Thursday, July 14, 2016

She's a Perfect 10

I told her to find a safe place for her
glasses each night
Today my little Tomato has entered the world of double digits, she is "two hands," 10 years old. She's not so little anymore......

She, of course is over the moon to be a year older, but this year I'm not sharing her joy as much as I have on her other birthdays. As I reflect back on the past decade, what the hell happened? Ten years? That's cray cray. In seven years she will be writing her learner's license and expect us to put her behind the wheel of a car, when just seven short years ago she was still in a night nappy! It didn't help that the first thing she said to me this morning was "I'm half way to twenty!" *gulp*
She misses my mom terribly
and often draws pictures of her

When Tomato was born, a friend warned me, "don't wish her life away, it goes by so fast." I listened to that friend and thought about that advice many times over the past 10 years. When as an infant, Tomato didn't want to sleep, but preferred to cry from feed to feed, I stopped myself willing her to grow out of her infancy quickly and sleep through the night so that I could stop being zombie-mom. When finally she was sleeping through the night and teething hit, I dredged out those words and mulled them over. When night terrors made her sit bolt upright in bed and scream at the top of her lungs until I ran to comfort her, I remembered those words. 
Dressing up her brother

As the milestones came and went, I would think to myself "the years are flying by, my friend was right." But it took a lot of effort not to wish days, weeks, months away when life got tough. And boy did life get tough for this little girl. I often joked that if something was wrong with one of our children, it was bound to be with Tomato. We all went to the dentist, only Tomato needed fillings. We all went to the Optholmologist, Tomato needed glasses, the other two have 20/20 vision. One of her eyes was found to be "lazy" and we waged war every day for almost 3 years as I forced her to put a patch over one eye for 2 hours a day as recommended to increase her permanent vision. Many times she would cry so much the patch would slide off. 

Obviously her skin issues, which I have documented extensively on many other blog posts, brought a whole new minefield when I dragged her from doctor to specialist to "woo-woo" expert, desperately trying to find the elusive cure. I watched my happy little girl become depressed and desperate. I've also watched as her little body became bloated from the extensive cortisone that was prescribed and how her swollen body and raw skin would create a rift between her and the other children as she was teased and later bullied because she was in constant pain so was labelled as "weird." She just withdrew futher into herself. She is very sensitive and just as she was able to begin re-building her lost confidence, other issues came to the fore. The side-effects of that medication were the oppposite of cortisone and she lost weight almost overnight and while the medication worked, the physical side-affects were detrimental so they were stopped. Then last year my mom passed away and this has hit her very hard. This little girl, although only 10 years old, has had enough turmoil for someone double her age.

Concert Order of Events
No trolls? 
Sometimes in life you get thrown a curve ball. Tomato is my curve ball. Before she was born my life was going exactly as I thought it should, everything was going as planned. Suddenly along came someone who, not only doesn't want to draw in the lines, she doesn't even see the lines! She sees the beauty in everything and has such a huge heart. She loves anything arty and loves to please, although she wants her own way and will fight to the death to get it! I have learned that time is irrelevant to her, even though it is a war at home for us getting anywhere on time, she has taught me to chill a bit and not worry so much about being late. For my A-type personality this has been a challenge. Her love for animals is immense and her greatest wish is to have her own dog. She sees pictures in clouds and soap suds when the car is getting washed and she can get lost in her imagination for hours. She choreographs plays (and ropes in her brother and sister to perform), she dresses her brother up in dresses as often as she can, and she loves to dance and sing her own songs that she's made up, like a mad-thing. She has a fantastic sense of humour and loves a good knock-knock joke.

When Tomato broke my special bowl,
I got this note offering to replace it
My goal with my children has always been to keep them as young as possible for as long as possible, to prolong their childhoods. While this has worked to an extent, I see Tomato growing up and becoming a tween and entering that era of discovery of both herself and the world around her. I love that she sometimes still takes my hand while we're shopping, the extra hugs at night and the quick cuddles (when she's in the mood.) I can feel these are happening less and less as she exerts her independence. Soon I will become uncool and embarrassing (say what?) I'm sure the time is coming and it's scary. From the quiet, shy, introverted little girl who wouldn't speak to anyone, Tomato is coming out of her shell and happily asks shop assistants for the price of items that she wants and orders her own food at restaurants. She is blossoming. 

My wish for my little Tomato is that all the negatives that she has gone through in her short life, remain in the past 10 years and the next 10 are fantastic positive years full of wonder, excitement and discovery (without giving mom and dad too many grey hairs in the process!)