I saw my eight month old son crawl for the first time today. I will never see my four-year-old daughter crawl. I watched as my baby boy over a series of weeks started moving. He would appear in places I had not left him. Then he was off, exploring his world eating dust, pulling books out of the book case and being an explorer. I would turn around and I would have a follower.
I never thought I would have the chance to see what it is like to see a child grow healthy and strong without medical intervention. It is a beautiful experience. It is so easy to compare milestones when your child doesn't reach them. So for now, and this moment of beauty, I have chosen to make my own.
I have learned every moment is a gift. Every milestone a celebration no matter how big or small. Sometimes it is a step forward and then a few back but as long as we keep moving forward with good days it is ok. I cling to the good and positive aspects of my life. When I heard my daughter sing for the first time or when she learns a new sound or word it is a delight to my ears. She can't as yet, move from place to place without my husband or me carrying her but something she is really good at, is encouraging. I can be mowing, gardening or cleaning and she will sit in her stroller cheering, and encouraging me on. Her arms rise up celebrating me pulling a weed or she'll say 'ha ha' at something silly and make me laugh at myself. When I stop she wants me to hurry up and celebrates when I begin again. Or perhaps she is just being pushy but she cheers with a smile and always a giggle. I love seeing her happy. There has been many times when she has been sad from pain or an infection so happiness is embraced.
A few weeks ago I watched for the very first time as she test drove a power wheel chair. There was a joy on her face I have never seen. It looked like happiness and freedom. This is her 'crawling' and exploring. This is her moment to touch, feel and engage with her surroundings. It has just taken her longer. Hesitantly at first, she pushed the joy stick on the power wheel chair and then she was off. Her world opened up and she can be free and independent. I am so proud of her for coming so far and taking another chance to learn she can do more.
It is easier for her to become frustrated when she tries and tries and takes longer to succeed. Now, she replays the movie of herself on her iPad and asks for the power wheel chair. The end of each movie celebrated with a hooray. When we are out and she sees another child with a wheel chair she points and wants to have a try. I can't imagine her frustration of wanting to explore her world and just not being able too.
One day soon I hope she will have the chance to move where she wants. She will learn for herself what it is like to be free instead of her screaming and waving her hands around because we don't know where she wants to go. She becomes so frustrated being carried around.
One day soon in a power wheel chair she can, for the first time in her life make a choice of where to play and who to talk too. Maybe she'll zoom away from me at last having her space and freedom of being who she wants and not being constrained by adults. I might even find her pulling books off the book case or eating dust, who knows but I can't wait. One day soon I'll see my four-year-old 'crawl in her power wheel chair'.