Eden's life got off to a rocky start from the moment I went into labor. Pretty much right after she was born it became apparent to me that she was plagued with some sort of traumatic psychosis. A deep, dark phobia, if you will. Her fear of all things related to doctors and medicine was so chilling and tangible that all the baby-shrinks and new-age healers couldn't wait to get their soothing therapeutic paws on her. But no amount of acupuncture, hypnosis or energy-work made even the slightest dent in her feeling of terror. And as she grew bigger, so did her horror. At first I was certain that her raging fear of doctors came from a past life trauma, but when I reminisced about my 64 hour labor, the state of absolute panic I was in, the meconium spill in my leaking womb, and her first few days of life in an ICU getting poked and prodded by cold, unloving strangers- I reneged and said, "no, perhaps all her medical fears came from this life, after all."

I worried that she might never outgrow this fear Eden's outrageous fear of doctors, doctors' offices, check-ups, medicine, band-aids, thermometers, blood, paper cuts and anything and everything else medical was so extreme that all of the doctors we took her to agreed that they had never seen a case as severe as hers. We couldn't even get her on the scale without a panic attack! And even as a small child she required at least 2 grown adults to hold her still for a routine ear check. It wasn't any easier at home, either. When it came time to give her medicine, (even camouflaged, all-natural, gentle, loving home remedies), she would flail around and screech so much that whatever we managed to get down her throat would inevitably be spit out from the intense fight she put up.

And this is how it went,year after year, for the past four and half years- each year getting worse and worse, louder and louder, stronger and stronger. I worried what she would be like as a ten year old. I worried that she might never outgrow this dysfunctional fear and G‑d forbid die of some virus because of her vehement refusal of treatment. As time went on, I began dreading her doctor's appointments even more than she did. The pain, stress and embarrassment they caused me were so immense that sometimes it just wasn't worth the effort. "Ok," I said in guilt and desperation, feeling like an awful and neglectful mother, "so we won't go see if it's strep or not. We'll just wait it out and see if she gets better."

For Eden's third birthday she received a toy doctor's setThen, for Eden's third birthday she received a toy doctor's set. I wasn't sure if it would send her into anaphylactic shock or if it would be just the right remedy, and much to my delight she took to it right away, and in a twisted sort of way she enjoyed playing the role of the bossy, inoculating medical monster. She refused to be the patient but she LOVED playing the doctor.

A few months ago, after an especially horrendous visit to the doctor, I created a new bed time super-hero character by the name of "Chaya Bluma"—your all around wonderful little five year old tzadekess in training. Chaya Bluma immediately became Eden's alter ego and every night before bed Eden would request a Chaya Bluma song. One night I sang something about Chaya Bluma and her upcoming doctor's appointment. Days before her visit Chaya Bluma began davening to our Creator, asking Him for strength and courage to be as brave as she possibly could be. With a little prayer and a little will, Chaya Bluma went on to become the bravest little girl the doctor had ever seen. In fact, she was so incredibly brave that she laughed her way through all of her shots!

Inspired by Chaya Bluma's success, Eden decided that she, too, wanted to be brave. She too wanted to make her way through a doctor's visit with calm and ease. So after a few months of acting it out in after-school games of doctor, talking about bravery till we were blue in the face, and asking G‑d for help in this area, I recently took Eden for her five year-old well-visit check-up. She swore that she was not going to cry. She even told me that she was planning on laughing during the shots. "That's wonderful," I applauded, "I'm so excited for you!" But despite my hope and excitement I was prepared for the worst.

Well, not only did Eden cheerfully cooperate with everything the nurse and doctor said, she also managed to laugh her way through three shots! No tears. No nurses pinning her down to the bed, and no glass-shattering, high-pitched shrieks either. No, no, no. Nothing but complete bravery, confidence and peace of mind!

If I tell you I was the one who almost fainted during her shots I'm not exaggerating! The rush of nachas I experienced from her triumph was the closest I ever came to a tornado. Never before have I witnessed such an act of courage- and from a child, nonetheless. And never before did I realize that my very own daughter was such a superhero.

I left the doctor's office feeling so proud and so inspired. If I grow up to be half as strong as my daughter, I thought, I will be very proud of myself.

I want to publicly Thank G‑d for entrusting me to raise such a wonderful child. And I want to thank my daughter, Eden Yisraella, for continuing to be my littlest teacher with the biggest lessons. I love you more than you will ever know.