It seems a lifetime ago that my daughter was born, pissed-the-fuck-off at the world with an ominous lump on the back of her head. That day changed us both.

Once shattered and broken on that hospital floor, I’ve slowly pieced myself back together, removing the bad bits and replacing them with good. Stitched up and mostly whole now, I’m not the person who waddled into that room and popped out a very sick daughter. That’s okay.

I begged her doctors, all of them, for something, anything, to hold onto while I schlepped my ill daughter from neurosurgeon to neurosurgeon and I heard the one thing patients abhor most: “we don’t know what this means for her,” followed by the kick-in-the-teeth, “time will tell.”

So we’ve been watchfully waiting from the sidelines, celebrating the victories while fretting the small things: Does that foot-drag mean she’s brain-damaged? How brain-damaged? Is that a seizure or is she just fucking with me?

I don’t know when you exhale. I don’t know how to accept, “it really IS okay.” Because those words nag at the back of my brain, my own untouched brain, just below the surface: “time will tell.

Sometimes, I get angry, because it’s such a bullshit thing to do, wait for time to do anything. It’s always been there, “time telling” underneath all the milestones and victories, as I wonder what next.

Today, we finally got our answer.

Time, that fucking bastard, got off his ass and came to our Early Intervention meeting and opened his whore mouth and said, “Amelia is at or above level for everything. We see no reason to continue services.”

And for the first time in a long time, I exhaled as my daughter, the Princess of the Bells, led me into the future.

152 thoughts on “No Longer Qualifies for Services

  1. Crying tears of joy for you. How absolutely wonderful. I wish you and your daughter well as you embark on this, the first day of her future.

  2. (Whoosh-ohthankyouGodandeveryoneinvolved) You can now STOP the worrying and START the enjoying!!! I am so happy for you and your family!!

  3. This news is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I too had a very sick baby…who is now a totally strong & healthy 10 year old, so I appreciate the depth of the exhale you’re experiencing. All the way from your toes, a breath leaves your body–a breath that maybe you’d even forgotten, a little bit, that you’d been hanging onto. Cheers to all of you!

  4. What an INCREDIBLE DAY! Your joy resonates with every word.

    My oldest daughter had a severe speech delay (didn’t talk – at all – until 3). It sounds like you have persevered through SO MUCH MORE than we did, but I know the sheer delight in hearing that phrase, “no longer qualifies for services.” Just AWESOME.

    So proud of you both!

  5. Your posts about Amelia usually cause me to tear up, because well… you know, but I’m 13 weeks pregnant (PS thank you for the week-by-week pregnancy guide from a while back), and these posts cause me to go all blubbery, snot all over the place because they are so… I don’t even know the words. Awesome. i’m so glad your Princess of the Bells is kicking everyone’s asses! YAY!!!!! (yes I know – too many exclamation points, but I believe even the staunchest of the grammar police will forgive me this time)

  6. Fabulous! May you learn how to breathe again as you celebrate Amelia’s pure domination over uncertainty and time.

    You all deserve a monumental Cheers!

  7. One of the few times in life you hear words like that and want to jump for joy. I’m so happy for you and the beautiful Amelia.

    Also I don’t think I mentioned before I love the hell out of the new site design, it’s so classy.

  8. Yay for Ameilia, the Princess of Bells, ass-kicker of illness and doubt! I will have a cupcake today in her fearsome honor! And maybe a tea party, because I can!

    1. **makes my heart smile**

      p.s. anything you write in <> doesn’t appear, so yes, I’m replying to my own comment.

    1. Ya know… (Why, Yes… I AM talking to myself)

      I feel sorry for Amelia’s first boyfriend. It’s not her parents he’s got to watch out for, it’s the Princess of the Bells that’s going to turn him every which way but loose.

      Shaves a mohawk on his head, puts on ten pounds of gold chain and rips the sleeves off his shirt. (you have NO idea how ridiculous this looks, think Herman Munster) and says:

      I pity the fool, I pity the fool.

  9. Hells yeah!!! Thats so awesome. I’m hoping a day comes that I can hear that too, but for now YEAH YOU GUYS!!!!!

  10. YAY!!! This is such good news! I am SO SO happy to hear this. I knew she’d be great. She’s ready to take over the world now. Dear God, don’t introduce her to Evi or we’re both screwed. 🙂

  11. Hell to the yes!!! Love, love, love this. Now Amelia will forever be one of us kids who can just tell her doctors to shut their whore mouths!!! And yay to you Aunt Becky for being the perfect mom for a little hellraiser like Miss Amelia!!!

  12. WHOO-HOO!
    Thank the fucking gods!
    (not to offend said gods, but I am an unholy blasphemer at times)
    Watch as I uncork this champagne bottle with my grandfather’s sword….
    “Happy for you both” doesn’t begin to covey the feeling. More like, bliss. On tap.

