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Happy Birthday, My Girl

I love to read.  In much the way that a certain song or fragrance will elicit memories of a stage of life or a super cool moment at a high school dance, I have books seared into my memory from the moments in time when I was reading them.  

When Kate was born, I was reading a book about cryptography.  Josie was born unexpectedly premature the week before Christmas.  Life was so scattered with her arrival and Christmas that I didn’t have time for reading.  I do recall that the scriptural story of Christ’s birth held special significance for me that year as I held my newborn baby.  With Davey, I was reading E. L. Konigsburg’s The View from Saturday.  The book uses a 6th grade academic competition as the backdrop for the coming together of four special students and their teacher.  The teacher is returning to the profession after a ten year absence due to a car accident that confined her to a wheelchair.  

Now, I’ve seen enough X-Files to know that in rare cases, through the process of psychic transference, mental touchstones can cross interdimensional boundaries and a symbiotic positronic interface can occur.  I think that happened with our kids.  Maybe what I read affects how they act and what they think.  It’s  possible.  Books allow you to flip a few pages ahead to get a sneak peak at what's coming.   But the chapters of life don’t always unfold as smoothly.  A year ago Maggie entered our lives and completed our family.  She continues to amaze and delight us.  Life is good, though not without challenges.  We learned a few months ago that Maggie has an abnormally underdeveloped cerebellum.  

The cerebellum is involved with maintenance of balance and posture, coordination of voluntary movements, motor learning, and cognitive functions.  Many of the significant delays that Maggie is experiencing are likely related to the functioning of her cerebellum.  We are hopeful that over time she will learn how to compensate, but she may not.  Either way, life is still good.  We don’t really dwell too much on these things because we can’t change them, and because setbacks and challenges don’t define us.  We see the progress that Maggie is making over time and with her team of expert sibling-therapists (thanks Davey, Josie, and Kate) we know that she’ll continue to grow and progress and live her right life.  A day or two after Davey was born I finished The View from Saturday.  I happened to glance at the dedication page and saw this message from the author:

Her words to her David brought me a lot of comfort and peace as I contemplated my Davey's future path. Now, five years later, I can't imagine a better life.  When Millie came out of surgery in Houston and all had gone well, the nurse coordinator gave me a big hug and said, "God is good."  She was so right.  Happy Birthday my Mags!
God is good.
We spent most of her birthday running errands,
and at Shriners Hospital.  Cheerful as ever with her new toy!
I just couldn't end this entry without celebrating all of you!  Millie wanted to throw a huge party for Maggie and invite everyone we knew to thank them.  Then I talked her down and instead, when we go to bed tonight, we will thank the Lord for our Maggie and our dear friends and family.  We love you.


  1. Thank YOU for sharing your family with us! I love reading about you guys and miss you so much even though you are so close. Happy Birthday Maggie!

  2. Happy Birthday sweet Maggie girl!

  3. Hard to believe it's been a year! I loved your post...although the 3rd paragraph has me a little stumped. Love you, Maggie!

  4. She is so beautiful! Happy Birthday Maggie!

  5. I don't know if we will ever come and stay at your house again. We are all getting too big. It makes me want to cry to see your family growing up without us. The challenges you face are no match for the noble spirits you all are. It is obvious to me from your post that you are being refined while I am still having the sharp corners knocked off. I wish . . . I wish . . . but you have everything you need, and right now I am just glad you share it with the rest of us. Thanks, Matt. And Happy Birthday to Maggie.


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