Today, the kids and I went to the annual California Heart Connection picnic. We missed it Bodie's first year, since he was still in the hospital, but have been every year since. It is one of our favorite events. There's nothing quite like seeing a bunch of heart kids running around and loving life. As I get further connected to the heart community, the picnic gets more fun each year, as I end up seeing so many people I know.
This year, I don't think we made it 5 minutes in before I had already hugged 4 different people I knew and waved to a handful more. The.love.was.awesome.
But I will say that Bodie seriously cramped my social style, since I couldn't talk to anyone for more than about 30 seconds before I'd have to chase him down again. I knew the picnic was going to be different this year with Bodie finally being post-Fontan and satting well. But I had no idea how different. This kid is crazy. I swear, he's like that dog in "Funny Farm" that runs away and they show periodically throughout the movie still running. He's like that. He NEVER stops. I was literally chasing him all over the place and having to run to the far parts of the park to gather him back up and ask him to at least stay where I could see him. That's what a little oxygen will do for ya!
Thankfully, for the last hour or so of the picnic, the kids settled into the park area, and those of us moms and dads that were still there just got to relax and chat. It was amazing to have that time.
Among the special friends we got to hang with today were this little one right here, Zoe, and her mom and dad.
How adorable is she??? She has HLHS like Bodie, and is also a CHLA kiddo. I adore her mom and spend lots of time emailing and texting her, but it had been a couple of years since we'd actually seen each other - and even longer since the kiddos had seen each other! Today was AWESOME watching them hang together - and maybe even cuter was seeing Sierra leading Zoe around by the hand and playing with her. Zoe is Fontanning in July - please keep this cutie in your prayers.
This is Trevor, who is a Rady's kiddo and is post-Fontan as well.
Trevor is the coolest little dude and always has such a great and happy disposition, and one of the greatest moms around. Today, Bodie, Trevor and another little guy, Tanner, were running around and playing nonstop on the playground, playing all sorts of pretend games together. Although adults generally seem to find Bodie super cute and funny, he doesn't always play that well with kids his own age. Not sure why - probably just because he's been through so much and doesn't know how to relate. I hate to say my kid is the weird one, but yeah, sometimes he is with kids his own age. But to see him playing with those 2 kiddos today, like a typical kid, and totally able to keep up with them, was so good for my heart. I literally could have cried.
Bodie and his Jeni, our amazing adult HLHS survivor.
We love Jeni. Enough said. Oh, and that she's coming up on a pretty big pacemaker surgery in June. Please pray that it goes successfully.
A small contingent of our LA Heart Moms.
I love these mamas and love getting together with them!
You know, some days are tough, being a part of the heart community. There's a lot of loss. There's a lot of fear. A lot of reminders that our battle with CHD will never be over.
But days like today make it so worth it.
Days like today make me SO blessed and humbled to be a part of such an incredible community.
Celebrating what CHD has brought into our lives.