Taking Credit

You’re gonna love this! Laelia’s new saying is: “I can open automatic doors… with my mind!”

It’s pretty hilarious, especially when I’m  about to push her through an automatic door and she goes, “Wait for the magic… waaaaaaaaait for it… waaaaaaaaait for it… waaaaTADA!!!” :)

Sometimes I feel like taking credit for Laelia’s accomplishments the same way. We do physical  therapy and stretches with her daily (all the time!) and it’s just nice to see some payoff.  I mean, my husband and I literally high-fived after Laelia started knee-walking, and then we strutted around the house for days like, “Welp, we did it. Time to open our own clinic.”  :)   But then we see  other kids who don’t get PT or stretches beyond what their therapist does for them once a week (or twice a month)  in a 30 minute session, and those kids have more gains than we do. Or weeks will go by and Laelia will not do anything; or worse, she’ll stop doing something she once  did! Then we’re all bummed again.

I’m making this sound like a roller coaster of emotion, but really it’s like anything else in the world–normal everyday life. Normal for us anyway. Like when my mom used to teach me a math concept and then I’d forget it the next week, then remember it wrong, then have to re-learn it, then do really well on that section of the math test and forget all the other sections and get a D-. All the while my jerk boyfriend (now husband) excelled at math without trying. (Jerk.) It feels like that. :)  But the trick is not to take credit for your child’s A+ work, because then you have to take credit for the D- work too. Really  a large part of this is  up to Laelia.

But she is three after all. I have seen that child struggle so hard during PT  to get on all fours one minute, and then turn around and pretend to be a doggie on all fours (with ease) the next minute. It’s all a matter of motivation and endurance, which  are hard concepts for a little kid who won’t see the benefits of all this hard  work for months or years.  And whereas knowing advanced math  is  just never  going to be needed in my life (I married a guy for that…), walking and standing  are so useful for me! And when the goal  is ambulation, well, I’m hard pressed to leave that up to my three year old doggie. :)

So I work her, all the time. And I get a swelled head when our PT  can tell we work with her at home because of how she’s  improving, or when our  OT at Children’s Hospital says we’re a model family for stretching at home. Oh and can  we  sign this paper so  they can use  Laelia’s image in presentations  for training  other therapists? Sure! Yay us!

Then my  daughter learns to remove her splints at night and we lose months of work. (Bad doggie.)

But this week isn’t one of those weeks. This week is a good week–a  week of swelled heads. For the last nine days we’ve gotten to take credit in the medical world  for something,  that in reality, just… happened.

Sometimes Laelia does something that surprises even her. Sometimes it feels like a total gift we didn’t deserve and weren’t even sure her little amyoplastic limbs could handle.

On August 15th, 2011, Laelia walked on her knees using a push cart despite  the fact that five big time pediatric orthopedic doctors told us that  she  would most likely never  ever do that. (Not that children with arthrogryposis, even the amyoplasia type, can’t knee-walk, but our kid was the weakest of the weak. And they saw she was missing huge chucks of muscle mass and could not move her leg even a centimeter at the time of evaluation. So they did what any well-reasoned  doctors would do: they gave us wheelchair options and pity smiles.) Five days after  this  huge accomplishment  I was reading Acts  3 where  Peter and John  healed the “lame man” who couldn’t walk. The man  had his  physical disabilities from the womb (vs. 2) just like Laelia. He stood up and walked for the first time after this encounter when he was over forty years old (well past the time people give up on a person).  I already knew this story, but for the first time I could feel a bit of the emotions going on in the crowd. (“All the people saw him walking!” Acts  3:9) This  crowd knew this guy, and  had seen him everyday. They were amazed, but Peter says to the lot of ‘em, “Why do you marvel at this or look at us like we did this through our own power (or hours of therapy?)… Jesus’ name, through faith in his name, has made this man strong.”

Despite how mad I am at those hope-sucking orthopedic doctors, they  weren’t wrong. Thankfully they weren’t right either. ;)

Sometimes it really is just a gift. We don’t deserve it, but we hope Jesus gets credit where he’s owed it. I don’t know how all this  works, but I want to mold my life like Jesus’  commands in the Bible.  And that includes hard work, prayer, encouragement, “turning the other cheek,” commitment, honesty, trust, thinking of others and having faith in God when he does what he’s gonna do.  And when those things work out for us then I want Jesus to get the credit for that. And when good  things just happen simply because other people have been asking God for this on our behalf, then I want God to get the  credit for that too.  If I call myself a Christian, literally meaning I have decided to make Jesus Christ  my leader, then I  don’t want to ruin his reputation (or “his name,” what he stands for, who he is) by falling short in these areas, but instead I want to promote faith in  him. That’s our way of saying, “This works. This is real.” And  the best part is that if Laelia makes no gains, there’s still hope.

Well I got side-tracked a bit, but all I wanted to say was that  I didn’t  invent the radar used to detect  when I’m  about to walk through an automatic door, but I intend to do my part and walk through it.

Um, and my daughter is magic. :)

One Response to “Taking Credit”

  1. Linda Wesley says:

    I love it. Thank you. That was encouragement I needed today.

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