Today Bridget turns five. FIVE. That is half a decade I didn't think I would have with this beautiful child. I have a tradition. Every year I thank everyone who helps her be the best she can be.
Her school. Her teacher and assistants. Her classmates that include Bridget not due to inclusion but due to friendship. With their help she has found her voice. A year ago she was in class but quiet. Now she bosses her classmates at the top of her lungs. A child we were told would never speak shouts.
Her school therapists. They have the hardest job out there. They remain kind but strict, loving but firm. I honestly do not know how they care for the children in this program day in and day out. They are poorly paid, over qualified and have unending patience. We are so very lucky to live in a town where children with special needs are included and counted. With the upmost care they have taught Bridget how to jump, how to draw a circle and how to be plugged into the world around her.
Her Spaulding team. She has the best bunch of therapists at Spaulding. They have become our support system, our friends and our race buddies.
They care for more than just Bridget. Her SPT has helped Abby with her homework, or well tried to. Her OT has let Abby be involved with sensory play. Her PT has let Abby be a part of the obstacle course. It's more than the therapists. The secretaries greet Bridget with a smile and a hug. The medical assistants whom we are not patients for pick Bridget up and listen to her babble. They meet David & I out for dinner. They see us as more than parents of their patient.
Her Children's team. This year Bridget graduated out of three programs. Her MD list is down to eight. That's right EIGHT. She still has her quirks but now only needs to see the other doctors in an emergency. She is STABLE people. As in stable does not need intense monitoring. As in has not been hospitalized in TWO years. As in only has to go to CHB twice a year.
Her friends. The little girl who invited Bridget to a birthday party. The friends that come over to our home because it is easier for her than going to theirs. The friends at our Irish pub who smile at her antics when we take her out for dinner. The friends that encouraged her all summer so we could have this moment. This beautiful moment:
Her family. The ones the read this blog and don't get upset with me for my openess. The ones that know by reading this blog they are helping Bridget. The ones that don't read this blog but show their love to Bridget by supporting her every moment.
Her sister. Abby is aware that her sister is special. Each year the definition, in Abby's mind, of special evolves. But what never wavers is her love and support. She is the reason Bridget went into the ball pit of terror in OT. Her name was Bridget's first word and she is the first person Bridget runs to after school.
Today is Bridget's Happy Day. And I thank each and everyone one of you for making it so.