Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Starting a New Chapter

The triplets started kindergarten yesterday.

We walked Zach, Charlie and Cooper to the media center, where, after quick kisses and hugs, they were whisked away to their first day of big kid school.

I watched the boys bounce away.  I picked up Michael and squeezed him tight, as if hugging him would somehow keep the tears from rolling down my cheeks.

Starting kindergarten means a new adventure for the triplets.  It also marks the end of a journey:  I feel like I can finally let out the breath I've been holding for six years.

Six years ago they were born at viability - 24 weeks, 0 days.  They each weighed less than a pound-and-a-half.   Their skin was transparent, and their eyes were fused shut.  We couldn't hold them for weeks.   Despite the odds, their lives were saved by numerous surgeries, countless transfusions and amazing medical technology.

Now, the only proof of our six-month stay in the NICU is a scar on Cooper's neck from a tracheostomy and an adorable pair of glasses that make Charlie the envy of his brothers.

The boys have graduated speech and occupational therapies.  They are reading books and spelling words.  They're shooting baskets and scoring soccer goals.    They're building Lego villages and performing plays in their bedroom.  They're teaching their little brother how to get into trouble.

I remember, six years ago, wondering whether my tiny boys would get to have a first day of kindergarten, and if they did, what kind of quality of life would they have?  Questions like those haunted me for a long time.   If I could only go back in time and tell myself then what I know now.  Not only did they have a first day of kindergarten, but they knocked it out of the park. They loved every second of it.  It's going to be a fun ride.  We are so very blessed.

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