There will always be a little piece of my heart that regrets that I wasn't there when Kruz (or Moise or Jalayne) drew his first life sustaining breath outside the womb. I wish that my mind held the sweet memory of the first gaze into the eyes of long awaited love.
I can't begin to say what occupied my day on June 16, 2012. What I do know is that my mind was ignorant of the fact that my fourth son had made his way into the world. Although I don't know all the details surrounding his birth, I suspect that day's ambiance wasn't merry and celebratory, as we tend to imagine when a child is born. Born with a perforated bowel, two major heart defects and facial deformities, joy likely turned quickly to concern as the reality that something's "not quite right" became obvious. Kruz was whisked away to Children's Hospital of Illinois and there he stayed for nearly five months.
I wish I had been there for those months, that he hadn't been alone in that hospital bed. I wish that I had memories of long nights of rocking and snuggling and sweet baby breath. If I'd known, I would have been there. From that first day; the day I changed him, with trembling hands, into his "going home" outfit and placed him into the car seat that we'd bought on a whirlwind stock-the-house-with-baby-stuff shopping spree, I loved this child with every beat of my heart. I think there has always been a place for him in my heart, a place that sat empty and waiting, a place that could only be filled by this one precious boy.
Things have not been easy for Kruz. He has and will continue to face many challenges. But he's learning new things every day. His personality is beginning to shine-- happy and funny and so full of love.
He's had his walker for just over a week and already he has become more adept at maneuvering it.
He melts my heart. Every single day this child melts my heart.
Throughout the day I felt twinges of pain in my heart. The knowledge that we were not blessed with the honor of celebrating 3 with Laynee was never far from me. But that awareness made this birthday that much sweeter.
We celebrated in quiet, family style. The way he likes it. They way we all like it. Right here at home with the people who love him most. I made spaghetti, his favorite, and he ate it big kid style. In other words, it wasn't pureed, a monumental feeding milestone. Sometimes it takes my breath away when I watch him eat, he's come so far in such a short time.
He tasted his cake but wasn't too keen on it.
No worries, Moise ate enough for both of them.
He was showered with "noisy" toys. Because right now it's what motivates him best. He is beginning to grasp cause and effect. If I push this button it's going to play music and light up. We're taking his cues and gently nudging him in that direction. Learn baby learn. Push that button. Flip that switch. Turn that wheel. Watch what happens and then do it again. He's learning how to play because, for some, playing does not come natural.
But of all his toys, with all their bells and whistles and flashing lights, the thing he likes best, the thing he always comes back to is his books. A new book from Grandma Kathy makes him ever so happy. Keep reading Kruzer. You'll learn so many things that way.
I can't believe how far he's come. He is such a bright spot in our lives. He has done more for this family than we will ever hope to do for him. He's brought healing and joy and love, so very much love. My love for this child is so great that it hurts at times.
Kruz Kadarm Dowah Holmes, my big 3 year old......."You're BEST."
God is good, all the time.