Today, Bodie graduated from preschool.
All 40 pounds of sweet exuberance, he jumped up on that stage, shook the director's hand and accepted that diploma.
With his best friends there to celebrate.
These boys. They are 2 peas in a pod.
If a pod contained one really super well-behaved pea and one not so good pea.
(Nicholas would be the good pea. Obviously.)
Their relationship has been such a blessing for us this year. Bodie has really come out of his shell thanks to Nicholas, and always wants to know whether Nicholas is going to be at school before deciding whether to be excited about going or not.
Sweet Ani. She was Bodie's first friend at preschool, and, really, his only real friend last year. She is so sweet to him, and totally puts up with his silly antics. They are crazy together, and I'm so grateful she'll be going to kindergarten with him next year, to look out for him and keep him in line.
One my absolute besties and such an incredible source of support not just to me, but to our entire family. We love her so.stinking.much.
And his amazing, incredible cardiologist on hand.
(I mean, really, how lucky are we to have her as Bodie's cardiologist? I could go on and on about her, but just suffice it to say, she's the bomb diggity. And her daughter is kinda the sweetest thing on the planet.)
And I welled up.
I know, I know, it's just preschool graduation. And I am always guilty of over celebrating (I am a firm believer that if life is not about celebrations, then you're not living it right. There is always always something to be grateful for, and something to celebrate.)
But I digress.
Today was about SO MUCH MORE than a preschool graduation.
It was about a boy, who against all odds, fought his way here.
It was about a boy who doctors said wouldn't likely make it even to his second surgery, but who has been through 4 more since.
It was about a boy who has had 5 open-heart surgeries, 5 cardiac catheterizations and countless hospital stays, blood draws and other procedures. I know we talk a lot about Bodie's surgeries - we talk about them casually, like they were ear piercings or haircuts. But they were open-heart surgeries, peeps.
Open freaking heart surgeries. In addition to his surgeries, he has had so many complications and infections. Today, he thrives, but there were so many days we never thought we'd get to this point.
It was about a boy who cried almost every day last year at preschool, and this year opened up and thrived under the amazing tutelage of Ms. Mikki, whose love and patience for our sweet boy overflowed.
(This was Bodie's reaction when I asked him how much he loved Ms. Mikki (and Sierra's reaction when I told her she couldn't have a cupcake!))
We have never been guaranteed a tomorrow with this boy. We have had many times where we were pretty sure we weren't getting a tomorrow. We have lived so much of his life never looking forward, never thinking about what tomorrow might bring, only focusing on each day and the challenges it brought.
When Bodie was initially diagnosed and I was 17 weeks pregnant, I never would have hoped to dream of preschool graduation.
When Bodie was inpatient for almost his entire first 5 months and doctors used words like "failure to thrive," "fragile," and "uncertain future," I never would have dared to dream of today.
And yet, here we found ourselves.
With a little boy who woke up this morning, saying "Today, I graduate!!! Kindergarten, here I come!"
Yes indeed, buddy, kindergarten, here you come.
Bodie, we could not possibly be prouder of you. Of your fight. Of your tenacity. Of your enthusiasm for life.
Sweet, amazing, preschool graduate you.
Be strong, sweet boy.
We will ALWAYS be here with and for you.
To cheer you on.
To love you.