Thankful for Ten

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

When babies are born, parents instinctively check that all ten fingers and all ten toes are perfectly placed.

There was no need to inspect every inch of you, my tiny precious one. You were already perfection.

I only needed to hear your first cry. A boulder of worry was lifted from my shoulders at that very moment.

All the reassurance that I needed came from that one, long awaited, beautiful sound.

Knowing that there was breath in your lungs and strength in your heartbeat, every other detail instantly became insignificant.

You were here with us and that was absolutely all that mattered.

You began capturing the hearts of everyone in your path, from day one.

Your Daddy and I fell completely head over heels at first sight. Your big brother beamed with pride when he finally got to meet you in the NICU.

He was only six when you came along and I will always remember the tender look on his face as he exclaimed, “She’s AMAZING!”  You were so small, but the fight in you was mighty.

For weeks, we were intently focused on your getting stronger so that we could bring you home.

We never expected that our magnificent little gift from above would become such a catalyst for big change.

You quickly set us on a path towards becoming better people.  Your presence in this world instantly made our lives BETTER.

Now, in a few short days, you will be TEN.  Two whole hands.  Double digits.

Looking at your sweet face, watching you stretch your arms up to be held, I am so thankful for ten.

Sitting with you, reflecting on all the challenges you have gracefully overcome and all the steep mountains you have climbed, I couldn’t be prouder of where you are, at ten years old.

Reflecting on all the infinite lessons you have taught us, I am THANKFUL.

THANKFUL for the unwavering strength in you that has brought out the strength in all of us.

THANKFUL for all the moments of pure joy that you continuously bring to our lives.

THANKFUL for the true understanding that love needs no words.  Feeling the touch of your little hand on mine while I sing silly songs to you.…Seeing the light in your eyes and hearing you squeal in delight when your Daddy walks through the door…Beautiful reminders that  “I love you” can be expressed without a spoken word.

THANKFUL for the wisdom you have instilled in us that we must always focus on our abilities.

THANKFUL for every magical moment I get to spend with you.

THANKFUL for ten years of being your Mom. There is no greater honor in this life than taking care of you and your brother. Ten years have gone by in a blink.  I hope and pray every day for at least fifty more.

THANKFUL that at ten, you still love to snuggle as I read your favorite book to you. I feel as if the words in the story were written specifically about you.

“Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.”

Happy 10th Birthday, sweet girl.  I am so incredibly thankful for you.


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