When one door closes a new door to happiness opens.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” ~ Helen Keller

There is a wet film pooling in my eyes, I am not crying, and the tears will not form to flow over, but I can feel the emotion as it wells up from somewhere deep inside.  This moment is a happy one.  It’s not sad in any way, but it is major in its own way, and when I write it down it may seem or sound trivial, but for me, on this day, it is not trivial.

The door of happiness is not closed, but in the way that only change can bring,  we no longer walk sideways half holding on to one place while slowly making our way toward another doorway filled with new happiness and new adventure.

Today, Q got his first haircut.  For the number of pictures we took you may have thought it was his wedding day.  But alas, he is my baby boy.  And while sometimes, and here after a haircut will probably just be a haircut, today it was much bigger than any of us could have anticipated.

As M started the first snip, she asked an innocent yet loaded question. “Did he have a lot of hair when he was born?” And there it was, the key to my memories.  I faltered as I answered, and came up with something simple, “he was normal.”  But as I answered, my heart slipped away. Somewhere very far from ‘normal’ he entered the world as my baby boy….

My baby boy who, when he was born, had a layer of hair that thickly covered his body to protect him from his inability to control his own temperature because he was so small and so early.

He is my baby boy who,  when he was born the doctors silently took him away without telling me what he was because they were fixated on saving his life.

Q being brought to life.

He is my baby boy who, in his first week of life, I watched as the doctors delicately sliced into his neck near his jugular vein to  insert  an IV down by his heart because his veins were so tiny they could not hold the tubing that would deliver his life-preserving medications.

He is my baby boy who, in his second week of life came down with an infection that we did not know if he would recover, but the day before was dressed as a precious frog for his first Halloween.

Q as a frog for his frist Halloween.

He is my baby boy who,  one day when I walked into the hospital after 6 weeks as I routinely did everyday, 5 doctors and nurses were huddled around his bassinet as they tried to save him from choking, and all I could do was watch and pray.

He is my baby boy who, for 2 months I could hold next to my skin, down my  shirt so he could feel my heartbeat which would mimic being in the womb. His tiny body would mold to mine and my temperature would regulate his while my breathing would fall quietly between his breaths.

A loving gaze for mama at 6 weeks old. Still so tiny.

He is my baby boy who, from the first moment he was held next to his sister after  5 weeks  in the NICU, reached over to protectively place his hand on her as if to say, I am here, I will not leave you.

First meeting outside. Reaching protectively to his sister. Q is on the left and E is on the right.

He is my baby boy that grounded me in the overwhelming despair, guilt and fear that I felt surrounding our experience, and he is he one that anchored me as I fought what has been my greatest battle with depression and despair.

A moment of peace in stormy times while only Q was home and E was in the hospital.

He is my baby boy who, has grown before my eyes.  His bright smile and precious giggle make my life sparkle and shine.

He is my baby boy who taught me to see E just as she is, and that she is ok just as she is. That before she could really interact with us, he saw what she was and no matter what we would all love her just as she was.

True love and acceptance. No oxygen, no delays, just her.

He is my baby boy who now walks, and talks and grabs my face to say Mama.  He laughs quickly, and loves to read, and go for walks, and watch and help as his dada plays the guitar.

This smile lights up my world.

He is my baby boy who will start school with his sister in April and I will send them off into the big world. He will be a peer model in a class of special needs children at an early intervention program and my heart will swell with pride as he helps E along in their new adventure.

He is my baby boy  who, today,  for the first time ever got his haircut so that it is clear to me and the whole world that he is growing up and while he will always be my baby, he is no longer my baby boy.

From baby to boy in snips of some scissors and an hour.

A new door to happiness opened today. I suppose it’s been open for awhile, but in many ways I was choosing not to walk through for fear of leaving the other happiness behind. But in truth this new happiness is good for him, for us and for me as it allows me almost close the door I was holding on to in some ways. I will never allow that door to fully close for it grounds me in gratitude and appreciation for all that we have and fills me with perspective. But like Q and his hair, it is time put those sweet blonde curls in a little envelope and tuck them away for occasional walks down memory lane.

And for now, we have new memories to make and new adventures to take on which will continue to make each day ‘anewfavoriteday.’

Have there been moments in your life where you recognize a real change has happened?

Linking up with the Fab #Yeahwrite46 this week!

(Featured Image shared from: http://www.motivatingwords.net

54 thoughts on “When one door closes a new door to happiness opens.

