In a few weeks, my thirteen-year-old daughter will undergo hip reconstruction surgery.

This is a major blip on the radar for this year. We didn’t expect it to be on our calendar this year.

Isn’t that the theme of 2020?

The year of the unexpected. The year when “normal” was kicked out of the room. The year that taught us to let go of the expectation of “normal”.

When I look back on 2020, years from now, it will be remembered for so much loss. I do not need to recount all the loss for you because you have lived it as well.

But it will mostly be remembered by me as the year that my daughter had her hip reconstructed, again. And for hope.

A reconstructed hope.

The first time her hip was reconstructed she was 20 months old. She was born with hip dysplasia in her left hip but it wasn’t noticeable until she was 18 months old.

My husband got his degree in physical therapy and he notices how people walk. I guess everyone has a peculiarity about them, things they notice.

I notice when a grocery cart isn’t put away in its proper place in the parking lot or when the dishwasher isn’t loaded correctly or the towels are folded wrong in the linen closet. He notices gait patterns.

He started to notice that Eden had a tap-thunk when she was walking instead of tap-tap. (Those aren’t medical/technical terms, but you get the idea.) Her gait pattern wasn’t normal. After a few visits to the doctor, it was determined that her hip socket wasn’t formed correctly, that it was in fact, dislocated, despite the fact that she was able to walk and run without any pain, and that she would need surgery to fix it.

On October 7, 2008, she had her first surgery. We understood the risks, but understood the risk of not doing the surgery was far greater than the risk of being broken.

Fast forward 12 years.

Eden is now thirteen. Her athletic abilities outweigh that of her older brothers when they were her age. Her energy and joy for life are contagious. But she has been in pain.

We knew this surgery would be inevitable. In 2008, her surgeon told us that she would most likely need another surgery when her body changed in her teenage years.

And here we are, 2020. The year of letting go of the expectation of normal.

The year of reconstructed hope.

We have hope that this surgery will fix her hip and after a few months of pain and therapy, she will be able to run and play her favorite sports again.

We have hope that her joy for life will not be crushed despite the pain.

Our family will not let the pain and reconstruction that we have endured in 2020 to steal our joy.

Going through a reconstruction cannot be accomplished without pain, but it can be endured with hope.