My little girl is going to Kindergarten.
Yes, the same little girl who only three years ago was 15 pounds. Who could not stand, walk, eat, or talk. The one who was mostly deaf. And was afraid of the wind blowing, butterflies, birds, grass, loud noises, the dog, strangers. And me.
The girl who did not know how to play. Did not know where or how to sleep. Did not like blankets, pillows, books, or to be rocked to sleep.
That same little girl who had open heart surgery all by herself in China.
Who knew what it felt like to be hungry. The kind of hunger that that is painful. And leaves it's mark on your memory.
The same girl who we wondered if she would ever be able to sit in a classroom, write her name, and say her ABC's.
That girl, is going to Kindergarten, in a typical classroom. And she already has a best friend.
But to go to Kindergarten you have to have a checkup and that means shots.
So my same brave little girl who has survived cleft surgery and a double mastoidectomy since coming home, had all the pain and fury and helplessness that she lived with for so long in China wash right back over here today in the doctors office.
I told her what was happening. I told her it would pinch. And I told her she was a big brave girl. And when it was over we would go home and have a special treat.
But none of that mattered. Because when we layed her down on the table her pupils dilated like a crazed, corner dog, and her skin turned ashen, and she kicked and screamed with every ounce of strength she had.
She kicked me in the face and screamed, "You're a bad mommy!" Over and over and over again.
And honestly, before I understood a traumatized child, I would have said she was out of control. But instead, my heart just broke into a million pieces for her.
She is deeply traumatized. And it is always right under the surface. It took longer than it should have. And the nurse was wonderful and completely understanding. She did get her shots. And when we marched out of the office people stared and whispered.
But I was proud of her.
Because she did it.
It wasn't pretty. But she calmed back down.
And now this little girl gets to go to Kindergarten.
And she couldn't be more excited.