Today is an extra special birthdayday for me because it is my oldest mini's 10th birthday! And ten years ago, when I was a new mom, I had a team of pediatric specialists sit me down and explain, in detail, all the things they had found wrong with my newborn mini. From head to toe, they found deformities...his heart, his kidneys, his spine, his pelvis, hip, leg, knee, and foot. We were at a large teaching hospital in a huge city, and these doctors were telling me they had never seen a baby born with such an odd mix of deformities. They told me they didn't know what his quality of life would be, and their expectations for his physical, cognitive, and emotional development were very low.
Today, I want to publicly thank that team of doctors. Their words started me out on my journey as a mother with no expectations.....I had the freedom to accept my mini for who he was on that day, with no expectation for who he would become in the future. And thank God I never held my mini to my expectations because he has far exceed anything I could have ever dreamed.
My oldest mini has had more surgeries than I can count. He had his first operation when he was 6 weeks old, his latest operation was 4 weeks ago. When he was 6 years old, he endured 5 months of what has been described to us as the most excruciatingly painful process a human being can go through. This past summer, my mini was given a gut-wrenching choice on another leg surgery he would need. And he decided that he was done. His leg was never going to be what he wanted it to be, and it was time to let it go.
You could say that I didn't expected that.
But what I really, truly would never have expected would be the sheer strength, grace, and courage in which my mini has endured these past 4 weeks. He has not once ounce of self-pity, he has never asked, "why me?" He graciously and lovingly accepts the body that he has been given by God and he dedicates himself to taking care of his body and pushing himself every single day. He strives for independence, but willingly accepts help when he needs it. He effortlessly puts everyone else at ease and he laughs. In fact, he laughs a lot.
My oldest mini inspires me every single day. He is the absolute rock of the McGhee family. He keep our priorities in check and he brings more laughter to any one household than I could have ever imagined. I am blessed to be by his side through his amazing journey.
So, to my oldest mini.....Happy Birthday to the most amazing person I have ever met. Everyone who knows you is touched by your tenacity and strength. You humble people everywhere you go. You fill my life with tears of joy and tears of laughter. You have been a gift that I could have never expected to receive. And I am certain that you will fill the next 10 years with far greater things than I could ever expect. So, I will let you write your own story...and I will happily love and cheer you on every (one-legged...for now!) step of the way.
And....because this is a cooking blog, I will share my oldest mini's favorite recipe.....baked tacos! It is really so simple, you don't need a recipe.
- hard taco shells
- cooked taco meat (I used ground beef with our favorite taco seasoning)
- shredded cheese (I used chihuahua)
- favorite taco seasoning (lettuce, olives, peppers, onion, sour cream, guacamole, salsa)
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Line up taco shells in a 13 x 9 pan.
3. Fill shells with meat and then cheese.
4. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
5. Top with your favorite toppings.
These are totally delish, and, for some reason, make the tacos easier and less messy to eat?!?!
We were celebrating my oldest mini's birthday, so I served my tacos with St. Patrick's Day munch. "What is St. Patrick's Day munch?" you ask. I am afraid to post that recipe here, for fear that I will lose readers. St. Patrick's Day munch is a glorious mix of Lucky Charms cereal, peanuts, pretzels, and m&m's, coated with melted white chocolate.
My other side dish was rainbow jello.
OK, so maybe I'm not as proud of that birthday meal as I am of the birthday boy!