This week I was e-mailing back and forth with a new friend. Her son Ethan is almost five years old and like Abby he has RS. Along with his RS diagnosis he also has a chiari malformation (for which the poor baby had to have brain surgery) as well as a form of spina bifida. He receives similar services as Abby and has many of the same struggles she does.
Anyway, his Momma, Heidi, was writing to tell me of this moment she experienced during her week. She and Ethan were in the airport and he was playing on one of those fun moving walkways. (Now let me tell you, moving walkways can be the bane of your existence as a parent of an RS child. What kid doesn't want to groove on one of those? Yet a child with cerebellum involvement has balance issues to begin with. Combine poor balance and a floor that moves and you have catastrophe in the making. :D ) She told me how when Ethan reached the end he jumped off AND DIDN'T FALL! Most people wouldn't understand the gravity of this, but I do. That's a great feat for a child with RS.
What this got me to thinking about is how in some ways we are lucky. Most parents will take for granted when their child walks up a flight of stairs unattended. They won't give their son or daughter a high five for making it all the way to the car through a parking lot with bumps and uneven pavement. They won't squeeze their baby as tight as they can because their kid climbed up the ladder of the slide without falling.
I (and parents like me) will NEVER take those moments for granted. Along with the thousands of bumps and bruises and falls along the way we will also experience thousands of little miracles. Reasons to stand up and cheer. Reasons to high five and clap and give hugs and praise. We learn to stop and smell the roses.
What I hope is that this will rub off on our kids. Hopefully instead of becoming hardened by living with more challenges than most people MAYBE our kids will turn into adults who know to appreciate the small successes. They may be better able to praise a colleague or give a compliment. They will be able to stop and smell the roses. At least that is my hope!