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What Most People Miss When They See This Photo of My Daughter Playing

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When you look at this picture you most likely see three little girls on a tire swing, and I don’t disagree.

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But if I let myself look a little longer, specifically at my daughter in the middle, I see more.

Here is what I see:

I see a little girl, who used to be completely blind, looking at something.

I see a little girl, who for most of her life would not touch anything, holding the rope and allowing her hands to scrunch up against the fists of her friends.

I see a little girl, who used to throw herself backwards whenever she was in the upright position, sitting on a tire swing, leaning in towards her buddies, being a part of the moment with them.

I see a little girl, who used to become overstimulated and overwhelmed with every new experience, spending the day at a farm she’s never been to, on a swing she’s never sat on, doing an activity she’s never done before, staying calm and having fun.

I see a little girl, whose neuropsych testing earlier this year described her as having the cognitive ability of an 8-month-old, continuing to hold on to that rope because she’s smart enough to know she will fall off if she lets go.

I see a little girl, whose prognosis as an infant was “vegetative state” if her hundreds of seizures a day did not stop, alert and engaged, interacting and participating in a play date.

I see a little girl, who’s been repeatedly deemed by her health insurance company to have “no restorative potential,” bursting with potential, overflowing with possibilities, perfect exactly the was she is, filling her own unique spot in this world, and in absolutely no need of restoring to anything for anyone.

I see a little girl, whose doctors warned before her birth “may not be salvageable,” alive and joyful, making the world a better place simply by being who she was made to be.

And I see two precious little buddies, unaware of everything I’m seeing, simply loving on their friend, no questions asked.

Three fabulous girls? You are absolutely right. I see that too.

Follow this journey on I’m Julia’s Mom.

The Mighty is asking the following: Share a photo with us and the bigger story behind it. What don’t we see in that photo? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: October 7, 2015
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