Just like last year, I’ve tried writing a birthday post for Harrison all day.
Between work and the stress of making a duck cake (IYKYK), I’ve not really had the time to think, or maybe I was using those things to keep from it. Just like many milestones and moments with Harrison, when I want to write, I bounce back and forth between simply being happy and joyful and being a bit more transparent.
When I write, and I share it, I try my best to be transparent, or at least as transparent as I feel people would want me to be. Sometimes I hold back. Sometimes I’m typing with tears in my eyes. And sometimes, I simply have no words.
I think today is a mix of all.
I won’t lie. It feels crazy to say that Harrison is 2. How is that possible we’re already here? How did we get here so fast? How do I have a 2-year-old?! (on top of a 13- and 16-year-old no less!)
While we were cleaning up from the party earlier (thank you to everyone that came), Jenna laughed and said that there was no way I could have thought, two years ago, that I’d have spent the day making a duck cake, for a Bluey-themed birthday party.
She’s not wrong. Two years ago, I didn’t know where we’d be right now. Mostly in the past two years, I feared taking the time to imagine where we’d be.
April 5, 2021, a lifetime ago, Harrison was 1 month and 1 day old.
While I’ve avoided thinking about where we could be at this point since that date, I’ve had today circled in my brain since that day nearly 2 years ago. I have held onto this day tightly. Today was more than just my baby boy turning 2. Today was not only a milestone but a day that I can finally let go of a breath I’ve been holding for the past 23 months.
April 5, 2021, was the day, via a telehealth zoom call, when we were told that Harrison had Nemaline Myopathy. During that call with the genetics team at UK, as they broke down what that meant for us, for Harrison, they informed us that severe cases of Nemaline Myopathy in infants have a 66% fatality rate in the first 2 years.
Because of his arthrogryposis, they considered Harrison’s case to be severe.
That little statistic has never left me.
However, back then, I didn’t realize how many stats I would keep track of in my head.
Including 13 casts in 2 years, 7 trips to Greenville, SC in the past year, the countless number of therapies, and a whopping total of 3 shows he’s willing to watch/tolerate.
In a matter of 2 years, my little guy is already a hardened veteran of castings and exams. He’s a professional at staying in hotel rooms and taking advantage of people who underestimate him.
Harrison has a lot of random statistics I could share. I hate it. I hate it for him, and I hate all the things he’s had to go through in these first two years. I’m his dad. Of course, I hate it, but it’s just not fair.
It’s just not fair to all the people who will have to deal with underestimating him in the years to come!
This strong-willed, stubborn, manipulative child of mine (and Jenna’s!)
Take all the most aggravating aspects of both mine and Jenna’s personalities, combine them, sharpen them, and the hardened steel you come out with is Harrison Greene!
Much to his mother’s chagrin, this little 2-year-old (crazy to say it!) has a stronger will to simply find ways to defy people than most even realize. His unrelenting determination to find the laziest way to accomplish things knows no bounds! Just ask his therapists!
He’s a child of very few, if any, words right now, but he doesn’t have to be anything but that, because he can give a dissertation simply from a look and his facial expressions.
No toddler has ever made a grown adult feel more judged than one that has been given the stare from Harrison Greene!
He is truly a child all his own, but when those eyes light up and he gives you his giant cheesy smile, the world stops.
And when you can grab a rare moment when he wants to cuddle, and he snuggles in all warm and tight, you want nothing else than for time to stop at that moment.
People have called him a little angel, an inspiration, a fighter, and rightfully so, a little prince, but all he is, is my son. My hero.
Year 1 was hard. It was full of unknowns, heartaches, and accomplishments. Of struggles and successes. A persistent rollercoaster from day one.
Year 2, unsurprisingly, has been all of that, plus progress, frustration, disappointment, lots of doubt, and a touch of surprise. The end of year 2 also comes with potential and possibilities in the year ahead.
Two years ago, I did not know where we’d be at this point. I was scared to think about or consider it. Now, two years in, we’re approaching thresholds I would never allow myself to consider as possible. We’re at a point of “when” rather than “if”.
Here’s to the terrible twos, and to seeing where we are WHEN Harrison turns 3.