She's never taken the easy way in life -- intentionally or unintentionally.
Take for instance her arrival into the world. It was a scheduled, repeat C-section, and as planned as such an event can possibly be. Unexpectedly, she decided to make her appearance the morning before. And she wasn't willing to wait for the operating room to open. Our doctor had to arm wrestle another so we could hopefully bump ahead. Luckily, our doctor won.
Her diagnosis -- or lack thereof -- isn't an easy one either. It's hidden deep in her muscles, and its cause is lurking even deeper in murky waters.
Learning to sit and crawl and walk were not easy tasks. Each took an extreme amount of drive and determination. And when faced with a challenge -- like walking up a hill -- she does so with a smile on her face and backwards.
She refuses to spell her name out loud without signing it too. When given the choice, she always chooses the puzzle with the most pieces and the storybook with the most pages. And though walking is easier on her muscles, she always picks to run.
Today, when the cashier placed two bags on the counter, I watched her. She picked up a bag filled with pens and gum and placed it directly back on the counter. Eagerly, she reached for the other bag; it was filled to the brim and so heavy that it dangled down near her knees as she walked with it.
"Are you sure that bag isn't too heavy," I asked. She shook her head "no," as we made our way to the car.
"I like the heavier ones, momma," she replied with a scrunchy nosed smile. "I don't like the easy ones."
I chuckled to myself as I put the car in drive. "You never pick the easy way do you," I asked her while she hummed along to the radio. I watched as she let my words sink in.
"Why is that?"
"I like to pick the hard way so I always remember I can," she chirped back.
"Remember you can what?" I asked.
"That I can do whatever I put my mind to," she responded as she reached for a bag so much heavier and bigger than she is.
And I watched in admiration as she took the long way into the house -- running, up a hill, heavy bag in hand, smile on her face, shouting, "See, momma, I can do it!"
In that moment, I was reminded that we always have a choice when things are challenging in life. We can complain about the difficulties or we can embrace them. We can face our obstacles with defeat in our hearts or with smiles on our faces. We can ask, "why me?" or we can be thankful for the challenges that remind us of everything we can do when we put our minds to it.