This is a photograph from CB's second birthday party back in 1997.
This is a photo from "before."
I labored over that Winnie The Pooh cake, hunched over it for nearly an hour with my icing bag, painstakingly lining up the frosting stars. Because, that's what I did in before.
Before her diagnosis of Autism and Cognitive Impairments, which came only months after this picture was snapped. Before the OT and PT and Speech and the train of seizure medications with their nasty side effects.
This was in before, when she "only had epilepsy" and I was still gloriously naive.
When she was gloriously perfect and mine.
Despite all the things that have changed from before, that has been the only thing remaining constant.
Perfect and mine, before and after.