You never get over the feeling of seeing your child stand alone for the first time. You know that once they have confidence in their ability to balance the next step will be walking. My oldest son started standing for brief amounts of time when he was around eight months old. This is pretty typical of most children. My youngest son, Sweet G, just started trying to stand alone yesterday. He is eight years old but the excitement of those achievements was the same for this Momma.
Physical milestones have all come late for Sweet G because of his cerebral palsy. There have been times when we questioned whether he would ever sit up alone or walk with the use of a walker. Doctors and therapists had no way of answering our questions or relieving our fears. We were told that only time would tell. Each case is different. Most of the time there have been no answers.
We are only now beginning to get some answers about Sweet G’s potential. Years of therapy and waiting have passed. His bones finally outgrew his muscles and he received tendon lengthening surgery to return the range of motion to his legs. We survived six weeks of full leg casts along with a twenty-six inch bar separating his feet. He has now been in therapy for several weeks and we are beginning to see miraculous improvement.
A couple of weeks ago Swwet G spent close to an hour chasing me around the house in his walker. He lives to chase me and try to run me over. This week we spent some time working on standing from a sitting position without using his arms to pull himself up. This is very difficult for G but as always he didn’t complain but took the challenge and wouldn’t stop until he was satisfied he had done his best. He also has been practicing kicking a ball which he really enjoys.
Yesterday we worked on lifting his feet off the floor one at a time with the goal of getting his foot as high as he can. I was shocked when I saw how high he was able to lift his feet so I measured the distance. He is able to raise his right foot 6 inches off the floor and his left foot between 4 and 5 inches off the floor. His confidence is really building and I am so optimistic about his future achievements.
Last night I had him attempt standing on his own with no support. This is very scary for Sweet G. Fear has been his biggest obstacle and I am beginning to see him overcome his fear and take chances. He finally stood unsupported for a few seconds at a time. He didn’t even do his usual whining and complaining. It was a dare and he was determined to show me he could do it.
I have also been requiring G to use his walker exclusively to get around the house. I rarely carry him anymore. (Now if I can break J and T from picking him up!) I have seen such improvement in his speed, his accuracy, and his motivation since beginning this new routine. We are also working on him being independent in getting onto the sofa. This is another area that has surprised me. He can now go from his walker to the sofa with mostly just verbal prompts from me.
I am one proud Momma. I have had a week filled with amazing firsts. I feel like a brand new Momma feels the first time her child reaches these same milestones only I know from years of waiting what an amazing miracle I am witnessing with each new feat. My Sweet G is amazing and I can’t wait to see what new things he comes up with next.