Ava

Ava is a rock. She takes things in stride where her sister is all over the map. If she is upset, it means something is up.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had too many reasons to write about Ava and what she’s been through with her seizures. Yet, seizures are the furthest thing from defining her.

This is a year of parenting milestones. Anna turned 16 and now Ava turns 13, and we are head first into the teenage years.

Ava is the smart kid without much common sense. She’ll pick up on something five minutes after the conversation because she’s been thinking about her own thing. She makes honor roll effortlessly and organizes herself in ways her sister (and her father) may never figure out.

This year the younger sister by three years grew taller than the older. They like to stand next to each other and have people guess who is older. The guess is usually Ava.

She endures and carries on. Ava has taken more pills over the past two and a half years than I have taken in 45. She’s had to worry about things she can’t understand or control. And yet, while in the hospital for a month, her biggest complaint during that stretch was not being allowed to have a soda while she was in intensive care.

Ava finds humor in simple things. She laughs easily and often. She isn’t that worried about what other people think and doesn’t seem to need to be surrounded by friends all the time. She is nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning or off the couch.

I love remembering her packing the 96-pack of Crayola crayons in her backpack so she was sure to have the right color to draw with. I love that when doctors said she probably wouldn’t be ready to play field hockey after getting out of the hospital, that Ava was named the team MVP for the season and was a force on the field. I love that she already knows the key things she wants to do when she visits Ocean City this summer, including her annual tradition of getting hair wraps.

Ava surprises me frequently. Her thoughts come out of left field. She has taught me more about taking life as it comes and about perseverance than I could have imagined. She taught me about prayer and about gratitude and about carpe’ing the diem.

When Ava was born, I remember thinking she and her sister will be 13 and 16 at the same time. Formidable parenting patience required.

I look at her attitude. I look at her humor and personality. I look at her quirkiness and kindness. And I know that she will live life on her own terms and at her own pace. But she’ll probably need someone to wake her up in the mornings 🙂

 

Author: Michael Valliant

I am a father, a writer, a runner, a hiker, reader, follower of Christ, a longboard skateboarder, stand-up paddleboarder, kayaker, novice birder, sunrise chaser, daily coffee drinker, occasional beer sipper. I live in Oxford on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where I am the Assistant for Adult Christian Education and Small Groups at Christ Church Easton by day. I am on a walk of faith, a spiritual adventure, following where God leads, sharing my story as it unfolds.

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