After all is said and done, I am thankful for having a child who had a terrible and life threatening condition. While it was the worst thing that has every happened, the whole situation taught me many valuable lessons, with one of the most impactful being that everyone has a story.

As a kid, I used to get really mad that I would never see my own face. I was the type of child who had many strange and extravagant thoughts, so this was pretty much par for the course. It frustrated me that, while I could look into a mirror to see a reflection of myself, I would never really see myself. It made me angry that other people could see me, but I could only see everything below my neck. In that same way, I could see other people, but they would never see themselves other than as a reflection. 

When I got older, I had a general understanding that the world didn't revolve around me, but until I had a kid and the world really did stop revolving around me, the story of others never made much of an impact of how I lived my life. Things in other people's lives made me happy or sad, but then something shiny would come along and I would be distracted from really understanding. But I understand now. 

When Lauren was still in the hospital, on one of my "sanity outings" I went to Whole Foods to pick up some food. I remember the overwhelming urge that I had to scream to everyone about where my daughter was and how fragile her situation was... but I held it together. That's what you do. You hold it together because, heaven forbid, the answer to "How are you?" be anything other than "Fine." We don't really want to hear how people are doing because we are busy with our own story and have little time for theirs.

That's what I've been slipping back into over the past week or so and I hate it. My car broke down, our furnace wasn't working, my computer at school (which is pretty important for a librarian) crashed, and all of the cd players in the listening centres stopped working en masse. And all of those things piled on each other to make one big lump of junk that sucked me in and held onto me. I even threw out that flippant saying that I swore I would no longer use, "This is the worst day of my life." Thankfully Matt threw some cold water on my pity party by pointing out that he can think of two days that really were worse. Much worse. 

So, with much prayer, I will be pushing back to focus on the grace that allowing to think of other people's stories provides to me. I find that it is so much easier not to judge or speak harshly about others when I'm focused on the fact that they have a story too. It is amazing that out of Lauren's terrible situation last summer, I found a simple, yet difficult, way to live with more grace. It is amazing what the Lord can use. 

But we all know that this isn't what you really come to the blog to hear about. So, without further ado, here is Lauren's story as of late.

She likes to dramatically ride around on her wheely bug.

She might not talk, but she has gotten really good at signing for food. I kind of feel like she could get food from the hardest heart with those big blue puppy dog eyes.

What a big girl posing in her winter jacket!

Umm, this is not what I had in mind when I told him to go to Lauren. I was hoping for a nice picture of the two of them together, not of him giving her a big slobber.
I usually enjoy going to the dentist but going and trying to hold a toddler still on your lap...not the best. It starts off well and goes downhill quickly.

This is how she told me she was done her juice. She's crazy. At least she keeps me smiling!

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