I was lying in bed last night using the baby monitor to listen to Ilse talking. Her babbling is so precious, and without thinking, I told Tim, "I love her so much. Just think of what we would have missed if she'd been normal."
And then I heard myself. Wow, that's one of the things you never expect to say or hear, kind of like, "Please pass me that piano."
But it's how I really feel, and Tim agreed. We did go through a time period where we grieved for all the things Ilse wouldn't do: the dating, the wedding, the grandkids, the singing at family gatherings, the piano playing, communicating with ease like all her aunts, etc..
I feel though, that the blessings outweigh the pain and trouble. Ilse is the sweetest little girl, almost always smiling and babbling. She cuddles and she really might not ever grow out of loving it. She plays peek-a-boo so sweetly with her animals. She's so lovely and pure (not sinless but she has way less opportunity and inclination to sin than the rest of us, so it's just kind of a breath of fresh air if you know what I mean.) There's no way my sleep deprived brain can enumerate all the precious things Ilse introduces us to with her loving spirit. She displays such a good attitude even though she hurts. She'll be my friend and stay with me as long as she and I live.
Just think of what we would have missed if she'd been normal.