Unassisted, without anything to hold on to, for the first time ever.
Remember when B made her a spoon that she could use all by herself and it was this totally unexpected milestone that wasn't even on the radar, but has made all the difference in the world? That's exactly how this standing thing happened. Out of nowhere... sorta.
She has been able to pull herself to a standing position for a while and does that around the house all the time. She has been working on leg strength and balance in therapy for quite some time. Neither seemed to be up to par yet...so we thought. Because her legs are different lengths she wears a brace during therapy to give her right leg some length and support, but around the house she will just stand on her longer leg or bed her knee and skew her hips to use her shorter leg for stability...again all the while holding onto or leaning on something else.
Well today we went to go pick up her new brace. We tried it on and with the prosthetist holding the base of her foot and me barely holding her hip... she was standing. It took me a minute to realize, Wait I think she's doing this herself. Wait, is she? Yeah, she's doing this on her own... And so we let go. And she was standing. Something we weren't even expecting her to do. We just came to pick up a new brace.
When we got home we made the following video for dad.
It's funny, but I didn't cry or even get emotional when she first stood. But as I've watched this video over and over and over again I get misty eyed every time and am reminded that this has been a long time coming.
Years ago I heard a woman talk about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She said that their guide told them to let go of their expectations and their timeline. If they were simply trying to make it up as fast as they could, they'd never make it. They were told to look around, notice the scenery and enjoy the climb. If there were flowers along the trail and they didn't notice them, it was likely they were going too fast, their bodies wouldn't acclimatize properly and they would never make it to the top. As it turns out, she made it to the top.
This is a journey we started almost 4 years ago but somewhere along the line we decided to stop keeping track of how far we've gone and how far we have yet to go. The first year of Lamps life I had a lot of expectations--most were too high, but some were surprisingly too low. At some point I decided to let them all go.
So I did.
I let go and happily watched the weight of those expectations drift away like a helium filled balloon dancing toward the blue, blue sky. With the removal of expectations I was free to enjoy the journey. And I hope ya'll know that we have and are enjoying the journey. Thus I have rarely worried or wondered about when she will stand, walk, or run. It's just not on my mind. Which is why seeing her accomplish this feat seemingly out of nowhere, fills me with emotion realizing that while we've been happily enjoying our view, we have also actually made progress. And because we're not constantly watching and waiting for these things, it's this amazing surprise when it actually happens. There's a Sunday school lesson in there somewhere, but I don't have time to flush it out right now. I'm sure you can connect your own dots...
The point is, we reached a completely unexpected but exciting milestone today. We're proud of her. We love her and her amazing sisters. What started out as a rocky and uncertain trail has turned into an amazing and beautiful journey. Thankfully, we've got plenty of road ahead.