I’m not sure how I came up with this idea, but when Maria was pregnant with my first grandbaby, I decided to pick out an animal that would be my special secret-but-not-really-secret animal I’d have with just that child. Winnie became by “owl” baby. I picked out owl decorations and made her a stuffed owl and an owl blanket. It just so happened that owls seemed to surge in popularity about that time. (I had no idea I was such a trend-setter!) It’s difficult NOT to buy every cute owl thing I see, and there’s plenty to be had.
When Winnie turned one, we heard there was a new baby on the way! After pondering a few things in my heart, I decided this baby would be my “fox” baby, and so Olive became that. And just like clockwork, foxes are now cuter than ever and just about everywhere. Look around, if you haven’t noticed them before, I bet you will now. Olive has received plenty of fox-covered finery during her 4 years on earth.
I’ve found both owl teacups and fox teacups so I can have animal-appropriate tea parties with each girl:
So along came baby #3! After careful consideration, and a bit of back-and-forth-ness, Molly was to become my “deer” baby. She recently turned one year old, and I’m still waiting for the popularity boom of the deer to hit, as the owl and fox did . . . no such luck yet. I have found the occasional adorable stuffed deer and did manage to make a pretty cute deer blankey. (It did have a few other forest creatures on there, too, but beggars can’t be choosers.)
Now comes the cool part. Well, and the scary part.
Around the time of Molly’s first birthday, Maria noticed she hadn’t started to make any attempts at crawling. Not such a big deal, lots of kids skip that phase without much concern. But she also noticed she was never attempting to pull herself up on furniture, or ever put her feet down in an attempt to bear weight on her little legs. Having had two kids already, my daughter knew this was a normal “baby” thing to do. So at Molly’s 12 (ish) month check-up, Maria mentioned it to her pediatrician. The pediatrician looked at Molly (who is so darn cute, btw . . . here, take a look . . . . )
and said she did seem to have “low muscle tone” in her legs. She suggested she be seen by a pediatric neurologist and just get checked out.
Since a young mom doesn’t hear the words “your baby should see a pediatric neurologist” every day, let’s just say it caused my daughter extreme stress. Not because of anything the doctor said, actually. I think she was actually really nice. It was the googling that did Maria in. You can find out great stuff when you google, and you can read stuff to make you feel like your worst nightmare is coming true. My poor daughter worried herself sick that something really serious was going on with her sweet little Molly.
Fast forward to neurologist appointment . . . . “big, serious stuff” pretty much ruled out. It could be a couple of things, but the first course of treatment was physical therapy, which she’s still doing. Some days at PT she’s a champ and does all the things she’s supposed to do. Some days are just plain tough and she cries and Maria cries and it seems like a complete disaster.
It just so happens that one of my favorite Bible verses is Habakkuk 3:19 that says “The sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Or it says the same thing in Psalm 18:33. (I don’t know who said it first, David or Habakkuk. Not that is matters I guess as it was Divinely inspired.) But think of it . . . . Molly’s animal is the deer and her little legs and feet need to be strengthened so that she’ll be able to go on the heights!
We may not see the deer become the latest cutesy trend, but it doesn’t matter. That God would lay it on my heart to choose a deer for this little girl makes me feel sure He’s working this all out.
Molly is perfect, no matter what. My sweet little deer. I love you.