Proud to be independent

Jordan and Gabriella

As we get closer to the New Year, I find myself reflecting on this past fall. I’m amazed how each season seems to be so fresh in the eyes of Jordan. I love his new school. We have had so much fun searching his books to take in to share with his new friends, attending field trips, talking about his day, and hearing him talk about his teachers and bus driver.

He stayed at the same school he’s attended for his therapy since he was an infant. His physical therapist has become part of our family and we feel he is in the best place to help him with his mobility. We were so excited to see his teachers jump in to help him and work together as a team.

jordan-on-dynamic-standerOne of our favorite pieces of equipment is the dynamic stander. This contraption looks like a wheelchair, only you stand up in it.

It allows Jordan to not only work on putting weight through his legs and hips but to be on the same level of those of us who are able to stand up tall and walk around the room without holding on to something.

He started using it last year and has continued using it in the classroom and during gym time.

He’s quite the wheeler. We were so excited to be able to borrow it during some of our holiday festivities. He was able to help out at church to pack grocery bags and write notes for a lady who needed some extra food. He was so proud to be independent.

Independent is becoming our new word, or should I say, “I do it myself, mommy!”

Jordan helps out at church
Jordan helps out at church

One of our last days of warmth this year we decided to take him out for a ride with Gabriella in their tricycles. Jordan’s is adapted to assist him with a back rest and straps to keep him from falling off.

Our occupational therapist also attached a string to assist in pulling to initiate his legs to peddle as well as help him steer.

We’ve been working on his on and off for about a year. Gabriella took over his first bike we bought him for his first birthday. He was so excited to ride side by side. He kept asking to help her.

Well on this beautiful day, we were getting ready to leave the garage and Jordan was ready before the rest of us and decided to peddle himself.

Our initial reaction was to grab the rope and help him. But oh no, “Dad I do it myself!”

It was a moment we will treasure to watch this little boy – who we’d prayed for and in our hearts weren’t sure what he would be able to do – take his own ropes and ride that bike around the neighborhood giggling and waving at each car that passed by.

Jordan also enjoyed watching the leaves and colors of fall. We were able to go on a family field trip with his class to a pumpkin patch. He was beyond excited to get to see the tractors and ride on the wagon. Tractors have become his favorite toys these days.

jordon-on-tricycleHe loves to watch the harvest. We had a lot of fun going out and getting Gabriella’s one year pictures as well as family pictures. Jordan is still a little ham bone when it comes to getting his pictures taken.

He has also joined the preschool class at church on Wednesday nights. It’s a group called Cubbies.

I cannot say enough about this little sponge. He is constantly telling us his verse” “Mom, 1 John 4:10 God love us and sent Him son. 1 John 4:10.”

He loves to wheel his walker around with his friends and has a friend who also has spina bifida. It was great to see how they stand on their lines with their walkers and help other kids see that it’s ok to have a little extra help to get around.

We try to keep the lines of communication open as well as our hearts when kids ask why they need the extra set of wheels. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and realize that their questions are innocent and they deserve to have a friend who is willing to talk to them about special needs.

Jordan and I were climbing up to the slide at a playground one day. There was a little boy who came running up wanting to push ahead. When he looked at Jordan, he asked him if he was a baby.

Jordan just looked at him and said, “I not a baby, my baby Gabriella’s down there.”

I love that he has come into his own to talk with kids. I pray that he continues to interact with those around him. I know one day it will be hard when there’s someone out there who isn’t so gracious, but until then we will continue to enjoy these giggles and “aha!” moments.

We are so thankful in this season of hope and giving. From the mouth of Jordan: “Jesus, thank you for food, friends, family, my dog Sasha, the office, the closet, my cup, my fork oh and Gabriella… “

This story first appeared on Akron Children’s Inside Children’s blog.


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Posted on: December 22, 2014


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