Miranda is turning 9 (how can that be??)

Posted by Karen - January 12th, 2014

Posted by Karen

On January 15, Wednesday this week, my daughter Miranda will be 9 years old.  Seriously, 9!  My little one is not so little any more (sniff).  ;-)

Miranda is SUPER excited about her birthday.  She’s decided I have to bake cupcakes to take to school for her classmates, and she and a couple of her best friends will be doing a “tea” for their dolls after school that day (more about those dolls below).  And, of course the crowning glory, a birthday party a week from today…  It’s going to be a movie party, and we’ll be having two extra special guests – Miranda’s friend Erin and her mom Suzanne, from Seattle!  Yay!  Promises to be a very fun week for Miranda.

I remember back almost 7 years ago, shortly after Miranda’s second birthday, when we got Miranda’s diagnosis of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.  The world was a bleak and terrible place for us for a while there, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine life beyond FOP.  But when my husband and I finally surfaced for air, we were reminded that oh yeah, we have a terrific, smiley and bright little girl who is keen to get out there and enjoy the world (“FOP? Huh? Whatever.”).  It’s pretty hard not to enjoy being with a kid like that.

As the years have gone by, Miranda has continued to be an interesting and bubbly character.  As such, when I think about my girl, I tend to focus on all the great things about her, and not about her FOP-induced limited shoulders, elbows, back and (more recently) right knee.  Recently I had an interesting experience – a woman I’ve known for several years through a work connection asked me how Miranda was doing, and without thinking too much about it, I said, “Oh great!  She’s really liking grade 3, and she’s active in Girl Guides.  She had lots of fun over the holidays.”  In response, the woman looked at me sadly, and with a look of great compassion in her eyes.  My instant reaction was surprise, and for a few moments I had to sort of think about it a bit, and I realized that of course this woman was thinking about the FOP rather than Miranda herself.  She may have been thinking that I was “being so brave and optimistic, despite the tragedy of FOP.”  But you know what, I really wasn’t.  I honestly was not doing that; instead I was thinking about the girl I live with every day.

So who is that girl?  In no particular order, here’s what interests and motivates Miranda these days…

– Miranda is really into her Maplelea dolls.  These are beautifully made dolls who are supposed to be 10 year old girls, and they have soft cloth bodies, hard plastic limbs and head and brush-able hair.  Miranda loves, loves, LOVES these dolls, and over the past 3 years or so it’s pretty much been just the dolls and their accessories that she’s asked for on birthdays and for Christmas.  This year, a couple of Miranda’s good friends also became interested in Maplelea dolls and each got one of their own, and the 3 girls have spent much time dressing up their dolls and playing out various scenarios with them.  For Miranda’s birthday this week, she asked to expand her doll collection to include an American Girl doll, “Sage”.  We let Miranda open her birthday present today because her dad is going out of town on business for a few days, and this morning Miranda has been MUCH DELIGHTED with that new doll.  In the picture on the left below, she’s posing with the new doll (with brown hair) and her Maplelea doll Leonie.

M with Sage and Leonie 12-01-2014 9-14-10 AMChristmas cookies 01-12-2013 2-29-47 PM

– The picture on the above right pretty much sums up Miranda’s other fascination – sweet stuff (sigh).  Honestly, this girl would live on cookies, donuts, chocolate bars and cake if we’d let her.  She’s always keeping an eye out for more opportunities for treats, and she totally enjoyed Christmas cookies in December.  Of course we do limit Miranda’s intake, but we aren’t super hard core about it…  I will indulge my girl and make those cupcakes for her birthday, LOL.

– Something which, I have to admit, makes my heart sing is the fact that Miranda loves school (I’ve mentioned this before).  If she has to miss it for any reason, such as a medical appointment, she’s really disappointed and bummed out.  I think this is partly because Miss M enjoys socializing with her friends, but I think more to the point that she finds her school work interesting (for instance, her teacher told me that Miranda was fascinated by the Canadian geography unit in social studies, and chose to read a book about that subject during silent reading time when she could have chosen any other book which she wanted).

– Miranda has fun watching cartoons with her older brother (he’s 11).  Miranda and Owen particularly like the new Looney Tunes cartoons, and have the DVR set to record every new episode.  The two of them watch the shows together, and then analyze and debate why such-and-such character did this or that in the show.

– Here’s a thing which drives me a little bit nuts…  Almost every morning, pretty much Miranda’s first question of the day is, “What are we having for supper?”  GAH!  I know full well that she’s asking this because if it’s something she doesn’t like, she wants to marshal her arguments for why she shouldn’t have to eat that supper and should get a peanut butter sandwich instead.  Miranda is…  well, not the most varied of 9 year olds in terms of what she likes to eat.  Getting her to eat more types of things is often a struggle.  And don’t get me started on what she wants to take to school in her lunch box…   Oy.

There you have it, a bit of a snapshot of Miranda as she rounds the corner to age 9.  She is a real kid, a delight, and certainly not a rare disease tragedy.





4 Responses to “Miranda is turning 9 (how can that be??)”

  1. William Borsa says:

    Happy ninth birthday Miranda, and all the best wishes to you for the coming year. Don’t eat too many cupcakes.

    Uncle Bill and Auntie Iris

  2. Aarti says:

    Love this post Karen! We are in the “just coming up for air” phase and also focusing on enjoying our kids. Thank you SO SO much for doing what you do. xoxo

  3. Aarti says:

    Almost forgot – Happy 9th Birthday Miranda!! Almost at double digits :)

  4. Blair says:

    Sweet, in all senses of the word! I know how you feel about the speed of aging – I can scarcely believe Katie will be 5 in less than a week. Nutty.

    Great post!

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