Growth Chart

Maybe I should make her have the feeding tube all the time.

Maybe being able to eat all her food and all her snacks and actually get most of it swallowed isn’t enough.

But for us, its miraculous.  Really.

And so when this six year old in the body of a two year old tells me she doesn’t want the feeding tube “because I can get it down”, and tries so hard to eat, then we give her that freedom if she really can swallow some of it.

Sometimes she can’t. 

Sometimes she just tastes her food, and then spits it back out in my hand like a bird.

Then we have to use the feeding tube, whether or not she would prefer not to use it.

Or sometimes she can eat her food, but can’t swallow her drinks without drowning, and then we have to use it (and flush it with water, which is part of using it anyway).

But we have come so far, and we have come so close!

But I’m not worried about her not being on the chart.

Because she is taller.

And growing.

And learning.

And happy.

Except for, you know, the being two part.  But mostly happy.  We are trying.

It’s a fine line, though, and there is always mom guilt.  Maybe she would have hit the chart if I hadn’t stopped the feeding tube.  I’m sure it’s my fault, because I’m the mom, right?

Or maybe it’s not about failing by a few dots.

Maybe it’s about that upward line, and everything counts as progress.

That’s the hope we all need, I think, that instead of doomed to failure because of this or that, we ought to zoom out and see the big picture of progress.

And instead of despairing because of a hard moment, or being overwhelmed by little things, maybe we just need to take a big Kyrie breath and recognize how far we have come – and be content, that it’s enough, for today, and enjoy the lines of life that we have been given between the dots.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Comments are closed.