Tonight Rob and I decided to be super brave and take Clare to the movie theater for the very first time. We’ve been terrified to do it, but I’ve heard such wonderful things about Frozen that I thought it would be the perfect first movie. I was right. Obviously, if you’ve seen Frozen, you know what a magical and special movie it is. Clare was entranced (I’d say from beginning to end, but she did get distracted a couple times.) The only rough spot of the night was when we left the theater. When she realized that this amazing experience was over, she lost it, and screamed “Mooooooovie!!!!!!!!!! Mooooooviiiiiiiieeeeee!!!!!!” all the way to the car. But overall, I’d count the evening as a great success.
I had a moment while we were in the theater, where I looked over at Clare, sitting so sweetly in her pink tutu and glittery headband that she had insisted on wearing, and it hit me that this little girl is growing up. As spectacular as the movie was, I found myself glancing at Clare often, in awe of this beautiful human we are raising. It hit me that this would be her only first movie, and reminded me of some of my other favorite firsts we’ve shared with her.
1. The first time I held her
Yikes, I’m kind of getting teary eyed just looking at this picture. I had a pretty tough labor, and Clare was rushed off to the NICU right away, but for a few short seconds, I held her and looked into her eyes. There are no words to describe that feeling, so I won’t try.
2. The first time my sister met her
Frozen is all about sisters, so I was reminded of my sister a lot while we were watching the movie tonight. She’s one of my favorite people in the whole world, and it was such an amazing moment to see her holding my daughter for the first time. I’ll never forget it (and I’m lucky enough to have it on video!)
3. Her first Thanksgiving
This was also Clare’s first trip to Virginia, where she met all of Rob’s family. It was an awesome party!
4. Her first Christmas
I love Christmas, especially the wonder of Christmas morning, when the whole family gathers to see what Santa has brought. I loved spending Clare’s first Christmas in the house where I grew up.
5. Her first steps
This is a big milestone for any family, but for us it was enormous. At six months old, Clare was diagnosed with hemiplegia, a type of cerebral palsy that makes it difficult for the brain to send messages to her left side. It has also caused low muscle tone in her left arm and leg. For the last two years, she has been working her tushie off with a physical and occupational therapist every week. She went from rolling on the floor to scooting to knee-walking to walking with a walker. We weren’t sure if walking unsupported was going to be in the cards for her. But one day she just did it. She started taking steps. That little girl refuses to let her disability get her way. Her motivation comes from deep within her and it is simply amazing to watch.
Wow! So those are some of my favorite firsts with Clare. I feel like the luckiest mama in the world.