Thursday, November 29, 2012


About a month ago now, the girls and I went to their cousin's birthday party at an art/play space.  It was right in the middle of nap time, so both girls fell asleep on the way there, but Gracie woke up in good spirits, excited to paint and play.  She was a little sleepy/out of it, but happy.  The kids started by painting picture frames, and then they were organized for a group picture.  G was quiet but content, got in line, and was paying VERY close attention, trying to do everything absolutely right, sit exactly where she was told, and listen for more instructions.  So when they told the kids to say cheese, she immediately complied.  And only half of her face moved.  The other half was virtually frozen.  This is not *exactly* new- her facial weakness never went away, it's definitely worse when she's tired, and, as her neurologist pointed out, best when she's expressing genuine emotion.  It's never good right when she wakes up.  So it shouldn't have shocked me.  But seeing her, so intent on being part of the group, and seeing how very, very obvious the facial weakness was, felt like being slapped.  With a brick.  I pretended to busy myself with Katie, who was not in the picture, and very helpfully feeling quite fussy after her own premature awakening (HA.  as if she normally cares.), and it was a good excuse to walk away and talk big gulping breaths and stop crying already, SERIOUSLY.  I have no idea if Gracie noticed or not.  She will one day, and so will other kids around her, and that's all I have to say about that.

While I was driving home, I realized that the pictures they took at school, which I'd been so, so excited to finally see, might not be something I wanted to see after all.  I mean, it's highly unlikely that a photographer she's never met before is going to elicit a genuine smile.  So I waited on pins and needles, bracing myself for the worst, telling myself it was okay, we have plenty of pictures of big, genuine smiles, and it's just one silly school picture.

When I was unloading her bag after school today, I saw the envelope with the pictures.  I actually held my breath as I slid them out of the envelope.

And I haven't stopped staring at it since.


Heather said...

Make me cry, why don't you!

LOVE the picture.

Kristen said...

That girl is beautiful no matter what.

So are you for that matter.

rebekah said...


Jennie B said...

Such a beauty!!