Yesterday I met one of Ravi’s million or so second cousins (one of the many reasons we paid for the wedding…inviting one second cousins would have meant inviting all of them and suddenly my wedding would have been 500+ people instead of the 84 it was) and her adorable 2 year old daughter.
The little girl is not quite 5 months older than Elanor, about the same height as Elanor, never had medical issues, and weighs less.
I have never had the experience of picking up a child near to my daughter’s age and have them be LIGHTER than mine. Considering all the bullshit we’ve waded through regarding her weight for the past year and a half, I was knocked on my ass by this healthy kid who is more petite. While the doctors in Singapore have said things to her mom (Ravi’s cousin), the doctors in India said she eats enough and she’s meeting milestones, so shut up and chill out already.
Seeing Ellie as not the only child in the family to act normal, eat well, and still just be a teeny skinny little bean was emotionally healing in a way that is difficult to put into words. I’ve done a lot of self blaming, crying with fear and worry (did we escape brain damage from the stroke only to have her hit developmental roadblocks because her brain isn’t growing fast enough?), pleading in frustration for E just to eat a bit more, and just enough general anxiety that it’s a miracle the whole thing hasn’t given me an ulcer. Wondering what things would have been like if only she hadn’t gotten sick, or hadn’t been allergic to my milk…all of might have been totally useless…because here is a blood relative who is in the same boat with none of those issues.
Today, for the first time, I didn’t interrogate my helper about every morsel of food E had put in her mouth before I got out there. I’m not shoving calories at her. I’m just letting her eat toast (instead of toast with butter and jam because there are more calories). I gave her straight water without guilt (instead of giving her juice or koolaid for the calories).
I don’t know how long this zen feeling will last, but it’s nice to finally take a breath and not stress.