Exactly one year ago, on February 8th, 2018 – our little warrior went in for her first surgery. You can read more about that first surgery here!
On that day, while we held her in recovery, we decided that on her year anniversary we would celebrate with Warrior Day! Warrior day represents the strength our daughter has. It celebrates how far she has come in her vision journey and how far we have come as a family. We reminisced over a hot cup of coffee about where our heads were at a year ago and talked about what we were doing at this time last year, as each hour passed by. We remembered how it felt to hand Olivia off to the nurses for her surgery, how stale the hospital muffins were and how I had to hide in a back dungeon to use my breast pump – why do we feel the need to hide to pump? Topic for another day…on another note, this was also the first time we ever tried Shake Shack..so there’s that ;).
We talked about how much we LOVE the doctor that performed her surgery and how excited we are to continue advocating for early intervention for other kids like Olivia! We had no idea the strength we had within us until this day came and went and we haven’t been the same since. It shaped our lives, family and futures into what they are now – and that is cause for celebration.
This weekend we splurged on anything and everything that made our little fighter smile and spent time together as a family. Our morning started with a big stack of ‘Olivia friendly’ chocolate chip pancakes and bacon – her favorite! We patched her dominant eye and danced to so much CocoMelon – yes I know EVERY word to EVERY song. We bought Olivia a new ‘Cuddle and Kind’ bear named Stella to signify her very first Warrior Day. We got dressed in her favorite outfit and took a trip to the aquarium. Despite the cold weather, we had the best time watching Olivia watch in awe over the Penguins, carry Stella around with her everywhere and attempt to say the word ‘fish’ any chance she got. Of course, her favorite part of the trip was climbing up and down the steps or hiding in the little caves. Every employee smiled and waved at her as she walked around with a confidence that radiates from her. She said ‘HI’ in her little high pitched voice to every single kid she saw and ran circles around the different exhibits.
At one point, she slipped away from us long enough to walk up to a nearby bench and give it a nice wet kiss. As most allergy mom and dads know, our hearts stopped and we panicked! But, nothing happened and we continued – attempting to be better parents moving forward haha. Now we know, she’s fast enough to get a mile away from us in the blink of an eye – lesson learnt!
We took her to her favorite park and showed dada how great she is at going down the slide and she lounged in the swing as we pushed her super high. Her dinner consisted of delicious Macaroni and Cheese and some Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies. She was completely exhausted and fell asleep with time to spare for mom and dad to share a glass of wine that night.
We never expected our lives to look this way but I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Olivia chose us and we were put on this earth to be her mom and dad. So, here’s to many more Warrior Days! No matter how hard the days go, how tough the doctor appointments get or how over whelmed we feel, we will always celebrate these little moments, because in the end – they are the most important ones. So until next year, we will just keep patching.