Sunday, October 11, 2009

Free Standing

Just a quick post tonight. 

My son has started to stand - for a moment or two at a time - free of support. He did this for us yesterday morning when I was sitting with him on the floor. He'd propel himself upwards with a great thrust - to me it looked like the sudden thrust of a bird pushing off from the ground - stand with his little body steady and confident like a baby giant straddling a river, let a bright smile flash out across his face for a moment like the flash of a lighthouse as it's beam circles into view, laugh and then fall back on his little bottom. 

"Ha!" he shouted from the floor and repeated this little joyous move at least a dozen times, "Ha! Ha! Ha!"

"Look!" I shouted and my daughter, who was in the room, laughed and jumped herself. 

He was clearly enjoying himself and the attention he was getting.  

"He's doing it again," she said excitedly each time he went up. 

The little guy went on like this for maybe five minutes and then went back to his game of throwing and banging things with his right hand. He looked up at me periodically afterwards with a smile. I couldn't stop smiling myself. 

I think what's most amazing to me about developments like this are the confidence my son displays as he achieves them. I think I expect that because he has cerebral palsy, that he will do things with great caution. That this handicap will make each step harder and more fraught with difficulties. 

My son did not get that memo. He looks as if he's just striding over each hurdle (no matter how long it takes him) as if it were not anything but expected that he would succeed. 

"Huh," I imagine him thinking, "That was cool. Gotta do that again tomorrow. Now where's that loud metal pot with the comfy handle that I like to throw."

His confidence and joy makes me think that I ought to review my own caution for him and back off a bit. It's like watching a pony run or a bird fly or a duckling paddle - natural and graceful and full of delight. No need for caution. 

I think sometimes, that caution is the real handicap, caution and fear. And that if my son is not starting off with either of these feelings, he'll go far. 

Way to go little guy!


Anonymous said...

Hooray! Very good news.

I think your daughter would enjoy the series of books about Max and Ruby by Rosemary Wells. Big sister-little brother rabbits. Sly humor in the writing and art, especially considering they are board books. Then again, she sounds like a very smart and determined four, so maybe this is too babyish.

All the best to you and Julie.

David Sexton said...

Thank you. I'll check out the Max and Ruby books. My daughter likes all books equally - she pretends to read my wife's paperbacks and also listens along to stories for her little brother - so I bet she will like it.

Thanks again and take care.


Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks to you for the blog. It brought a bit of cheer at the end of a No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst books are great, too), one involving pouring rain + a routine doctor's appointment + getting totally lost in the pouring rain trying to find the doctor's office.

Best wishes from


David Sexton said...

Thanks Meg.