As I was cleaning the girls' bedrooms a few weeks ago, I came across a small princess covered journal on Anna's cluttered nightstand. I'm not sure if it's typical of all 6 year olds, but mine love to collect random items. I usually let it go but it had been awhile since I had organized her room so I began the tedious process of decluttering. In addition to the journal, there were crayons, a pen, a small birdhouse she painted at a birthday party, a birthday crown from school and random papers on the compact table next to her bed. I recognized the journal as one she had received for Christmas, not this past year but the year before, and thinking that it was probably full, I started to flip through the pages.
I was a bit surprised to see new handwriting in between the pages with scribbles. Anna's handwriting. I couldn't make out some of the words. There was a page with their names. A page with something about school. A page noting field day at school and "don't bring water bottles." And then there was this: I am happy.
I am happy.
I showed the journal to Anna, asking if she had written these things. When had she written them? Turns out she had been using it as a journal and writing in it at night. How did I not know this? I know my children have feelings but its sometimes difficult to see their maturity, like the fact that they would express those feelings in a journal, through the craziness of everyday life.
Many of my readers have found me through a connection with spina bifida. When you're pregnant and you learn that your baby (or one of your babies) has spina bifida, it's devastating and frightening. You don't know if your baby will survive and if she does, what her life will be like. I share our story, Anna's story, to show that spina bifida doesn't have to mean a terrible life. It's not an easy road to travel but we're here, moving right along. There's always that unknown traveling along with us but if you think about it, there's an unknown in life with or without spina bifida.