Heart Party 2010

Two and a half years ago a surgeon sliced into my 3-year-old's chest - skin, bone and subsequent layers - all the way through her heart to patch a hole. A hole that made us question her future and pray for her health, and we are not usually the praying type. He, and numerous others who helped, succeeded in closing that stubborn hole. A little scarred now, sure. But she's absolutely healthy and that's all that we could hope for, and turns out it's the best thing on earth. Healthy girl, healthy children all three.

Needless to say, I get a little teary thinking about how sick she was as an infant, but how she was a fighter and did so well with, as her cardiologist described it, that clunky old broken washing machine of a heart (funny way to describe her obnoxious murmur). Still, her little heart wasn't going to budge from its first-formed anatomy. So in stepped modern medicine and that strange surgeon with hands like a symphony. He fixed her right up, and her little body took the cue and continued on healing itself after that. Now, that is something else. Something else, indeed.

Which brings us all to the heart party Children's Hospital Oakland throws each year. We went again this year, and the kids enjoyed it. Everyone loves a party! And that's how I want her to remember this whole thing. I keep waiting for Lucy to ask about her scar. Her scar that still itches from time to time. She seems to not think of it at all really, just an absent-minded scratch to rid the itching now and again. I'll mention the heart parties that we go to when it comes up. I'll try to help her remember the good people and place that helped to mend her heart. That it was tough but she was brave, and each year we get to celebrate. And the scar will be a footnote. The life she's living to the fullest is the real triumph.

Ready for some fun!

Lucy excitedly waiting for her balloon animal. A pink dog on a leash.

Annabel getting her balloon animal too. One just like big sis.

Paul and Sammy going down the big slide.

Annabel's turn.


A late lunch of pizza after play time.

That's our girl!


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