The Strong One – TBV #3
Often as a father my kids see me as the strong one, impervious to all the things that frighten small children. My kids will often ask me, “Dad are you scared of X?” or, “Dad what are you afraid of?” to which I generally respond, “Not much.” My oldest son, who is enamored with games like ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ and the like, will generally marvel at this concept. Even though I act like the tough guy, I wanted to really get off my mind today that, my daughter is the strongest person I have ever met.
You see, my daughters birthday is tomorrow, and she is turning 8 years old. You’re probably saying, “Well that’s normal, what makes her so strong?” – she has a condition that I don’t really talk about a whole lot to many people, because to me, my daughter is absolutely normal, and I like to see her in that light, so I don’t like to play the, ‘Woe is me, pity my child’ situation.
My daughter, by all medical standards, expectations, and odds – should not be a fully functional, adorable, loving, caring, amazing little girl. The day she was born into this world she received brain surgery. You read that right – her first day of life was spent experiencing something I’ve never even fathomed in my lifetime, and she took that on with her first breaths. For those of you curious what is wrong with her, she has hydrocephalus – the fluid in her brain was not draining properly, and for the sake of simplicity, it squished her brain (it’s pretty much like a sponge).
We were told to terminate the pregnancy by our doctor when we found out her condition, and was led to believe from the get-go she would never live a fully functioning life. My daughter brought home her progress report this week, she is in second grade, in normal school, and made A-B honor roll.
Part of her surgery, comes with a device in her brain, that drains the fluid to her stomach, to keep it from happening again. She is everything I hope I could be as an adult, and she doesn’t even know it. When my kids look at me, and see some stoic Super Hero, I look back at her and gaze in true wonder, at the real marvel that she doesn’t even know she is.
I know I could get technical about her condition, show you her brain scans, and go at length about possible future conditions – that’s not what this is about. This quick blog is about how, I’m not the strong one, my daughter is, and I hope to one day, be able to amount to a fraction of the person she has fought to become.