Monday, July 9, 2012

A Birthday Chiasmus

Bridgette turned four yesterday!

While this is most reasonable on her part, it does have the subtle effect of making me  feel "grown up."

I have a four year old?

The answer, it would seem, is yes.

Every day she reminds me with the words, "I growing up, Mom!"

See for yourself.

I'm thrilled to have such a beautiful daughter who is in fact growing   . . . in height . . . in confidence . . . in ability. 

Bridgette continues to challenge us, although nowadays it's generally on purpose. 

She can be independent, empathetic, tough, rough, and undeniably imaginative. She's also stubborn, gives up more easily than we'd like, and can be ridiculously sensitive, especially when she's off routine.

She's still progressing in mobility and speech. 

With difficulty and not for long, Bridgette can now stand/hop on one foot. She thinks she can run fast, and she's right. She runs faster every day.

In speech, she's slowly becoming easier to understand. Her typical language consists of dramatic facial expressions, equally dramatic body motions, and words. 

Sometimes she converses with complete strangers, and they understand her. I'm getting better at not tearing up when this happens.

At four years old, Bridgette is now using silly, made-up words that often accidentally sound like she's swearing, and she's beginning her foray into potty humor. 

From time to time she gets into my paints or make-up then admits her crime before I've discovered the mess. 

Her confession usually goes like this:


"Yes, Bridgette?"

"Sorry, Mommy!"

Then she runs and hides.

Bridgette still likes space, animals (bugs in particular), and music. She excels at using our Apple devices, iPad and iPhones. She's been fixated lately on fire/firefighters and Halloween. 

One of her favorite activities is to make her hand talk.

It says, "Hi! I'm a hand-puppet! Halloween! Dress up!"

She puts her hand behind her back and strongly encourages you to do the same. When your puppet returns, it'd better be in costume. She prefers for you to claim your costume first, then she picks something to match.


Me = Jupiter; Her = Earth
Me = Fish; Her = Mermaid
Me = Butterfly; Her = Flower
Me = Fire; Her = Rain
Me = Fairy; Her = Magic Wand

Bridgette loves the dogs, and nothing gets a belly-laugh from her like watching them wrestle. 

Somewhat at  random, she tells me she loves me.

Health-wise this year has been incredible:

  -- She hasn't been hospitalized since March 2011. 
  -- She's eating more foods successfully. 
  -- She only wakes us up every other night, and it's usually because she's scared of "the mean dragons and fire" because they "RAWWWR" in her sleep. 
  -- She may be in pull-ups for pee until she's eight, but otherwise, potty-training continues to be near perfect. And given her special circumstances, that is something of a miracle.
  -- Despite a rocky start, Jeff and I have noticed her immune-system has really matured. She even seems to get fewer colds than your typical kid.

Along with the update above, Bridgette's birthdays always bring a bit of reminiscing. So I thought I'd share a coordinated look back, followed by a look forward. Except for early surgery-related photos, all the photos below were taken on, or within a week of, her actual birthdays.

In honor of Shakespeare, in the manner of Latin / Greek / Hebrew poetry, I present you with a structure of images, an inverted parallelism, a poetic balance of order and growth.

A Birthday Chiasmus

4 Years Old

4 Years Old

3 Years Old

2 Years Old

1 Year Old

Within a Week of Coming Home, After Surgery

In the NICU, Before Surgery

5 Weeks Old in the Womb, Heart Already Beating

AT PCMC, Before Surgery

At PCMC, After Surgery

1 Year Old

2 Years Old

3 Years Old

4 Years Old

4 Years Old


Lore said...

Her growing up, Kelly! She seems such a big girl now!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

JulieAnn said...

She looks so happy!

Just wait until she's five and you're having to think about kindergarten. That's where we're at this fall. :(

Jeff Johnson said...

You are such a good writer Kel. I love you!

Brenda Johnson said...

One for the book :) She's adorable and it is so wonderful to see her so happy!! The princess photo today on Facebook was just awesome!!

Happy Birthday Bridgette!! Auntie loves you!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminiscing, the updates and the happy photos.

Happy birthday dear Bridgette!

Aunt Lynn

Alisha said...

Happy birthday to the amazingly progressed Bridgette! Absolutely love that newborn picture of her and Jeff! How perfectly precious is that look she's giving her daddy?!