Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrating milestones.

Playing baseball is an activity that many young boys aspire to do. Maybe it's playing little league as a young boy or even attaining the ultimate dream of playing in the Major leagues with thousands of fans cheering in the grandstands of baseball stadiums across the country. Fathers dream of having a little boy and teaching them to play ball. It's the great american pastime.

Saturday morning the boys within our local little league were recognized in the opening day ceremonies, as each of their names were called and they proudly ran onto the field, giving high fives to the coaches and young players whose names were called before theirs. The parents cheering from behind the fields fence, withstanding the windy overcast weather, supporting their young boys dreams of playing ball.

When our baby boy was born 14 weeks too soon we were abruptly thrust into a new parenting 'world.' At first, unsure of our "new normal." But as we settled into this different place in our lives we began celebrating. Each and every milestone, both as parents and those of our baby. Many milestones that the majority of the world would not recognize as being something to celebrate, though to us an amazing feat. Some of the first milestones conquered were more for us parents: touching our frail baby without the fear of hurting him; changing a diaper which was only the size of a saltine cracker; "feeding" our son by holding up the small syringe that was connected to a tube in his mouth and extending downward into his belly and watching as only a few drops of breastmilk filled his system. As well as celebrating his hard work in this life as we cheered with each half ounce that he gained, keping his miniature pacifier in his mouth for a few seconds on his own, turning his head on his own and tolerating more stimulating touch each day. After he was able to come home from the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) we began focusing on more typical milestones but to a much smaller degree, "inchstones," if you will. Taking in his required amount per feeding every 3 hours around the clock and keeping it down, feeling hunger and waking on his own, holding his head up for seconds at a time, and eventually focusing on purposeful movements of his arms and legs, smiling, laughing, experiencing sensory input that was uncomfortable for him but eventually learning how to adapt, sitting, using and strenghtening his muscles. Realizing some of our focus must be put to teaching him and his body ways to compensate for areas that may not be working as well as they could be.

I'm sure you're wondering what this all has to do with baseball. Well, let me tell you...playing baseball was something that we didn't see coming. Shopping for baseball gear with our son, playing ball in the yard and standing in the crowd of parents on opening day watching our son take the field with the other young players was something that we weren't sure was ever going to happen. We were celebrating yet another big milestone.

It was an overcast, chilly and windy morning. Wyatt's body was struggling in the weather, but we watched with smiles as he maneuvered himself onto the field lifting his fingers to give high fives to the other kids with the same hand that he was steering his wheelchair with. Bryan and I supressing the urge to shout "That's my boy!"

One more milestone to check off the Simply amazing!
God is good.

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