  1. So sweet! That first haircut is such a monumental milestone, wrought with so many emotions. I remember it well x3. I have 3 envelopes with little curls of hair in each, and with those are envelopes filled with memories. The most precious was when my almost 3-year-old son was sitting all grown up and perfectly still in the big chair and John, the hair salon guy, asked Brody how he wanted his hair cut. Shy Brody looked up at John with his huge green eyes and said “Like Michael Jordan.” hahaha!! Only Brody would answer like that, my sweet athlete. And as I write this I reflect on how sweet he always has been and still is at 16. He’s sweet, gentle, kind, loving, and one of the most easy going kids you’d ever meet. He lives in Santa Barbara with his dad, and I miss him something terrible. But when I do see him, I realize the connection isn’t lost. it never has been, never will be. He’ll always be my little boy asking for Michael Jordon haircut.


  2. I’ve seen so many changes in my firstborn, who turns 20 this week. The first haircut which took him from baby to big boy. Learning to ride a bike, which meant he could ride away from my protection. First date, driver’s license, and then going off to college.

    I remember each one of those milestones fondly, and I look forward to the ones to come:
    Finishing college and becoming an engineer.
    Getting married.
    Becoming a father.

    I seem to get even greater satisfaction out of these adult accomplishments than I did out of the early ones. 🙂

    1. Thank you Lisha for sharing your own journey! I am sure the significance increases in the future or those milestones and the satisfaction is huge as you have now seen the person you have helped him and (them) to become. I can’t believe that someday Q and E will be 20 but I know it will happen before my eyes. Hope all is going well with your MIL moving in, I am thinking of you!

  3. You brought back so many memories for me. Memories of my own son, nine weeks premature after his father became angry with me, fighting for his life, living from day to day dreading every phone call from the hospital. My own son who, despite Asperger’s Syndrome and Dyslexia, is a smiling, happy 17-year old ninth grader who plans to continue his education and become a lawyer to fight for childrens’ rights. Every accomplishment of his I cheer on no matter how small because to him they are huge. He still struggles, but he doesn’t want anyone to tell him he can’t. He believes he can, and that is what matters.
    ~~Ingrid (Walking Between the Grapevines)

    1. Ingrid, this is amazing and special and I am nearly crying as I read it. Your son is amazing and cheering him on from each milestone is such a huge role especially when things have clearly not been so easy for him or you. I can’t wait to hear about him as a children’s rights advocate and as one of my dear friends does this for a living, if he ever wants to talk to someone about his future passions, I am happy to see if she would be willing to chat with him, I am sure she would. Thank you so so so much for sharing this story here with me, I feel so touched by your story and that we have kindred hearts:) ❤

    1. Thanks so much Nis. So funny because I saw MK’s super cute hair cut pics this weekend and thought, am I making too much of this, but you can’t argue with the heart. It’s a big day and one day, I will look at the haircuts like the adorable pics of MK this weekend and think wow, what an adorable haircut! I need to email you back, I am around when you are here, yipee!

  4. Dear Shannon,


    (Don’t say that often after reading a blog post, but yours was pretty special.)

    My son is coming up on 34 and will probably be having his own son soon. You brought back memories. Thanks.



  5. Aw, bless! Lovely post and you are so right, it may be hard going at times, but those moments, those precious moments, they are worth their weight in gold!

    You have my Babble vote! Keep writing and making me smile!

  6. This really touched me – I teared up when it got to the part about him putting his little hand over his sister.
    This was so beautiful, you had me right there with you the whole way.

  7. Oh goodness…this brought me to tears. So much feeling and emotion in this post. Those pictures are breathtaking. The one of you and Q tucked inside your shirt…he was just so tiny!
    Beautiful post.

    1. Thanks so much Jen. I get similar emotions when I see your amazing photos and your minis. Our journeys with our minis are full of special times which can become unexpectedly extra special in a moment. I felt that way when Q opened his eyes in that picture as they were normally closed. I don’t miss the time but to have your fit inside your shirt is kind of special. Thanks for coming by and your kind words!

      Shannon Pruitt

  8. So didn’t think a first haircut story was going down this lovely path. Beautifully done. As a former teacher of students with special needs, I have a special place in my hearts for their families—the heroes that we do not speak of. Good luck to your kids in their “big adventure”!!-Erin

    1. LOL Erin, I didn’t think so either until it happened! Awww, love that you taught special needs kiddos. I am nearly crying at your comment, not for me but for the other heroic families and special people like you how helped through some leg of their journey. Thank you, it’s exciting times here in our little household:)

  9. Oh Shannon – this is breathtaking…and the tears! The first hair cut is always a momentous one…but for you my dear…I can see why you felt the way you did. The pictures of your sweet children were just beautiful.

    Just beautiful.

  10. I think I was holding my breath for awhile there. What an amazing story. I love the imagery of you welling with tears but not really crying. I know exactly what that is and you explained it beautifully.

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