Last night when we took off both of Rebeka’s casts, she took a long bath with a dissolving cupcake bath fizzy, and we painted her toes a pretty pink with a topcoat of glitter razzle-dazzle.
I can’t imagine how good it must have felt for her to straighten her left leg, after having it bent at 90 degrees all week. We did our weekly Tuesday night scrub in the tub on her legs, paying special attention between the toes, and then lotioned her up well. As we settled in to read a book before bed, Rebeka did a kick with the left leg that’s been casted at 90 all week. Then another one. These were impressive, nose to the knee kicks, and she didn’t stop there. She must have high-kicked fifty times while I read. It was a festive can-can bedtime affair.
This morning we saw the doctor, who is very pleased with the progress her left foot has made. The surgery date still stands on November 6th. There’s a big red circle around that date on our calendar, though Rebeka still isn’t entirely sure what “surgery” means. We’re using the word “big fix” and debating just how much to tell her so she’ll be prepared, but not unnecessarily worried. The doctor says to expect quite a bit of pain the first week or so, and we’re doing all we can to be ready. We’re practicing taking pills by swallowing sprinkles, then graduating to tic-tacs. Our goal is jelly-belly’s.
We also plan on taking a hospital tour the week before so it won’t be unfamiliar on the big day. Today, while checking out at Dell, I noticed this cute picture on the wall.
I imagine before her time here is through, Rebeka will be bringing a picture to hang on the Dell wall. I love how the child who drew this picture sounded out the word, hos-pi-doll. I yearn for the day when Rebeka is able to sound out words and brave enough to write how she thinks they’re spelled.
She’s making great progress with school, slowly but surely, day by day, and I’m trying to be patient. Sometimes it takes stepping back and looking from a distance to see how far she’s already come. The stack of letters she knows, and the stack of letters she doesn’t, is just about the same size now. But patience has never been my strong suit. Take Rebeka’s hair for instance. It seems to grow so achingly slow. I was shocked when I saw this picture, taken just a few weeks after she got here.
Today, I took this shot.
Not only has her hair grown a ton (okay, it FEELS like a ton to me!) she’s also gained some styling abilities. Notice how she styled her Barbie with the cute ponytails. It isn’t until I see pictures like this that I realize what big progress we’re making. Hair, foot movement, school work, they’re all measured by looking back, and comparing. It makes me wonder, though, about the things that aren’t so obvious. The days that seem perfectly ordinary, the routines that build upon themselves, until cumulatively, looking back, you see that they made a big difference after all.
How is the day-to-day living with Rebeka impacting us? When we came back from nine and a half months of traveling, people asked how we had changed. I didn’t have an answer. It’s only now, over four years later, that I’m really starting to see how that time affected each of us. So maybe that big day, going to the hospital, won’t be such a big deal after all. And maybe those moments on the rug, or reading a bedtime story while Rebeka can-can’s, will be the turning points after all. We can only see the few steps in front of us, so we step into our days with the expectation that some of them will be the big days, and we keep our eyes wide open.