Friday, April 21, 2017
One thing that I appreciate about my own version of motherhood is my ability to be sufficiently humbled and admit when I don't know things, or I don't have the answers. I tend to plow full force and give my all in one direction, and then when I get the screeching halt from Heavenly Father, I'm able to direct course and turn the other way. I sometimes feel like that's the typical way that I receive direction and inspiration for our family, and it's worked well for us for quite some time. Pick a direction, and when the door gets slammed, go the other way and keep going.
Without going into too much detail, Derek and I were recently presented with an option to do something and we were so torn on it. I was dead set and determined with what I wanted to do, and Derek could not meet me there with any enthusiasm. We talked, and talked, and talked, and ultimately landed ourselves in a meeting with our Bishop to talk about our options some more. Again, without going into too much detail, we said our sides of the "argument, debate, whatever..." I argued that what I wanted to do seemed to me like such a righteous desire, and that I would never have an opportunity to do something as selfless as that for the rest of my life.
Our Bishop thought differently, and explained to me that my most important role right now is raising and nurturing our children, and that I'll never do a more selfless thing than that in my entire life. Fast forward a few days later, we go to the temple and pray some more about this thing that I want to do, and finally both come to the mutual decision that I shouldn't do what it is that I wanted to do, and leave it at that. (This couldn't be anymore cryptic and vague I know, hang with me guys). So then this week we tell the people that we were going to be doing this thing with that we can't do the thing, and then all over again, I'm heck bent back to square one, throwing everything to the wind and wanting to do this thing again.
Switching gears to the non-cryptic things where all of this ties together now... this afternoon Em's occupational therapist came over for a session when we started talking. I've had this idea for months that if we just gave Em performance enhancing drugs (steroids... the ones body builder meat heads use), in addition to therapy, that she would be up and walking and that everything would be fine. He explained to me that "low tone" isn't about having weak muscles, as much as it is about having weak muscle memory. Guys. How in the world have we been dealing with this for two and a half years and I'm just now realizing we're battling weak muscle memory, and not just weak muscles?! How has this never clicked in my head before?! (This is also where the connection to me being humble and being able to admit when I don't know things comes into play.)
I'd been stirring with this new found information all night, and then when I got in the tub, I decided to finish reading my friend Kelsey's new book, "One Day At A Time: 100 Days in the Life of A Mother". It's admittedly hard for me to feel like motherhood is the most glorious work that I can ever be a part of. It's not something that comes natural and easy to me, and I really have to work at it. And if we're being so, so terribly honest, I often feel a little bitter when I see people who are doing an amazing job at being a mom and think, "yeah, but all of their kids walk..." And while we do feel at peace with Em, and her situation, and whatever it amounts to, it does feel harder for me to feel all the feels of motherhood and parenting, and its divine and glorious everything, when in a lot of ways it's still really hard for us to do things. But as I was finishing Kelsey's book the one take away that I got from it is that she feels the most joy in her life when she's all in with her kids and she's able to set aside everything else in the world and just be all in.
And then it made me reflect on all the things in motherhood that I'm not "all in" on. Or the things that would at least be helping my kids thrive. One of those areas has definitely been getting Em walking. I've been so focused on this idea of just getting her stronger that the things we've been working on at home haven't really been what she needs most. Sure we've been working on sitting, and that's so important, she definitely needs to be working on that core foundational strength, and she belly crawls like a champ, and she can stand and play with toys... but working on movement patterns, like getting her up and walking, and getting her crawling up on her hands and knees... we've been hardcore lacking in those areas.
The words of our Bishop re-echoed in my mind. The most selfless gift that I could ever give would be the work that I do in our own home. The most selfless gift isn't what I can give to someone outside our house, but to someone in our house, to Em. The most selfless gift I could give to Em are the tools and knowledge that she needs to get walking. We've been told so many times that Em will walk, and that it's going to be based off a lot of what we do in the home. And guys, to be honest, doing PT and trying to get a two and a half year old to walk who screams her face off the second she even looks at her gait trainer? It sucks. Which is why we haven't been doing it, and keep putting it off. But I feel so jazzed, and so spiritually recommitted to this mission that Derek and I are officially announcing that we are walking pregnant.
The goal isn't far fetched, and in fact, it gives us a month longer then what was actually projected. But in nine months, it is our goal to try our hardest to get Em walking. That means that by January 20th 2018, we will have a walking, almost three-and-a-half-year-old. Derek and I have committed together as a team to do at least one thing each day that is beneficial to Em to get her walking. Whether it's holding her hands and walking her around the house for a few laps with her leg braces on, or buying obscure contraptions to strap her in and make her walk... we're both committed to the new goal, and we're both excited about it. It also means that we're going to have to watch some youtube videos, figure out how to teach her to crawl, and get that going too.
And because I'm totally the type of person who needs the internet to hold me accountable to things, I'm going to try and post once a day on Instagram, what we did each day to help her out, and use the hastag #GetEmWalking275 for the 275 days that we have to make our goal. And like all things, if we put in this effort and still fall short, and she doesn't walk, then we can still say that we put in more effort, and tried a lot harder than we would have otherwise. So here's to feeling empowered and recommitted... And to hoping that a clinic gets a PT opening soon.