It seems like just a minute ago that I was pregnant, my daughter’s feet making strange alien-like shapes on my abdomen. A minute ago, I was nursing, basking in the glow of a mysterious hormonal cocktail lulling my brain into peace. Just a minute ago, I was wiping mashed green beans off her chin as she screamed her indignant scream.
A minute ago, I was chasing her down the street as she took off on two wheels.
A minute ago, I measured out the Phenobarbital in a little plastic cup and gave it to her to down like a shot every night at bedtime. And what seems like just a minute ago, I dumped all those plastic cups into the garbage in a moment of celebration after her detoxification party.
Just a minute ago, I taught her to read and to write, to multiply faster than she could type into a calculator, taught her to do cartwheels and handstands, taught her the names of all the presidents in order, taught her the parts of an atom.
Just a moment ago, I had a little girl on my lap with her head all glued up with the electrodes of an EEG machine, a little girl whose eyes crossed and feet crossed and memory crossed at all the wrong moments, most of them. A moment ago, I stayed up late counting her breathing, counting her grams of protein, counting how many laps she crept and crawled and ran that day, each day, for years.
Then, just a moment ago, she ran circles around me training for her first triathlon, swimming miles a day while I cheered and paddled alongside with my kickboard.
Only a moment ago I was squawking at her as she took the wheel, took classes online, took my place as the captain of her own ship, sailing in new directions I couldn’t even imagine.
And today, just a few hours ago, I sat next to her on the set of the television show “Inside Indiana Business” and watched her being interviewed by the esteemed Dr. K, Executive Director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. My daughter, the entrepreneur/innovator of the month.
When the show airs on Sunday morning at eleven o’clock, just after “Meet the Press,” there could be close to half a million people watching Haylie explain how she created her business and how she is driven to help others with the profits she makes. They will all see this composed, confident, determined young woman articulating the passion that bubbles up so authentically from her giant heart, and they will see her mom sitting there next to her smiling a smile that feels too big for my face, thinking, “I remember when you couldn’t get the spoon in your mouth and just look at you now!”
Ah, moments upon moments upon moments. This mysterious life, a luxurious length of silk folded up into a new Now and, again, I am the head of a needle pushing through silk, feeling it all.
I began this blog to share pieces of the book I'm writing about my daughter's courageous march down the path from brain injury to wellness. It's the story of how one little girl overcame the odds, a long list of labels, and limiting diagnoses. I hope it inspires other parents to dream bigger by knowing what is possible.