Today another coffee-hour discussion after Liturgy got me thinking. Many people ask how Nika (our four year old daughter) is handling all of this. I'm not sure except that she definitely knows something is different about Leo. It all started in the hospital when she told us that Leo has (quote) "a little big head". He is indeed our "little big head" like something from Dances With Wolves :).
However, this is old news now that his second shunt seems to be working well. BTW, his head circumference measures 42 centimeters down from 56 at birth. Thank God! Those who see him now are not so distracted by his large head. He is capable of many more cute expressions like raised eyebrows, smiles, and wonder-filled eyes (as the video below indicates).
Anyway, back to Nika. This is something I have been intrigued with lately. There is a point when parents get to watch salvation at work in their child. I didn't know what form this would take with Nika because she is only four years old, but I realized that Leo is part of her life and therefore plays a role in her salvation at some level. He will always be with her. What I mean is that this whole saga is playing into her life at very profoundly deep levels. She will be conscious of the impact this has on her but time will tell the results. It will be acute even if all she has is a memory of her brother. Her brother will always be challenged, disabled, not like other kids, and she will have to adjust her perspective of things. Period. She will have to wrestle with this at some level as she grows up and takes in the world. What will her little mind come up with? What is the explanation to the unexplainable? Nobody will be able to give her an explanation except perhaps later when she learns some science and how things work. But until then she is logging it away, pondering it, questioning it. This becomes who she is trying to make sense of it all. So much will happen (God willing) in her emotional registers as it pertains to her brother. This is not a tragedy as it may seem at first. It just means there is a palpable force in her life already active at some level and her salvation hangs on it. When I realized this (just the other day :0 ) a weight lifted off my shoulders. I could see how God is at work in my child. There are no answers and no quick fixes just a realization that this is how it will be for her. Will it trip her up like it does her parents? Will she be coming closer to God or pulling away? I hope and pray for the former.
If I had to sum it up I would say she is taking this all in stride like a perfectly blissful four year old. She doesn't find herself on the threshold of the pit like her parents, but I think this means there is more potential for her, more hope, and more Godliness.
Thank you for the continued prayers. It is great seeing all of you in the short moments our paths cross.