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Challenge: Kids with Special Needs

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27 and a half.

That is the average number of times that my girl either stops breathing or severely struggles to breathe during sleep.

That's 220 times per night — 220 times last night alone that the shallowness of her breath could have taken her from us.

220 odds stacked against her.

And yet — I am reminded that the odds have never been on her side. Medically speaking, the fact that she is breathing at all doesn’t make sense to anyone. Yet here she is, doing her thing like only she can, and leaving all the odds behind in the ashes.

Her life, with all of its beauty and complexity and hard, is so very much on purpose.

The way she sways down the street, announcing her presence to neighbors in song.

The way she tells me, through tears, that she doesn’t want to be brave anymore.

The way she scripts entire fairy tale stories word-for-word and for hours a day.

The way she fights to endure hard medical things and then sings, “I feel better” by Doc McStuffins when it’s over.

The way she narrates everything she does, as if she is a princess in a fairy tale.

Her rare genetics. The unique way her brain is wired. Her charm. Her strength. Her sass. The way she sees the world.

All on purpose.

But perhaps the most purposeful thing that she does is rise up every single morning.

She wakes up and she breathes. And with each breath-that-should-have-never-been, her fiery magic fills the earth.

Because in her world? You can be both a princess AND a dragon.

And aren’t we so much better for it?

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