I've always thought that Max was extraordinary.
Even when the neonatologists stood alongside his isolette as he fought for breath, even as I was unable to look at his frail body covered in tubes and wires, I knew he was something special.
Born at just 28 weeks gestation, that 2 lbs 4.8 oz was enough weight to shift the axis of my world.
We're incredibly lucky. He has had no long term effects of his early arrival. All of the scary statistics have bypassed us, and for that we are eternally thankful.
He amazes me every day.
He's a reader and a jokester, loves sushi and recently discovered that avocados aren't so bad after all.
His awe at the world around him is infectious, and it has made me find beauty in things I would otherwise overlook.
“Look at the sparkles, Mommy! So pretty! Sparkling like the stars!” He was talking about the sidewalk in front of Moscone Center when I took him to work with me.
“This is the MOST delicious grilled cheese ever, Mommy! Do you want a bite?” It's the usual sliced cheddar on the usual storebought bread.
“Listen! Listen! I think I hear a bird! Or maybe a squirrel? Or a bear. It isn't a bear, is it? It's OK. You'll protect me from a bear, right?” At summer camp in the redwoods.
And often, if I'm really lucky, I'll realize how amazing he really is, and I'm able to join him in that moment. That bliss, that excitement, that joy of discovery.
And I give thanks for him.
Things aren't always perfect in this world, and kids aren't always healthy… it's hard to talk about, but there are people and organization doing amazing things when things aren't perfect. Both Stanford Children's Health and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital fit that bill; they've been the top-ranked children's hospital in Northern California for over a decade, and they are the largest healthcare provider that focuses on children and expectant women . On a personal level, sweet glitter girl JLK received treatment and her family got the support they needed from Stanford, and I will forever be grateful for that. The heartbreaking reality is that kids get sick, but when they do, you want the very best care for them, and Stanford provides it.
Lucille Packard's Your Extraordinary Child campaign is helping parents realize and appreciate how awesome their kids are, regardless of what else might be going on, because EVERY child is extraordinary.
If you head over to their Extraordinary Child site, you can make a video to share with your child, telling them just why you think they're amazing. (You can take a peek at the video I made for Max right here.) Just click this link to go over and make one of your own; I'll warn you though! Set aside a little time to do it! I got sucked into looking over photos from the last year or so, as I looked for the perfect ones for my video.
Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.