Last weekend we had the amazing experience of watching Carson walk down the aisle for his uncle's wedding as the ring bearer! Leading up to the event we weren't sure what to expect. Carson is usually pretty social in big groups and parties but he also can be shy at times. The day before we practiced over and over again with toys at the end of the aisle for motivation. And once the big day came he did great! He loved it! As he walked down the aisle he paused to say "hi" to everyone and seemed to love the attention.
It was a proud moment for us. Obviously we we're very proud to see him walking down the aisle with his walker. The ability of walking the 20 feet was milestone he has worked very hard for. Even a year ago it would be hard for me to fathom him walking that distance in his walker. A year ago he was just starting to crawl. Even after his first birthday he was not yet sitting independently. Now here he is, age 2 1/2 and he is walking very well in his walker (and progressing to forearm crutches too).
And although the walking was a proud moment it wasn't the most significant for me. My child being able to walk is not what makes me proud. If he couldn't walk, I would be proud of him. I would be proud of him no matter what.
What struck me was how proud I was of who he is. His little personality. The way he loves to perform, show off, scrunch up his face when he smiles. The way he tells his story of personal triumph just by walking across the room.
Nearly 3 years ago when I found out about Carson's diagnosis during my pregnancy I had this sudden feeling that I no longer "knew" my baby. It's strange to explain, but I felt as if the baby I knew was suddenly gone and was replaced by someone else I didn't know at all. It was terrifying. I mourned the idea of the baby I thought I once had and tried to get used to a new idea of who my baby really was. It was such a scary time. Of course it was the same baby all along and I had to cling to my faith that God had a plan for him all along.
As I watched him walk down the aisle and throughout the rest of the day those memories came rushing back. How could he have ever felt like such a stranger to me? It was Carson all along and I'm so blessed it was.
Here's Carson and the flower girl making their entrance at the reception. How adorable is he?!