Ive struggled with this post, with this holiday, with all the "I'm so thankful for.... " status' on Facebook. Ryan doesn't have any huge things happening at the moment, no "hes walking" or "hes talking" posts to write, which is kind of depressing for me (huge understatement). Actually Ive been struggling these last few weeks on how much progress Ryan has been making this year, or lack of progress to be exact. When I think back to a year ago on the outside there hasn't been much change but that has forced me to look much deeper, to think back to the little itty bitty in the hospital, and even further to the 2 scared adults that stood with arms wrapped around each other in the kitchen after being told there was possibly something wrong with their pregnancy. The same couple that promised each other that night that they would accept whatever God sent and together would get through this. We were scared and heartbroken during those months and prayed that Ryan would beat the impossible odds and make it to birth. I am so beyond thankful that he did!
As Ryan was eating his turkey dinner today all by himself it reminded me that I am truly thankful for him being able to eat at all. When he was in the hospital and tube fed, I couldn't get my head around the fact that he needed to be fed with a tube down his nose, what do you mean he cant eat, that's a basic human function, right? Ohhh, I had so much to learn hadn't I. I knew that sometimes legs didn't walk and lips didn't talk but eating?? The roller coaster ride of feeding was what i focused on when he was in the NICU, full of joy when he could take the tiny amount by mouth, and falling deeply when he had to be tube fed. Being able to be rid of the tube was his first real milestone. I am so Thankful for the smiles he gives and I could listen to his laugh all day. When he was 9, 10, 11, 12 weeks old I honestly thought the child would never smile ....... and then he finally did. I'm so thankful for head control. I will never take this one for granted. Ryan earned his stripes with this milestone and didn't gain complete control of his head until 14 months. When most children were running and talking, Ryan was mastering holding his head up, but we were off the starting blocks, and to me it all seemed downhill from there. Life eased up dramatically with that milestone most don't even notice. I don't take anything Ryan does for granted. The first 2 years of many illnesses and even more regression scares taught me that all could be lost in a second, I'm truly thankful for everything he does, I see tiny miracles in him every .... single ....day.
I am beyond thankful for all the little steps Ryan has taken these past few years, they let me know he will get to where he needs to get to in his own time, and in the meantime his life is a joyful one. I'm thankful hes so happy, easy going and full of love. I'm thankful for a husband that is still there every step of the way. A little boy came into our lives and changed that couple we once were so profoundly, he has taught us that God answers prayers in his own way, that he gives you the tools to handle the difficult stuff, puts people in your life when you need them most and that sometimes gifts and blessings come in a way you truly weren't expecting.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, never forget there are many tiny little things to be thankful for each and every day.