I am six months old. "Before you turn the video camera off, I have a prediction," my dad says to my mom. "Someday she'll be on the field hockey team."
I am six years old. "You can't catch me!" I shout, and laughter dances in my voice as I stumble through the grass. My dad follows, careful to keep a few steps behind me as he pretends to be trying his hardest.
I take a break to catch my breath and he waits beside me.
"Every night," he murmurs, "I prayed that you would run someday."
Sometimes I can't help but wonder...do my parents mourn the daughter that they might have had? Does my dad miss the field hockey player, the track runner that he never was given? Were they sad when my six-year-old brothers donned soccer uniforms while I sat on the sidelines and cheered?
Maybe. But I also know that my disability gave them a daughter that they wouldn't otherwise have, a daughter who helped them to celebrate the moments that other parents might overlook. They rejoiced when I stepped up on a curb, cheered when I learned how to climb the stairs...and when I finally skied down that hill, you should have seen the look on my dad's face.
I will never be on the field hockey team, and I won't be running footraces anytime soon. Sometimes, life isn't the way we envisioned it to be. After all, when an artist paints a masterpiece, it never turns out exactly as he pictured. When he is finished, though, he might look at his work and see the beauty in it anyway, even if it isn't what he had in mind.
And that's what life is all about...life is the masterpiece that we learn to love through all its flaws and imperfections, regardless of the expectations or predictions we may have formed. If we do that, we might just find that it's more beautiful than we ever imagined it to be.
Liebster award season continues
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