Zuzu and her “ladybugs:” Texas Scottish Rite, Part II

We picked up Zuzu’s braces today. It started off a little rockier with the nice woman in the orthotics clinic. I thought Zuzu broke into tears because a strange person was touching her. Now I’m thinking she was upset because the lady took her socks off. She was warming up to our first orthotics person (sorry, not sure about her official title), but when Abby (the orthotics person) brought in another person to double-check some alterations she made, Zuzu lost it again. Overall, though, Zuzu was a champ and she’s been tolerating these clunky contraptions on her legs really well all afternoon. They’re have flowers and ladybugs all over them, so I think we’ll call them her “ladybugs” rather than her braces.

When I picked Katie up from the bus after Zuzu’s appointment, I told her she had to see Zuzu’s new shoes. Katie told me, eyes downcast, “I wish I had new shoes.”

Zuzu has come a long way since she started therapy a year ago. Sometimes I can’t help but think that most parents take for granted what it means to have healthy children. It really is a miracle and a blessing for a child to hit their milestones on time and an unbelievable challenge when they don’t. I write this with no sense of resentment and, in my mind even as she slides towards her second birthday, Zuzu has still been a dream of a child- just like her sister. She shows more and more signs of being an obstinate two year-old and tries to scoot out of my arms to explore when we’re in public. I remember hating taking Katie anywhere in public when she was this age because it was such a struggle to keep her from running off.

But if I ever needed reminding how blessed we are with both our girls, today’s hospital visit was it. In the orthotics clinic waiting area, there were multiple children missing whole limbs. Those kids were not my kids and I can’t imagine what it would be like if they were. Our friend who is a pediatric dentist that did some work at Scottish Rite mentioned that the orthopedist at the first visit may have not recommended braces at first because Zuzu really isn’t in as bad shape as many of the kids who come through there.

We have challenges ahead of us and, quite honestly, they seem never-ending when I think that Zuzu might be in PPCD for three years after she leaves ECI in a year. But today, a smidge of a reality check. Life is good.

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