  13. Ditto to most of these comments. I just breathed a big sigh of relief too, but really, never had any doubt that Mimi would be kicking ass in no time at all. And big pat on the back to you for being the amazing mom that got her into the program and helped her find her words. For sure you’re going to be regretting, I mean, celebrating that decision for the rest of your life. 🙂 So, so, so happy for you both. Go Beautiful Princess!!!!!! Look out world.

  14. As I read, I didn’t realize I was tensing up. Until I let out that sigh of relief and tears sprang to my eyes. Then I realized all the wound up pressure in my body that had only taken a couple of seconds to build up.

    Congratulations to not only Amelia, but all of your family.

    Now take a deep breath and relax.

  15. It’s been SO long since I commented. I have been in such a black hole of depression. But this is SO AMAZING I couldn’t not comment. That is amazing. I knew Amelia was an AMAZING little girl and was above every level, she is beyond special! I am so happy for you! And YAY Amelia I know someday you’ll do even more amazing things then you already do Princess of the Bells. And you keep kicking life in the balls!

  16. I almost didn’t click thru because I thought my jealousy would make me cry the Ugly Cry. There just no way in hell we are ever going to hear that about our son. All we will get is that he has aged out. And I’m not in a depressed place today, just took my rose-colored glasses off for a sec. Anyway… I’m commenting because I didn’t cry and feel the pain of jealousy, I felt happy for you and Amelia. I think I have The Band to thank for that, which means I have you to thank for letting me see the happiness of others. Thanks, AB.

  17. YAY for all of you…those are always amazing words to hear!

    P.S. My daughter also played the “is she having a seizure or just fucking with us game”, too…not fun.

  18. As one of the more “mature” people who read your blog every day….. big hugs to you and to Amelia… remember for each of us that respond – many just read, tear up and are happy for you and your family… 😉

  19. Yay, Mimi!!! I knew you could do it, sweet baby girl! Much, much love and happiness to you, your mama, your dada, and your minions, er, I mean, your brothers.

  20. Soooo happy for you. There’s nothing more heart-rendering than having to watch your child go through the horrors of medical care and the “time will tell” slog. {{{HUGS}}}

  21. this is such amazing news. i can’t even tell you how happy i am for you and your family. ive followed along with Amelia’s story for so long and i can almost feel the exhale and the release of stress that you and the Daver must be feeling. embrace it and try to hold this feeling for as long as possible.

    selfishly, it also gives me hope that one day waiting for “time” to quit batting me around will come to a happy end.


  22. Congratulations!!!! I hope some day to have a similar experience. We’ve been working toward it. My daughter aged out of early intervention, but I’m still hopeful she’ll get to the point of no longer needing services. Enjoy this moment!!

  23. I still remember vividly your post on Mimi losing her words. And, even though she was still young for words, I remember being scared for you and her. No longer requires services. What wonderdful words to hear. You must be over the moon.

  24. I’m new round these parts, AB, and I haven’t read All About Amelia, just a little. But I do say from the bottom of my heart, YAY for you and YAY for Amelia!

    I cracked up at the seizure/fucking with me bit. My son has seizures, but they are “rage seizures”, not your typical epileptic-type seizures. So when he’s pissed, we can’t always tell whether he’s having a seizure, or just fucking with us. Until he’s done. 🙂

    And I used “Shut your whore mouth” today. Thanks for the phrase. It was perfect.

    Looking forward to more!

  25. Double high five for you, double down low for the little one and a big chest bump accompanied by a big manly grunt!

  26. I’m so happy for you – right now I’m seriously struggling with the time it takes to get some pathology reports back – wtf, why does it take 3-4 weeks – so I’m so glad for you that you got good news.
    I hope that Amelia continues to grow healthy – physically and emotionally – and one day you sit on your porch amid the roses and watch her chase her daughter around the yard.

  27. Delurking for this one!!! So much congratulations, I’m at work and having a hard time holding in the tears. This is soooo great! Wishing you many, many more happy times like this one.

  28. I love you! Love Amelia! Fer fuck’s sake – this is big news! Hannah tested at levels and we got “qualified by clinical opinion” because well, obviously her right hand and leg don’t work like the other side, but the testing instrument is too dumb to see it. I want what you got! I am jealous! Head to the future girl. You can always get panic and worry back if you want to, if you really miss them. Except for leaving you rather at a loss for things to hang onto – I think this is full of the awesome.

  29. I love your blog. Sometimes I laugh until I cry. But the tears from my eyes after reading this post are the best yet. You fucking ROCK!

  30. I’ve never in my life been so happy to hear that somebody no longer qualifies for services! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that joy. 🙂

    Big hugs to the Princess!

  31. Bless you both, that’s fucking awesome!! (I can have a blessing and a curse in the same sentence, right?) Much love to you and yours. 😀

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