You were born with a big hole in your heart. The doctor said you needed to gain enough weight to have your little heart repaired. You did your part, eating and slowly gaining a few grams. After five months, surgery day came. I waited for what were the longest four hours to see you again. By that time, I felt that not only your heart had been repaired, but also my broken heart had healed.
Then came other challenges. I waited for two years to finally see you crawling. I waited for almost three years to see your first footsteps walking to me. I have spent many hours worried in hospitals and doctors waiting rooms. I have spent many days waiting during your therapies sessions. And now, the day came to drop you at school. On the first day of classes, when I saw other children running and talking in the hallways, a deep pain in my heart took me by surprise. You were walking very slowly, holding my hand, having a hard time to go up the little step in the main entrance, unable to talk about how you feel, and so small in size compared to the other kids. Your teacher took you by the hand, and as I kissed you, you gave me the sweetest look like saying “don’t worry, I’ll be all right.”
After seven hours, I found myself waiting for you again. I saw you walking with a huge smile, waving goodbye to everyone who passed you. After a few days, everyone in school called you by your name. You know the bus driver, the coach, the secretary, the teachers, even the traffic guard. You take the time to say "bye” to everyone, and if they walk close enough for a kiss, you make me stop to get your kiss.
A week after you started, you were chosen as “Student of the Month.” Here I am, waiting at the ceremony to see you get your medal. At this moment, I realized that although it has taken you longer than most kids to achieve the basic milestones, it has taken you only a few days to win the heart of the people that meet you. You know how to get the best out of everyone around you. You taught me that what matters in life, is not what we accomplish, is not what we can do, and is not even about how we succeed. What truly matters, it’s the lives we touch as we try our best to get there.
Having four children makes me run against the clock most of the time, but I’m grateful that you remind me to slow down. You keep on making me walk slower, wait longer, take time to look around and smile to strangers. I still dream of the day we can have conversation. I’ll wait. In the meantime, you keep telling me with your eyes and your tender smile, “mom, relax, enjoy the ride, I’ll get there!”