Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Dear Kendall,

You made it. The Dr.’s said you wouldn’t make it past early childhood due to your seizures. I asked them to define “early childhood” and they said the magic number was 3. I have dreaded this birthday ever since.

3 has been in my head for a while now. Turning 3 means changes. No more early intervention services. Big girl pre-school will begin.

In all my education classes and parenting workshops, they stress the importance of the first three years. Apparently that’s when your personality is formed. That’s when you start dreaming while you’re sleeping. That’s when it’s safe to feed you pretty much anything. The list goes on and on.

3 is the magic number in regards to CP too. Apparently if you are sitting independently by the age of three…that means you may walk someday. Walking is over-rated.

These time lines used to be so important to me. I desperately wanted to know what to expect. I wanted answers.

Therapies consumed my life. Finding the next best thing was the most important goal of each day I had with you. I wanted no stones left unturned. I wanted to know that in those first three years, we tried everything.

I wouldn’t trade any of the days I’ve had with you these past three years. Even the ones where you screamed for hours on end. Even the stressful times in the hospital. Or the fighting with insurance and school districts! All of these things have brought me where I am with you today. Quitting my job to stay home with you was the BEST decision I could have ever made.

These past three years taught me to live in the moment. I have learned more about people, life, and love in these three years than I have in my entire life. All of these things thanks to you.

I don’t know what the future holds for you. I don’t know what the Mitochondrial stuff means for your precious little body. I don’t know what growing will do to your joints and bones without walking or sitting independently. I don’t know what it will do to mine either! Those things are out of my control.

What I do know is this: Your daddy, brother, and I will continue to make sure you live a happy life. We will not let your diagnosis define you. We will continue to let you have “normal” three year old experiences. We will hold you and jump on the trampoline. We will put you in the stander and let you chase the dogs. We will push you in your chair to feed the ducks. We will hold you and let you splash in the puddles. We will douse you in sunscreen, cover your g-button, unplug your insulin pump, and let you swim in the pool. We will enjoy the spring afternoons at the zoo . We will help you make friends, and make certain we have done everything in our power to educate people to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. We will fight for you no matter what.

Three is just a number to me now. My lucky number.

Love, Mom


Robin Soulant said...

Amazing girl...and an amazing mom! Happy big 3!!!

Holly said...

Way to make me cry...Geesh.

I can't think of another little girl that we could love as much as we do you. Your fourth year will be your absolute best yet! Keep your Mommy and Daddy on their toes & keep Kamden entertaining your every wish.

Happy Birthday Kendall! We love you!

The Gray Family

Team Carter Jay said...

Happy Birthday Kendall! Three is an awesome number!

Cjengo said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! I understand your blog so well. They told us's such a dreaded but happy day.

Jenny said...

How fantastic! Happy birthday sweet girl!

Tara said...

This touched me so much. It felt like you wrote what my heart is feeling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good cry. Beautiful note, J, thanks for sharing. I am lucky to know you and Kendall.

Jennifer said...

Smiled through the tears! I had to stop reading and come back to it later because I was an emotional mess! You are an amazing mom with a wonderful little girl. I am so glad to have the opportunity to get to know both of you in real life, and not just through your blog. It's nice to have people who "get it" to share these experiences with.

Anonymous said...

Jocie, I have known you over half your life. You are an inspiration to anyone who is fortunate enough to know and love you! You are an amazing Mom! And, what a beautiful letter to your 3 year old daughter! Kendall has so much of her mother in her personality, including that awesome smile. She is a beautiful, strong little girl with a bright future! Thanks for sharing your experiences and Kendall's amazing life and family!

Love to your family, Debbie Lindsey