It’s been a busy week! We kicked it off last Saturday with a festival in West Philly, and the next day we had Sakaiyah, her sister Nevaeh, and some friends all the way up in Buck’s County picking apples. (We try to do it every season.) Like most years, it’s hard to tell by the end of day that we’ve even gone: All the apples are usually eaten before we make it back to the scale to weigh them. This time the girls went home with a total of two in the unnecessary enormity of a paper grocery bag. It didn’t matter.
On Thursday, Sakaiyah got her very own day at school. The nurse dedicated it in her honor and in advance of the sickle cell walk. For the “dress down day,” students got to wear blue and orange – Sakaiyah’s favorite colors. In morning circle with the entire school, the nurse explained a bit about the disease and encouraged all of the kids to give Sakaiyah the “okay” sign to signify healthy, round cells flowing through her body…and to let her know that they’re “okay” with her.
Both of these events make me think of how far she has come in the past few years. When we started this project, Sakaiyah was gnawing apples from the side of her mouth to avoid the discomfort of wiggly front teeth. Now it’s her little sister Nevaeh who’s in that 6-year-old predicament. The 10-year-old Sakaiyah stands in the center of a circle at her school with a better understanding of her disease, some crazy long legs, and a blossoming love of basketball.