad CP. She is so bright and funny and I often wonder when the questions about her disability will start. Oh...and the guilt...Grace is a triplet.

Jacolyn said...

oh and...happy birthday!!!!

what_the_heck_of_that? said...

Thanks kindly for your wishes - will pass them on to her ladyship after school!

Jacolyn, I enjoyed catching your blog too. Thanks for commenting - nice to meet you!