It’s been six weeks since Anika fell down the stairs at our house resulting in a concussion, skull fracture and broken left arm. And TODAY, July 1 is her seventh birthday. Before the day ends, I want to update on her joy of today and how far she’s come over the last six weeks.
Anika is our baby girl and knowing she is my youngest makes my heart pang even more I think with each of her birthdays. She has always been a sleeper, a great sleeper but today she woke as she heard her daddy leaving for work, before 6:30 a.m. and came dashing to me, who was trying to get in a few more minutes of sleep to announce, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” Seeing her joy, bright eyes and smile was the best alarm I could have. She ended up crawling back into our bed and snoozing until it was time to Facetime an excited niece Nola in Colorado.
Anika’s recovery from her concussion has been the most difficult six weeks we’ve had with her in her short little life. Anika usually always sparkles. She exudes positivity. She is sassy and has energy that comes naturally to her.
The concussion really slowed her down. She lost her sparkle. Her short-term memory struggled for a few weeks. She had headaches. She slept for huge chunks of times during the day. Light bothered her. Sounds bothered her. We had to keep her home from events. Her thoughtful kindergarten teacher who is also our friend offered to have her over to play during Hunter’s graduation ceremony. The light, sounds and people would have been overwhelming for her. Less action, a slower schedule and a lot of rest. Stress on the A LOT of rest have been key.
We met with a neurosurgeon before our Boston family vacation. Anika has a normal brain, no long-term impacts and it was a huge relief. Her skull fracture has new bone growth. She has recovered thanks to rest, modern medicine and an army of prayer warriors. Many of you read this blog and sent notes about praying for Anika. Praying for our child made a difference and over the last two weeks she has turned a corner.
Her bright light is back. She is witty again. She’s ornery too. She has more sass and isn’t as delicate as she was a month ago as she rested.
Today she had three requests for her birthday.
- Go to our small town coffee shop for breakfast
- Play at Keith and Shelli’s house (our prairie neighbors who are adults that patiently love and entertain our kids often.)
- Go to the swimming pool with Elizabeth
The last one was more complicated as Anika’s arm is still in a shorter purple cast and will be until July 15. But we’ve learned to wrap it in Saran Wrap and use a bread bag as a cover. We got her list done!
Nana baked a cake. Elizabeth went over to decorate it. Anika and I weeded the garden together before swimming time. Of our three kids, Anika is our worker bee and always willing to work! She said, “Weed, you’re in the WRONG place and will die!” We could hear a sprayer airplane taking off nearby to spray fields for pests and disease. Anika said, “Can that guy just come spray our garden?” I explained why that wouldn’t work. Our weeding continued until Nana and Elizabeth came back and together they went to the pool.
I stayed home to prep our family birthday party supper of ravioli with a broccoli alfredo sauce, grilled chicken drumsticks, fruit salad, bread and punch. It rained (hooray for rain!) in the late afternoon. As the rain broke, I snapped a picture of Anika as we gathered together to eat. I said, “Show us your fancy pose.”
You can see her pizzazz and sparkle in her face. From the broken little girl she was on May 15 to today, July 1 is remarkable.
She is resilient. And STRONG. “What does age seven make you?” I asked her tonight. She said, “A strong girl!”About 18 times throughout the day Anika said to me, “Mom, seven years ago today, I came out of your tummy!”
Yes, sweetie. I remember. Scheduled c-section. 7:46 a.m. two weeks ahead of her due date. We love all the joy Anika brings our family. Happy 7th birthday sweet baby girl. Keep sparkling, being fierce and bold and sharing your zest for life.You are a sunshine in our life.