Many of you saw the video I posted on Instagram and Facebook yesterday of Elena walking at the Jackson Center (for those that didn’t, I posted it in it’s entirety below!). She’s had such a great week that has given me renewed hope in our goals for her.
Life with a special needs child can be so discouraging at times. We enthusiastically celebrate every millimeter of progress. Even the smallest of achievements can encourage us as parents. This is because Elena has to work so incredibly hard for everything, things that most parents could never comprehend. She works harder than any three year old ever should. You see, we celebrate the fact that she had open hands during a task, not clenched fists. It’s a victory when she can hold her head up for 30 seconds while sitting or standing. We whoop for joy when she can knock over a set of blocks in front of her. We celebrate, because after three years of watching her, we understand the effort and coordination it takes for her little mind and body to cooperate.
For nearly two years, we’ve been watching her hip deteriorate, seeing her leg lengths become uneven, making it even MORE difficult to sit, stand, and especially try and take steps. Surgery on a special needs child is scary for lots of reasons, but mostly because the fear of losing progress. Seeing Elena fight for every inch makes it devastating to see her have to relearn something that’s taken three years to achieve.
This past week at the Jackson Center, just eight weeks post-surgery, has renewed our hope. Elena is doing so great. She’s finally returning to her normal self (and SLEEPING!!!!). We’re seeing great results from her hip surgery, legs are the same length again, easier balancing while sitting, gaining strength in her left leg. All these things, while they seem small, can and will be HUGE for her going forward.
I’m so, so proud of my sweet little girl. To see her take steps again brings my heart so much joy. She’s learning so much and loving every minute of it. She’s the best example of courage and determination and I’m just so darn lucky to be her Mommy.
Here is the whole video (I just posted a few seconds). This gives you a better idea of how much effort it takes for her to take each step. But, seriously, the squeals are the BEST!