From three weeks of age, life with Addison has been one adventure after another. Some are really awful roller coaster rides, and others are amazing moments of awesomeness. As she gets older, I sometimes forget that she has her own fears, anxieties and worries. Things are not as simple as they were before when we could distract her, entice her with ice cream (whereas Charlie is still an easy target for bribery), or talk her through something.
Yesterday afternoon I watched her struggle with serious anxiety and apprehension while trying out a flying trapeze class for the first time at our friend Sheena’s birthday party. I was supposed to participate too but am currently battling a serious left knee issue. Addison insisted on going anyhow, even though she was the only kid.
As soon as she got on the practice trapeze, I could see her fear and emotion. She was supposed to hang by her knees upside down, but panicked when the instructor told her to let go. She started to tear up and when she got off she immediately ran over for a hug. Then when the group moved over to the real trapeze, Addison got even more nervous and upset. One of the instructors took her aside and got her to do some more practising on the lower trapeze, which calmed her down a little, and she wanted to proceed to the big trapeze.
Fighting back tears, shaking like a leaf, my little girl slowly climbed up the ladder. She looked so scared, yet she kept going. My heart was breaking for her, yet I knew the best thing I could do as her mom was stand back and let her fight this battle. I was tearing up, watching Addison struggle to control her emotions. When she grabbed on to the bar and the instructor pushed her feet off the platform, she looked terrified. But then as she started to swing, the fear instantly transformed into the hugest grin. And she just beamed. I was so incredibly proud of how she fought through her deep fear and persevered. And the crazy thing is she kept going back for more, even though she was still so scared up on the platform, waiting for the push to go.
Today we embark on another adventure, though one that should be just pure joy. Thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation, Addison’s wish to meet Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is coming true! She is a little nervous but keeps talking about how excited she is, saying, “This is going to be the best thing that’s ever happened in my life!!” Even Charlie is excited. She says David is “going to space to meet Martians.”
We know we are luckier than most, with a chronically ill child who is able to live a pretty much ‘normal’ life. We are able to take her traveling, sign her up for various lessons and classes, and allow her to experience just about anything she wants. But we are so grateful to the Children’s Wish Foundation for giving her something we can’t. During a conversation with the head of the BC chapter a couple of years ago, Aaron expressed his guilt over ‘taking’ a wish when other children were so much worse than Addison. But she quickly said to him, “She is healthy right now. But you don’t know what’s in her future.”
And I think the whole idea of the child getting to ask for just about anything makes the wish incredibly meaningful. There is so much these children have absolutely no control over, and so many things get done ‘to’ them. Though it is our normal, there is absolutely nothing normal about a 7-year old going for blood every few weeks, getting sedated for a catch lab procedure, and going to the hospital for regular visits.
The whole process has been special, and now that the wish is actually here, I think I am just excited as she is. Yes, it will be a thrill to meet David Saint-Jacques, but it will be equally incredible, if not even more special, to watch Addison experience her wish.
Houston, we definitely don’t have a problem. Hope you’re ready for a little bit of McYong craziness! 🙂
PS Follow our Houston adventures on Instagram. We’ll be posting regularly!
Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie