This decade seems to be the age of technology. Every year newer, better and more advanced capabilities are discovered within the realm of communication and contact. We have phones and computers that are capable of performing what were long considered 'human tasks'. We are spoilt for choice on what we can read and pay attention to, with online news sites a plenty and social media presenting us with information as events unfold.
Those of us who have seen both sides of the technology growth will often reminisce about the 'good old days' when if you wanted to see someone you turned up at their house or called them on the corded phone. The days when you discovered the news only at 6 o'clock or in the morning newspaper. Sports results weren't put out there as a spoiler a minute after the game and conversations were had with friends and neighbour's, not people you'd never met through a screen.
I often mention these things myself when I read about the next new phone or computer, or see spoilers of my favourite show posted online where you can't avoid it.
But truthfully, being Me in today's world has been a huge benefit for me. Without the internet and the support of hundreds of people I don't know (and hundreds that I do!), the last five years would have been extremely different.
I'd not have had the information I needed to access and I'd not have 'met' (I use quotation marks because a lot of the nevus family I have not met in person) and my life would not be as enriched and enlightened in the way it has been.
We never would have made it to Australia, been in news and magazine articles. We wouldn't have the platforms to help raise awareness of CMN and to cobtributrto research.
I'd not have had this blog as my outlet to process my emotions about Raising Different. There's a grief process involved when your child isn't as you expected, and for some people this can be incredibly difficult to overcome. Not so many years ago, a child born looking different to the norm would have been hidden away so as not to cast shame on the family. This still happens in parts of the world today. I personally can't imagine being any prouder of my daughter, but I was fortunate to live in a society that is growing evermore accepting and open about these kinds of things. I am lucky that my 'village' backs me 100%. And I am lucky to live in the digital era where I've been able to bring my emotions to fruition by expressing them through this blog, and actually having people read it and give me their perspective. I can never thank you all enough for the gift you have given me in your support.
Five years on and I still gaze at my darling girl and marvel at the gift she is. Five years on and I can't believe we are here already. We're at the next phase, the different turn in the path, where we have to let go of the reins a little and send Olive off into the brand new world of school.
For our family, the baby days are over. Gone are the times of breastfeeding and night feeds; nappies and mashed veges; bouncinettes and pushchairs; first words and first steps; baby giggles and baby tantrums. We have school aged children now - all of them! It is incredulous to me how time slips by in the blink of an eye. We made it through, relatively unscathed, not a broken bone amongst them, and they are all damn good kids.
It is the eve of Olive's 5th birthday and while she softly snores in her bed, dreaming of birthday gifts and wishes, Jaxon and Meisha have baked special birthday cookies for her to have on her very first school lunch.
It is these moments that make me smile inside and know that Eddie and I have great kids. We were blessed with three wonderful little humans, who have taught me the biggest lessons in my life. I wouldn't change them for the world.
I said in my last post that Olive's birthday one would be my last one. So that milestone has arrived and it is time for me to end this here, and to send each and every one of you my most heartfelt thanks for the last five years.
Ending the blog doesn't mean our journey is finished. Quite the opposite! In a way it is now just starting, but now it's Olive in the driver's seat. We'll be here for her every step of the way, cheering her on, wiping her tears and encouraging her to be the best person she can be. The one she is.
But from here on in, it's her tale to tell and I'd like to encourage you all to keep on reaching out to those who need their stories told. Keep on loving unconditionally. Keep on standing tall with your friends and your children. Keep on teaching your kids that kindness is the right way, that just because someone might look or behave different doesn't mean it's a negative thing. Keep on doing the amazing job you are all doing in making the world a more positive place.
Love to you all,
From Kizzie xx