You know when you build something up so much and expect it to be something big, but then, when it really happens, it ends up being nothing like you expected?
Well, that is exactly how Thursday was. Don't get me wrong, it was something big. I just never expected to be so excited, for the girls to be so excited, and to feel a wonderful rush of joy when my baby sat in her wheelchair for the very first time.
Yes, joy. Not the high-on-life kind of joy, but a content, deep-down realization that it is more than okay.
It is well.
Our "wheelchair guy" (not sure what else to call him) was about 45 minutes late for our appointment, so we were all pretty anxious. But once he arrived, the girls were peeled to the door, jumping up and down at one point, and yelling out to him on the driveway. The poor guy couldn't even get through the door without us physically moving the girls out of the way.
He finally made his way in, and that's when I saw it -- her name, embroidered in pink right there on her seat. What a beautiful, thoughtful surprise. We never asked for it, but it was a personal touch that made us instantly fall in love with this vehicle that was going to change our girl's life. (The metallic fuchsia accents didn't hurt either.)
Then our wheelchair guy tried to fit Little Miss, and the booger couldn't even sit still. "I try, I try, I try," she kept saying. She knew just what to do and wanted to go. He even put down the breaks, but she figured those out, too. At one point, Jeff walked out of the room and when he came back in, she confirmed what we all could clearly see... "Daddy, I wuv it."
Finally, she got her chance, and she was off. She instantly went to the Christmas tree to touch some of the ornaments she's been dying to see up close. Then she went straight for the front door and started playing with the door handle and the locks. Then she went to the fish tank to "feed the fish."
All things she's been wanting to do, all things I've helped her do, but now she could do them all by herself.
Yes, it is well.
Now, just a few days in, the girl is turning corners and operating her ride like it's an extension of her body. She still gets stuck, but the rule is we don't help her unless she asks -- a rule she pretty much made all on her own.
She really does love her wheelchair and asks to be in it all the time. She can reach, touch, and see things she couldn't before, and it is just so much fun to sit back and watch. Tomorrow is the first day we will be taking her wheelchair outside of the house, and I can't wait to see her face as the world opens up to her.
In case you were wondering, this doesn't mean we are giving up on walking. Now, more than ever, we will make sure she is on those legs every day. It is good for her joints, for her growth, and for her physical health. Eventually, we may end up setting up "rules" so that she only uses her chair when we leave the house to make sure she stays active, but it's way too early for that. For now, we are giving her as much freedom as she wants. Girl has earned it.
What's amazing is that just one week ago today, I had a pretty sad day. There was lots of blubbering and lots of chocolate. But it just goes to show that when you actually allow yourself to be honest about your feelings -- no matter how much they hurt or how much you try to hide them -- you not only get past them, you can actually heal.
When my mother-in-law saw Brooklyn in her chair for the first time yesterday, she so beautifully stated, "It does my heart good to see her."
I honestly couldn't have said it better myself.
It is well.