Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Five Years

Every couple of years Margot has a check up to make sure that her quirky heart isn't getting any quirkier...so far, so good!

Margot met Dr. Maharajh for the first time since her surgery at our last appointment. This man fixed her tiny heart. He changed our family's history. We kind of love him. Tara Giralomo is the nurse who took such good care of us for the whole journey.

Margot loves her cardiologist, Dr. Gardin. She thinks she's kind of fancy.

Victory Jump on the fifth anniversary of her surgery.

When I wrote this post, one year after Margot's heart surgery, I was still rather raw from the whole experience. I looked at the photos with a clinical eye, and wrote about it as if I was telling a story about someone else. Life carried on so quickly and busily that I rarely looked back. If I came across photos from the months leading up to her surgery, when she was so frail and thin, I barely glanced at them before tucking them in behind other photos that were easier to look at.

It occurred to me recently that I still haven't made a photo album of her first year.

But each time we visit CHEO, I ward off that vestigial anxiety that parents who have had a child in the hospital know. I avoid the eyes of the other parents in the cardiology waiting room, because our story ended so happily. Maybe theirs will too, but maybe they don't know that yet. We didn't know what the future would hold for our baby when we first joined the cardiology club.

Back then, I didn't know if Margot would live to turn five. I wondered if she'd get to Kindergarten, and if she did, would she be delicate? Would she be able to keep up with her friends or would she, like Beth in Little Women, stay behind while everyone went on with their lives?

Yesterday we went on our class trip. Margot is in my class, and was most excited about riding on a big yellow bus with no seat belt! for the very first time. Her backpack was packed with a towel, sunscreen, swimsuit, water shoes, and some snacks. She was nervous when we were in the cave, but perked up when a classmate took her hand. She giggled and ran ahead through a tunnel of sumacs, her hair a halo of fuzz around her freckled face, following the gravel path back to the parking lot.

As we were leaving, I glanced at my watch and noticed the date:
June 23.

That date lit up in my mind when I realised that it was the five-year anniversary of her surgery.

And there she was, laughing with her friends, eating pizza, frolicking in the water, running over for a hug. My girl made it! She likes to show her friends her scar and tells the story about how her heart got fixed with a little patch and some thread.

This summer I will put together an album. I'll look at it with her someday and will say, "Hey, remember that time that we survived?"


This little girl is thriving.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Farm Sale

I pulled the flyer off a cork board in town, and stuck it to the fridge a few months ago: "Poultry and Small Animals". They had me at poultry! It was to be on the same day as Violet's birthday, and she looked forward to the outing.

We woke the kids early and set off with that "moving right along" feeling I always get when I drive in the rising sun with a coffee in the cup holder. I remember the feeling from my childhood, when we'd be setting out on a camping trip or a long drive. I remember it when I embarked on a new journey in my teens, then into my twenties: anticipation, excitement, adventure. The adventures these days are a bit smaller now than they were then, but with kids along, you never know what might happen.

We arrived at the fairgrounds to find a parking lot full of cars. We entered a large open barn, where the kids bolted from one cacophonous cage to the next, wondered at the Toulouse Geese with their enormous feet, petted ducklings, laughed at the ridiculous hairdos on the Polish chickens, and fell in love with every baby bunny they saw. 

We spent every cent we brought and each of the big kids left with a box. 

We've increased our flock by six and our indoor mammals by one. I'm pleased to introduce Fondue and Eclair, our pair of Indian Runner ducks, Daisy the Lionhead bunny, and four Australorp hens who will become our new laying flock!

As we walked out of the barn, my husband wearing a look that said, "How did this happen?", I slipped my hand into his and whispered, "This is my dream. Coming true".