So many days, I marvel at Connor's nearly perfect health.
I run my fingers through his dark blond hair as I sing to him at bedtime. I take notice of the smoothness and flexibility of his skin as I play "this little piggy." I laugh at the witty and observant words that make their way out of his mouth.
When I was pregnant with Brenna, Connor and I used to pray aloud every night for the "baby in mommy's belly to grow big and strong." And of course, by that, I meant healthy.
I read an article once written by the mother of a special needs child who resented the use of the phrase "as long as it's healthy" as widely spoken by pregnant women everywhere.
I can completely understand this phrase. I am sure I used it many times myself. But most times, the words are uttered with little comprehension of the full meaning of what it means to have a healthy child. And I also understand the author's point - to say "as long as" implies that it won't be OK if your baby is not healthy.
And that's not true.
Sometimes the baby is not healthy. And life, however hard that it may be, goes on. And you will always do your best as a parent whether you have a healthy child, one who has special health needs, or an angel in heaven.
Health is never guaranteed. A heart defect discovered in utero, a skin condition at birth, autism diagnosed at age 2, cancer at 12...anything can happen.
Our child - surviving and overcoming daily obstacles due to her severe skin condition - is surely a miracle. But our other child - in complete health at this stage in his life - is such a miracle too.
When you think of all that can go wrong with a baby - between the millions of cells, genes, chromosomes and so many parts of the body - sometimes I'm amazed that so many children are born healthy.
To have a healthy child is the greatest blessing I can imagine for a parent...and one that I hope is never taken for granted.