We stood in the cul-de-sac several feet from one another as we took turns helping start and balance the new spiderman bike. "Pedal, pedal, pedal!! Keep your eyes straight ahead!! Keep pedaling!!" were the repetitive pleas being shouted through the crisp air of the winter morning.
It wasn't until a little over 6 months ago that Nate was finally able to ride his tricycle. Having enough strength, stamina, and coordination to master that task just took a bit longer for him. Once he received a "big boy bike" for Christmas, he instantly wanted to try to learn to ride it without training wheels and has been hounding us to teach him ever since. Standing in that cul-de-sac with him this morning as he tried so bravely to learn this new skill was a little surreal. He still has a long road of practice before learning balance and his little legs wore out very quickly, but the skill is there. I have no doubt he will be able to ride just like his sisters someday soon. I never imagined he would be where he is now.
I sat with his physical therapist yesterday as she conducted routine strength and agility tests on the little man. We have been marveling at the incredible surge of strength and energy he has had over the past year, but it was even more amazing to see it in black and white from the test's interpretations. Nate has been receiving physical therapy about once a week since he was 6 weeks old. Yesterday was the very first time we have been able to say that he is finally "age-appropriate" and caught up on his gross motor skills. I never imagined he would be where he is now.
Raising a child with this disease is exceedingly difficult at times. The unknown aspects of the future often weigh quite heavily on our minds, and we constantly struggle with the knowledge that things can take a dramatic turn for the worse at any time. This often causes any periods of growth or even a good plateau to be secretly overshadowed with the "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling.
But sometimes...just sometimes...the positive feelings push aside most all of the worry you have lived with through the entirety of their life. And all you can do is rejoice in these days of overwhelming peace.
I never imagined he would be where he is now.