I've come to the realization lately that perhaps I've spent too much time feeling sorry. Sorry for myself because I have to manage a PKU diet, which I really do not like sometimes. Sorry for my baby that she will grow up "different" from other kids and will never eat my favorite foods. Sorry for my husband who will never be able to buy her a hot dog at a baseball game. Sorry for our family that probably will be going through this again with another child.
All along the way people have offered encouragements that I didn't want to hear.
I knew "it could be worse."
I knew we had "so much to be grateful for."
I knew we are "so blessed to have her in our lives."
But I haven't really felt like it was okay until recently.
I no longer feel the need to make excuses or apologies for my baby who is perfect and wonderful and will never be restricted in anything she wants to do in life. I don't complain so much anymore when I have to break out the scale before dinner and scrape up baby left overs to do some math when it's over.
I think now it's a little easier to feel okay about PKU because I can see that Avery is okay. She is consistently ahead of all her milestones and is wonderfully curious and crazy, just the way I'd like her to be. PKU or not.
PKU hasn't defined her and I don't ever want it to.
It's just a thing, you know?
Like how it's impossible for me to get a real tan.
Or like how I have a ginormous forehead a la Tyra Banks.
And big teeth.
These are just a few of the things I was made fun of for all growing up, even through high school and college. But you know what? I'm more than big teeth and pale skin. And just in the same way that Avery is more than a low protein diet and a genetic disorder. I imagine she may face some of her own ridicule in her life for the things that make her different, but I refuse to ever let it define her. And I'm done feeling sorry.